Stern Bridge

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Scott R. Andrews

Guest
Yuri,

The telegraphs on the docking bridge are docking telegraphs. They are used to communicate commands from the pilot on the bridge to the stern regarding the handling of the warping and mooring lines, as well as commands regarding the tugs at the stern. As for the board, I don't know whether anyone has specifically identified the purpose of the switches mounted on it, but I am struck by the fact the they look nearly identical to the switches both on the bridge and out at the bridge wings which controlled the ship's whistles.

Sincerely,

Scott Andrews
 
Y

Yuri Singleton

Member
Docking telegraphs?? That's a new one for me. This could really change my mind about this whole thing. So, the telegraphs seen on the stern bridge weren't related to the engines? That is they didn't ring out when someone on the forward bridge made a change to the ships speed?

But why is there a wheel then? This is exactly the information I needed to know.
How did you know this?

Thanks!

Yuri
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
Yuri -- docking telegraphs allowed the bridge to pass back instructions regarding line handling. They also allowed the officer at the stern to pass certain critical information regarding the docking of the ship forward to the bridge. These telegraphs pre-dated functional telephones and continued in service until quite recently because of the natural conservative nature of seamen. Sometimes, they were also installed on bridge wings for communications to the wheelhouse and/or the stern. On modern ships, they have largely been superceded by the walkie-talkie.

The steering wheel on the docking bridge was an emergency measure. It went straight down to the steering engine. If the main telemotor system failed, then the quartermaster stationed at the stern (Rowe was on duty there at the time of the accident) could have assumed the steering duties by following orders via telegraph from the bridge. Even if the steering was being done from the docking bridge, the nerve center of the ship would have remained the forebridge where the navigation materials were handy, etc.

The juxtaposition of mechanical telegraphs and voice telephones on Titanic illustrates the technological "cusp" of 1912. The ship is still largely a mechanical vessel not much different than Great Eastern of two generations earlier. However, it has telephones that hint of the changes to be wrought by electricity and electronics. Titanic's telephones were still too clumsy to be the primary means of communication. Hence, telegraphs.

Titanic could be steered from four places: the forebridge, the wheelhouse, the docking bridge, and the steering engine flat. A so-called "trick wheel" on the steering engine (Titanic had two such engines) allowed an engineer to steer from there. And, if the steering engines both failed, they could rig block & tackle to the steam docking windlasses and heave the quadrant that way. Steering failures were greatly feared in that era, probably with good reason. The 1911-era ship that I'm associated with in Toledo has two wheels with completely separate connections back to the steering engine--just in case.

And, if all else failed, they could have secured Titanic's rudder amidships and steered across the ocean simply by use of the outboard wing propellers. The ship's bow will turn ("fall" in sailor talk) toward the side with the weak propulsion. So, if you wanted to turn left, you could pull back the throttle on the port engine.

--David G. Brown
 
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lisagay harrod

Guest
Okay Guys...I know I'm gonna get whacked for this, but I am nautically challeged...

A binnacle is a housing for a compass, or the compass itself?

Everytime I start on a thread like this I bounce back & forth between the thread & a dictionary. Lacking Websters' today I looked it up the web, and I'm not sure what I was looking at. A large brass stand with a sliding topcover that contained a large compass. It was a beautiful piece...

I wouldn't ordinarily set myself up like this, but I always learn so much from these threads.

Thanks,
Lisa Harrod
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
A binnacle is more than just a housing for the compass. It is also contains the compensating magnets and quadrantal spheres used to adjust deviation out of the card. There is really quite a bit of "stuff" inside--mostly magnets.

The word "binnacle" evolved from "bittacle," which goes back through the French to "habitaculum" in Latin, meaning a place of habitation. I guess it means the place where the compass lives. Originally, the bittacle housed a lamp and only later the compass.

Many of the binnacles of Titanic's era also had a small instrument below the compass. This was a clinometer, used to measure the heel or list of the deck.

-- David G. Brown
 
E

Erik Wood

Member
Leave it to Dave to tell us about the evolution of words. I am lucky if I can spell anything correctly. Very interesting though, very interesting.......bu t stu.. no I will be nice.

Erik
 
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lisagay harrod

Guest
Joshua,

The TRMA site is great! Thanks so much for the tip. I have alot of homework to do, and it's the perfect place to start.

David,

Thank you as well...but what exactly is the "card".

I know this must seem remedial to you all, but I cling to the notion that there are no stupid questions.

Cheers,
Lisa
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
A card is one of a set of pieces of pasteboard, usually numbering 52...

Or, no, you mean a compass card. That is the circular disk on which the numbers, points and what-have-you are printed. On many dry compasses of 1912 vintage the "card" was actually white silk stretched in place by fine silk threads. This was to keep the mass of the card down so that relatively small magnetic forces would be detected. Today's liquid-filled compasses often have plastic "cards."

Now although "rope" when cut for a use is "line," the "lubber line" does not go to the "lubber's hole."

Actually, the "lubber line" is a fixed mark aligned with the ship's keel and against which the card is read. Some compasses have three lubber lines so that the helmsman can stand to either side and look straight at a line. (Use of auxiliary lubber lines requires some math--as the angular difference between the auxiliary and primary lubber line has to be taken into account. But, you probably knew that.)

"vast heaving and belay. That's enough for today.

-- David G. Brown
 
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lisagay harrod

Guest
David,

It's back to glossary for moi!

Card makes sense after reading more on binnacle...cylinders /spheres used to counteract quadrant.

You're a piece of work...thanks.

Lisa
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
Lisa -- Somebody suggested once that I'm a few bungs short of a deck.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Erik Wood

Member
Dave,

Do you look this stuff up before you post it. You must be a vast chunk of knowledge.

Erik
 
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Parks Stephenson

Member
<font color="#006600">You must be a vast chunk of knowledge.

I was going to pile on that, but then decided it would be better if I didn't. :)

Parks
 
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lisagay harrod

Guest
David,

Back to the glossary I go again, and all I could come up with was a "bung starter": a heavy bat or stave used for striking a cask or barrel on either side of the bung in order to start or loosen the bung...

I'm not sure that I really need to to know exactly what a bung is. A little mystery is good for the girl. 'Sides, I think this is the part of the thread where I need to put my boots on...it's gettin' deep.

Cheers All,
Lisa
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
"Bungs" is wot you plug them screw holes with. Always cut yur bungs 'cross the grain from the same piece er wood, mindcha so the matches the grain in the plank. 'N sink 'em deep, else they'll be a-poppin' first times somebody claps a holystone to d'wood.

Anybody seen my makin' iron? I've got some corkin' to be doin'.

--The Ol' Wood Butcher
 
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