Smith let passengers on the bridge


Dec 2, 2000
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>>One more thing: wonder did T. Andrews ever give tours of the boiler rooms/engine rooms, things like that? <<

It's not impossible but it's damned unlikely, at least during a voyage where he was functioning as a part of the Gaurantee Group. He would have had his hands full indentifying defects, working out ways to fix them, and working out ways to apply lessons learned.

>>In my considerable and lengthy experience in about every type of ship you could name, the only passengers who ever wanted to see the 'tools of the trade' were of the female gender..unfortunately in my case; the ugly ones!<<

Errrrr...yeah...right. You did have your escape route planned out in advance, did you not Captain Jim???
wink.gif
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Michael:

Just because there's no proof doesn't matter a jot. There's no proof that the Tasmanian Tiger has existed for the better part of a century, but most of us know that they do. Just incase you've forgotten, surveillance cameras didn't exist on the bridges of ships in 1912, and the senior officers, including Smith who could have authorised a passenger to go onto the bridge, went down with the ship, and therefore can't answer that question.

I'm not saying that there was a procession of passengers who went and fiddled with the equipment on the bridge or anything like that, far from it - but there's no legitimate reason why a decent officer wouldn't allow a young child to experience the thrill of seeing the controls of the best ship of the day.

But of course because there's no signed affidavit by a thousand of the passengers saying that such-and-such was given that privilege, it can't POSSIBLY have happened, because that would be against the RULES, and nobody breaks the rules, do they Michael?

There is no real damage that holding the helm could do in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from anything. Especially since the Titanic took several light years to turn.

All I can say is thank god you weren't the captain, the Titanic and WSL would have gone broke in no time!

Cheers,
Adam.
 
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I'm fairly sure that, if the WSL did let passengers onto the bridge during a voyage - whether children or toffs - we'd have some reminiscences of this. Not to do with the sinking, but just to do with voyages in general. I don't think I've ever heard anything like this.

And since everyone would have paid in advance for their tickets, I don't think the WSL would have gone bust if Mike had been in charge of bridge discipline. You're not seriously suggesting that WSL income rested on the premise that people chose their ship because they could go on the bridge and fiddle with the controls?
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Adam!

T Adams would most definitely not have arranged engine room tours. He was the builder's representative and as such had no position of authority on board the ship. Sure: Captain Smith might just have brought.. not allowed... a child (hate that word 'kid' A kid is a baby goat!)onto the bridge. In fact, there is a picture of him doing so on ET (Captain Smith with boy on bridge). However the ship (Olympic) was not at sea but ready to go to sea. The engine room telegraph is at 'Standby Ahead'
As for tours of the engine room... I think not... perhaps Mr. Bell may have allowed some of the engine enthusiast and ladies that caught his eye to look down from the Engineering Officers access to the main engine room but that would be it! All of the foregoing I have seen! But it was as rare as hen's teeth!

Michael: re your question: I believe there's a thread on ET entitled 'No place else to go'... I rest my case!

JC
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Just because there's no proof doesn't matter a jot.<<

Wrong.

Evidence matters a very big deal. Without it, there is absolutely no reason to accept or even consider a given claim or body of claims, and every reason to reject a claim or group of claims when there is clear evidence against it.

>>There's no proof that the Tasmanian Tiger has existed for the better part of a century, but most of us know that they do.<<

Which claim was considered as verified when substantive evidence was obtained by aquiring actual specimens, that this creature existed.

So much for your appeal to ignorance fallacy.

>>But of course because there's no signed affidavit by a thousand of the passengers saying that such-and-such was given that privilege, it can't POSSIBLY have happened, because that would be against the RULES, and nobody breaks the rules, do they Michael?<<

The fallacy here is known as begging the question. (Phrasing it in such a way as to assume the answer.)

Adam, they could have had the wildest sex parties and orgies in history on the bridge of any one of those ships as well as any other, but for want of any sort of proof to back it up, there's no way you can make that case.

Likewise, they could have had a tourist/passenger hiking trail going right through the wheelhouse, but with no proof to back it it up, I have no reasonable grounds to accept that claim. In light of the existing company regulation and the hot water that the skipper of the Olympic got into for letting the Prince of Wales on the bridge, I have quite a bit of substantive reason to doubt it.

>>There is no real damage that holding the helm could do in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from anything. Especially since the Titanic took several light years to turn.<<

And you have how much training or real world experience in shiphandling to back that up? (Besides none?) The reason IMM/White Star had that rule on their books in the first place is because it was clearly seen as a safety issue, and they had plenty of operational experience to back it up.

>>All I can say is thank god you weren't the captain, the Titanic and WSL would have gone broke in no time!<<

Another red herring.
 

Scott Holiday

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Perhaps they could've installed a "dummy" steering wheel that was like a decoration, which rich passengers/toddlers etc could play with & "steer" w/ no risk of damage. It's not like they would've known it wasn't hooked up to anything. Seems like a good compromise to keep everyone happy. Could've put souvie shop on the way out too so the kiddies could get their nag on: "Wah wah Poppie I want the Titanic ship in a bottle set buy it for me wah wah," or the minature Capt. Smith costume, complete with corncob bubble-blowing pipe, sticky grey beard, and those gold brush-looking things on the shoulders.

