Signs on Stern rail


Aug 24, 2005
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In Titanic as the Stern sinks with Jack and Rose holding on there are signs beside they that read "Notice this vessel has triple screws stay clear" yet I dont' see them in any pictures of Olympic or Titanic. Were there any warning signs at all on the stern?
 

Dave Gittins

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Bradley, the notice can be seen in a photo on page 73 of Father Browne's Titanic Album, also sold as The Last Days of the Titanic.

I can't quite read all the text, but it's much as you describe. It's a bit to port of the ensign staff.
 

Dave Gittins

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I've found a clearer photo here.

titanic.marconigraph.com/ce01.html

The sign says--

Notice.
This vessel has triple screws. Keep clear of blades.
 

Dave Gittins

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By the way, note that the photo shows two lifebuoys, with no names on them. That was White Star's practice at the time. Movies often get it wrong.
 

Dave Gittins

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In the version of the photo in Browne's book you can also see the head of the person who climbed the fourth funnel and looked down on the emmigrants as they arrived. The photo is credited to "Mr Whyte of Queenstown". He seems to have had a pretty decent large format camera.
 

Steve Olguin

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Mar 31, 2005
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If I am not mistaken, isn't it noted in Andrew's notes posted on Mark Chirnside's website that this was a feature added after Olympic's maiden voyage. Here is a link to his website

http://www.markchirnside.co.uk/THOMAS%20ANDREWS'%20OLYMPIC%20NOTES%201911%20(text%20box).htm

When I first saw the movie, I realized the level of accuracy was amazing when I caught a glimpse of the red "Notice" sign. When I watch the movie, I wish that the exterior set had been built to code and didn't have to be destroyed after filming.
 

Dave Gittins

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The recommendation cited reads " Would suggest propeller notice boards being permanently fitted on outside of ship's side rails in way of after Docking bridge, as is the practice in other Company's Steamers. Thus saving the placing & stowing away of these boards every voyage with corresponding destruction to the painting and printing."

From the position of the board in the photo, it wasn't carried out on Titanic. It's certainly not "in way of after docking bridge".

On page 116 of Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy, there's an undated photo of Olympic showing a sign exactly where Andrews wanted it.
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"From the position of the board in the photo, it wasn't carried out on Titanic. It's certainly not "in way of after docking bridge".

This being a triple screw vessel it is very possible that the message board was indeed repeated further for'd port and starboard in way of the docking bridge. These areas are not visible in the photograph.

Relying on just the one notice right aft would put small craft etc. approaching from sectors forward at risk in that they would not be warned of the danger from the wing propellers until the danger warned of had been realised!

Noel
 

Dave Gittins

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I can't see the signs near the docking bridge in any photo of Titanic. The photo of New York being towed clear of Titanic is fairly clear. Titanic; Triumph and Tragedy, page 88. A good print of Beken's second photo might settle it. I can't see it in the version in ANTR.
 

Noel F. Jones

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"... as is the practice in other Company's Steamers."

And presumably in multiple screw steamers in general.

So it seems WSL were negligent in that respect. In this particular case it seems they were saved by alleged negligence in another respect!

Noel
 

Dave Gittins

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Maybe it's another sign of the rush to get Titanic into service, like the missing handrails on the side of the gymnasium.
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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Dave,
actually, the sign is visible in the Fr. Browne book, in the stern-on photo (page 73 in my copy), almost in line with the aft mast, barely discernible in the photo on page 75 (above the 11th C-deck porthole counting back from the beginning of the poop). the stern one appears in the stern Southampton photo on page 60 of Eaton and Haas' book "Triumph & Tragedy", 2nd edition. I can also see the port sign in the stern view of Titanic during the New York incident (page 89 in T&T). The port one can also be seen just above the port crane boom in the Cork Examiner picture at Queenstown (page 106 in T&T). The fore edge of the starboard one can just be discerned next to a man standing under the edge of the docking bridge. The aft and starboard signage is observable in the photo on page 57 of "Titanic Voices" US edition, as well in Peter Davies-Garner's book on both pages 5 and 7. It does not appear that the signs were posted while Titanic was in Belfast
 

Noel F. Jones

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So... One sign per screw and positioned accordingly.

That seems an equitable solution to the problem and extinguishes any allegation of negligence in this particular.

Noel
 

Dave Gittins

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Thanks for that, Dan! With the aid of a much better magnifying glass, I can now see some of the signs you mention. These old photos can be hard to see. On the second Beken photo in ANTR I can only see a black rectangle that could be anything. The photo in Browne's album is better.

Sometimes a computer can help. I recently found a photo that shows Titanic's name on her starboard side. It's pretty well invisible until the photo is scanned and made into a negative image.
 

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