Telegraphs

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Rachel Walker

Guest
I just watched an imax film about Titanic, and in it they were talking about the telegraphs used to send messages from the bridge to the engine rooms, and that one of them didn't work correctly and the wrong message was sent. What's the scoop on that?
 

Shane Worthy

Member
Aug 12, 2004
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Rachel,
Until now, I have never heard of it. What IMAX film was this? I have a copy of one. Perhaps one of our veterans such as Michael or Parks can handle this one.
All Ahead Full!
Shane N. Worthy
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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I have actually heard this theory and if I am not mistaken it was started by the same author who said Titanic and Olympic switched places but I could be mistaken.

If I recall rightly we have folks in the engine room who saw and heard the orders correct???
 
Mar 3, 1998
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The linkage system used in the Olympics was not as reliable as that used in the Cunarders, but there's no evidence that I'm aware of that indicates that one of Titanic's telegraphs didn't work properly.

Greaser Scott saw all four telegraphs indicate STOP in the engine room.

Parks
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Thomas Dillon Testified to what he saw. He never gave any indication that the telegraphs weren't working properly. Greaser Frederick Scott's tstimony can be read HERE. The relevant testimony Parks mentioned goes as follows:
quote:

5521. You felt something; what was it? - I felt a shock and I thought it was something in the main engine room which had gone wrong.

5522. We know it was about 11.40? - Yes, about 20 minutes to 12.

5523. Did you notice the two telegraphs in the engine room? - Yes; four telegraphs rang.

5524. Were there four telegraphs? - She got four telegraphs, two emergency ones.

5525. Two emergency? - Yes, and two for the main engine.

5526. What did you notice? - I noticed "Stop" first.

5527. To which telegraph did that come? - On the main engines.

5528. Let us get this clearly. I understand you are speaking now of the turbine room? - No, there are two stand-bys; you can see just the same in the turbine room; if you are standing at the engine room door you can see the two just the same.

5529. Where did you see those? - In the main engine room.

5530. That is where the reciprocating engines are? - Yes.

5531. The watertight door is open? - Yes.

5532. And you can see through? - Yes.

5533. Now I think we follow. When you speak of the four telegraphs, are they all there? - Yes.

5534. Or are there any in your room? - No, there are none in the turbine room at all, Sir, all in the main engine room.

5535. Was the telegraph signal that came the emergency or the ordinary telegraph? - That is to the main engine room. It is different. They ring the two on the main engine room, and then they ring two others just afterwards, the emergency ones.

5536. Did you hear the two? - All four went.

5537. Did you hear the two ordinary ones ring first? - No, they all four rang together.

5538. What did they ring? - "Stop."

5539. Was that before or after the shock? - After the shock.
No indication of any malfunction here.​
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Chicago, IL, USA
Interesting that Scott first said:
"They ring the two on the main engine room, and then they ring two others just afterwards, the emergency ones."

And then he says: "No, they all four rang together."

Was he talking about the signal from the bridge to the engine room, or the reply from the engine room to the bridge, or maybe both?

If I recall he said two greasers answered the telegraphs. That could explain simultaneous ringing on 4 telegraph handles. The signal coming down to the engine room fits his first description that the emergency telegraphs rang after the main engine telegraphs rang.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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Well if it came down on two telegraphs from the bridge at the same time then two men would need to be operating said equipment. Who other then Murdoch could that be???
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I don't think 4 rang together from the bridge. I think his 1st description was accurate, "They ring the two on the main engine room, and then they ring two others just afterwards, the emergency ones."

His first response to the question was:
5526. What did you notice? - I noticed "Stop" first.
5527. To which telegraph did that come? - On the main engines.

No mention of yet of the emergency telegraphs.

5541. Was any reply given to the telegraph orders from the bridge? - Yes, they rang back from the engine room; the two greasers at the bottom rang back.

When the two greasers rang back to the bridge, you have two people ringing back at the same time. And I believe that is what Scott saw when he said:

5536. Did you hear the two? - All four went.
5537. Did you hear the two ordinary ones ring first? - No, they all four rang together.
5538. What did they ring? - "Stop."
5539. Was that before or after the shock? - After the shock.
5540. What was the next thing? - Then the watertight doors went.

What happens after that is interesting.
5554. What did you do after that? - After that we went up to the turbine room and down one of the escapes to let one of the greasers out in the after tunnel.

So everything described by Scott so far occurred while was in the turbine room look through the open WTD before it closed.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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So that would mean (as I believe we already agree) that the orders from the bridge (whatever they where) where issued before the doors closed.

What kind of time line are you thinking of???

When I say timeline, I mean from the second Murdoch put his hands on the handles of the telegraph to the second the last door settled in the down and locked position.
 
D

Dave Skinner

Guest
Dear Mr.Stephenson,

I was very impressed with the original artwork you have done of the ships telegraphs. Was this computer generated? If so, what software did you use? How long did it take to do 1 drawing?

Look forward to hearing from you or anyone else who can help.

Thanks,

Dave