Who knows, maybe that was even something T. Andrews had listed on his "to do" list, along with those stateroom coat hook screws and restaurant hot press. (BTW was that "hot press" described in ANTR an early prototype of the George Foreman grill)? I've always wondered since me was little what that "hot press" did. Was it for making Cuban type sandwiches or grilled cheeze?

Also, was there a machine for making popcorn in the galley? In some of Father Brown's photos there are people eating popcorn and feeding it to the seagulls if memory serves me.

Also the little movie theatre would prolly need popcorn too, since silent movies are boring enough as is.


Scott
 

Adam Went

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Monica:

Well it's not really the sort of thing that anyone would deem necessary to talk about, would it? I don't know how it works in other countries but over here, asking to see the controls of something - be it a plane, train, boat, whatever - is a perfectly normal and reasonable question for a child, there's nothing spectacular about it. That doesn't mean that there'll be a novel written about it afterwards.

I can speak from personal experience here, having been shown through the engine rooms and crew areas of the former Spirit of Tasmania vessel when I was only a young lad, by a crewman who we knew. Different company, different era, sure - but the same principle applies.

Jim:

Not sure what you're getting at? I presume T Adams is T Andrews.....while I understand what you're saying and am in agreement with you, I was referring to Capt. Smith and the officers, not Thomas Andrews.

Michael:

"Evidence matters a very big deal. Without it, there is absolutely no reason to accept or even consider a given claim or body of claims, and every reason to reject a claim or group of claims when there is clear evidence against it."

Thankfully, for the sake of history, most people don't agree with that position. In fact i'm sure Jim Kalafus and yourself could create the most boring history club ever, if you so desired.
The point is that there needs not be evidence to make reasonable assumptions based on other historical instances.

"Which claim was considered as verified when substantive evidence was obtained by aquiring actual specimens, that this creature existed."

Well the offical record will tell you that the last one died in a Hobart zoo in 1936, and yet there is body and photographic evidence that they still existed at least until the 1950's when one was killed. Then there are countless sightings, photographs and videos every year - it's simply the fact that one hasn't been captured in the last few decades.

So they do still exist, despite what the official record might say, and that applies to many historical instances, Michael.

"And you have how much training or real world experience in shiphandling to back that up? (Besides none?) The reason IMM/White Star had that rule on their books in the first place is because it was clearly seen as a safety issue, and they had plenty of operational experience to back it up."

So allowing a young child onto the bridge was deemed a safety issue when ignoring ice warnings and steaming at high speed into a known icefield in the dead of night was not considered a safety issue?

Ha....interesting logic.

"Another red herring."

Evidently you have no understanding of the term 'red herring'.

I suggest you read up on your comments first before you go playing the keyboard hero any further. Nobody likes a keyboard hero, Michael.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Scott Holiday

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There was no movie theatre on Titanic.
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I believe all the Olympic-class tubs showed films in the 1st Class Lounge on one of those portable window-shade type screens, like today you'd use for Powerpoint snoozefests in a corporate boardroom.

Wonder if there was a certain WSL person/employee in charge of what movies to show each nite, or was it put to a democratic vote? Like say JJ Astor was keen on Charlie Chaplin but Guggenheim preferred Buster Keaton....

Actually it was quite a poor idea in retrospect to have a cigar/smoking lounge double duty as the makeshift cinny, b/c those old silent films were taped on nitroglycerine and could/did explode all the time. A vault explosion in the late 1960s destroyed the only copy of "London After Midnight" with Lon Cheney, and hardcore vampire geeks are still hoping a spare reel turns up someday. Ain't likely.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Thankfully, for the sake of history, most people don't agree with that position.<<

So what?

Majority rules may work in politricks, but they don't get you anywhere when dealing with history as it actually happened. Reality is not subject to a vote.

Would bees, maybees, probablebees, migthbees, couldbees, and possiblbees don't get you there. When you're trying to establish something as a fact, then you must have the evidence to back it up. This is the way every professional historian as well as the gifted amatures do it, and for some very sound reasons.

Speculation is firmly put in it's place for what it is: Speculation. Maybe accurate, maybe not, but no serious or credible historian calls it for anything then what it is.

When you get right down to it, that's the whole problem with your position in a nutshell.

You can't support it with evidence.

>>So they do still exist, despite what the official record might say, and that applies to many historical instances, Michael.<<

The official record you speak to backed up the existance of this animal when there was credible evidence to support it. Revising the record in light of what tangible emperical evidence is what good science does.

>>So allowing a young child onto the bridge was deemed a safety issue...<<

Yes.

>>...when ignoring ice warnings and steaming at high speed into a known icefield in the dead of night was not considered a safety issue?<<

And where did I say that it wasn't? You're contriving a strawman, Adam.

>>I suggest you read up on your comments first before you go playing the keyboard hero any further. Nobody likes a keyboard hero, Michael.<<

And I'd suggest you learn something about proper historical and scientific methodology before you make the mistake of talking down to anybody on this forum, sir.

>>There was no movie theatre on Titanic.<<

Correct, there wasn't, although there is an ancient urban legend which claims otherwise. It's long been debunked.
 

Scott Holiday

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Here be a very interesting dilemma:

Suppose the 1912 equivalent of Norfolk Virus infected all of the officers/commanders and they were incapacitated & bedridden. Sick as dogs, no antibiotics etc. After all, these guys lived & worked right on top of each other, shared whistles, sextants, etc and didn't know jack about germs and nasties the way we do.

Do you think Smith et al. could give a quick "crash course" to someone unsick, like say Colonel Peuchen who had yacht experience, and let him (and some other educated passengers mustered for a scratch crew) drive the tub until they felt up to it again? The passengers certainly couldn't have done much worse than the "pros," at least in this case. Probably worst case scenario is Peuchen makes a wrong turn & ends up in Greenland or something.

Or, would they (Smith & crew) just have to stop and anchor until everyone in charge was feeling better? Or Maybe spark off a wireless message and let someone like Rostron swing by and offload some of his mates to take charge?

Passengers driving in emergencies isn't farfetched at all when you think about it. In fact there have been aeroplane emergencies where the pilot had a sudden heart attack etc and an ameteur pilot on board (passenger) got drafted into the cockpit and was "walked thru" bringing her down safely from mission control. And we can all agree something at 35,000 feet going 500 mph is a little harder than steering a 20 mph slowpoke boat in the middle of essentially nowhere.

Kinda funny WSL thought they needed a Captain, Chief Officer, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th officers, etc all to drive something going about as slow as a lame glue horse. Kinda seems like a case of the old "too many Chiefs, not enough Indians" situation. That type of excess was all the rage back in Edwardian times you know, having all sorts of extra people around: butlers, maids, servants, elevator boys, etc. You had to drag a huge entourage around wherever you went. That's how they rolled (and, sadly, sunk).
 
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Ha ha! What on earth is Scott talking about here? I think he's clutching at straws, having fun, and entertaining us all no end in the process.

I hardly think 8 officers to manage a ship 24 hours a day is excessive. Some might say, in retrospect, that it wasn't enough. Especially if they had a virus infection. Eh?

Love the language, Scotty.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I like the language too. Calls to mind that great scene in Some Like it Hot where Tony Curtis does his best Cary Grant impression and Jack Lemmon tells him "Nobody talks like that".

There's a new Titanic series coming up on UK TV, written by his Lordship Julian Fellowes. Now Scott, how did you know he was going for the old disaster movie Stewardess at the controls angle? Sandra Bullock will be playing Violet Jessop.
 

Bob Godfrey

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And that's not all Scott got right. T Andrews did indeed sketch up a kiddy wheel and old Izzy Straus (who used to be a toymaker) knocked up a prototype in no time. Here it is, pictured by Father Brown using the new Kodachrome process invented by Izzy (who used to be a photographer). Got it on the nail Scotto! Me congrat.

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Scott Holiday

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Not hard to see a headstrong cougar like Molly Brown volunteering for Peuchen's scratch crew either, since she commandeered a lifeboat and gave Hichens a bollocking proper after the berg. Bet she'd have so much fun you'd have to pry her outta the crow's nest.

FYI if anyone is interested in the antique NYC subway rides here's the link:

http://www.cheapnyc.com/tv/NYC_Vintage_Subway_Ride
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Do you think Smith et al. could give a quick "crash course" to someone unsick, like say Colonel Peuchen who had yacht experience, and let him (and some other educated passengers mustered for a scratch crew) drive the tub until they felt up to it again?<<

I'm not sure what you're driving at here but in the real world...as opposed to hypothetical fantasy...such ships tended to be immidiately quaratined if/when they made it to the nearest port. There would be no real question of the passengers "driving the ship" unless some could be found who actually knew how who were not in turn stricken by the disease itself.

Since Titanic had wireless, it would be a simple matter to signal for assistance from any passing ship which would have had any sort of medical staff.

>>Passengers driving in emergencies isn't farfetched at all when you think about it. In fact there have been aeroplane emergencies where the pilot had a sudden heart attack etc and an ameteur pilot on board (passenger) got drafted into the cockpit and was "walked thru" bringing her down safely from mission control. And we can all agree something at 35,000 feet going 500 mph is a little harder than steering a 20 mph slowpoke boat in the middle of essentially nowhere.<<

Aside from the fact that this is more Hollywood fantasy then reality (Yes, I know it may have happened on occasion in the real world!) the key word here is "emergency."

>>Kinda funny WSL thought they needed a Captain, Chief Officer, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th officers, etc all to drive something going about as slow as a lame glue horse.<<

Not really. A turn of the century steamship was a very labour intensive piece of work which took a lot of close hands on management. You needed that may officers just to have a watchstanding rotation as well as lookouts and a helmsman, never mind running everything else on the ship.

Modern contrivances have gone a long way towards signifigently reducing the manning requirements in some respects but have not eliminated them.

And slow as molassas or not, Titanic still managed to hit the bloody iceberg.
 

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