Telephones On Titanic


Nov 9, 2002
341
0
171
Hey all,
Happy Thanksgiving! I was looking around and sometimes I find information on telephones of some sort on the Titanic. I just saw a picture of a "telephone switchboard." Were there any telephones of some sort for passengers to use to talk to one another? I know about the telephone device when she struck the iceberg and Fleet said "Iceberg right ahead!" in it. Also, were telephones in use at that time in homes (if so probably for the wealthy) Thats about it! THANKS!

P.S. have a nice Holiday!
-Sahand
 
Apr 22, 2012
1,190
3
123
There was a telephone switchboard located on C Deck. The link below, which is to a past thread on this message board, should answer all your questions about phones on board.


As for telephones being used in homes at the time, I would agree that it was probably just with the wealthy. I ran a little search on Google to find out more, and one page said the first printed directory of the Vernon exchange, which I assume was an early telephone company, showed 299 subscribers. This was printed in 1907.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
 
Nov 9, 2002
341
0
171
Hey,
Thanks that info helped. I wish the passengers could have called eachother and gossiped though.
sad.gif
lol well thanks again!

SAHAND
 
Apr 22, 2012
1,190
3
123
You're welcome. Yeah, now that would something to hear:

"Listen Archie, I'll have to call you back, there's a young man here ordering me to put my lifebelt on and come up to the Boat Deck!"
 
L

Lawrence P. Cappe

Guest
So what was the layout of the Purser`s Office and where was it located on C deck?

If it had a currency exchange counter; contained safe deposit boxes for passengers; had a counter that took telegraph messages (and I assume a telegraph boy to deliver them); and a rather grand telephone exchange, it must have been the hub of activity on C Deck. Any pictures?

And who was the telephone operator on duty at 11:40 pm Sunday April 14th when Fleet rang from the lookout asking for "Bridge, please"?
 
Dec 7, 2000
1,348
9
223
Lawrence,

The purser was able to do small currency exchanges, and I have read notations about this in some White Star Line Brochures. I'd say the exchanges could occur so long as there was money to exchange. There were a few safes installed in the Purser's office where passengers' prized belongings (i.e. jewelry), money etc. could be stored, but passengers did not have access to them. The office had pneumatic tubing to communicate outgoing or received messages between the Marconi room up on the Boat deck, and the Purser's office on C deck.

Daniel.
 
L

Lawrence P. Cappe

Guest
More`s the pity. They had Jack Phillips as Titanic`s Marconi man. As to his negligence as long distance operator that`s discussed in a previous thread.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,631
446
453
Easley South Carolina
Alleged neglignece Lawrance. As some of us have gone to a lot of trouble to point out, Phillips was a bit player here. The fact remains that the bridge did recieve ice warnings and did act on them. (Notice that the lookouts were briefed to be on the lookout for ice!)

It wasn't enough, but Phillips had no control over that.
 
L

Lawrence P. Cappe

Guest
'Alleged' negligence. Its only fair to spare a dead man`s feelings. Might have had to testify if he`d lived and gottin` torched like Lord.

What time did you say the telephone exchange closed? Was it re-activated that Sunday night? Did the telephone operator live to testify? Or did he know too much?
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,631
446
453
Easley South Carolina
The telephone operator is irrelevant as the line from the crows nest to the bridge was direct. Fleet called and got an answer strieght away...and Fleet did live to testify as did Hichens, Boxhall, etc.

As to Phillip's getting torched, don't count on it, at least not in any manner better or worse then anyone else, including Marconi himself. I wouldn't waste any time looking for neferious on-board conspiracies by the crew either. They were a little too busy trying to stay alive.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
35
308
quote:

'Alleged' negligence. Its only fair to spare a dead man`s feelings. Might have had to testify if he`d lived and gottin` torched like Lord.
I have to agree with Jemma and Mike on this point. Mike can correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt his insertion of 'alleged' has much at all to do with sparing a dead man's feelings (although I do believe it is important to that the man in question, after performing his duty to the fullest degree, was not able to present his side of events; a view which has as much to do with losing an essential witness as it does with the concept of justice). Suggesting that it does casts an unwarranted insinuation that Mike is letting irrational sentiment cloud historical assessment. This does Mike a great disservice, as I have no doubt from what he has posted that his point has more to do with methodology and detached reasoned historical assessment than with emotional clouding of judgement.

It is important to note that these allegations are far from historically established facts, and that that they have been emphatically contested by researchers. As it has not even been established that the Mesaba message never made it to the bridge, the very historical facts connected with this theory are on very shaky ground indeed, let alone one man's interpretation of these facts.

No doubt Phillips would have been called upon to testify had he lived. And in presenting his own case and his own evidence, he might well have come out of the entire event with even greater accolades than he won posthumously as events unfolded historically.​
 
Mar 3, 1998
2,745
6
0
I suggest before this line of argument proceeds further that any debate over Phillips's alleged negligence be resumed under the legacy thread, "Phillips's Negligence." It certainly doesn't belong in a thread about Titanic's on-board telephone system. The Phillips debate has already gotten well underway in the aforementioned thread, with Lawrence presenting his evidence and others, myself included, presenting their evidence in rebuttal. Personally, I don't feel like repeating myself, so I'm willing to let my earlier arguments stand.

As far as the original question that started this thread is concerned, I have a little on the phone system in the "Titanic Tech Questions" article on my website:

http://marconigraph.com

but it's merely an extrapolation of info that can be found in Shipbuilder. The only additional insight that I add to the mix is differentiating between the sound-powered and electrical-powered systems.

Parks
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,631
446
453
Easley South Carolina
>>I have to agree with Jemma and Mike on this point. Mike can correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt his insertion of 'alleged' has much at all to do with sparing a dead man's feelings (although I do believe it is important to that the man in question, after performing his duty to the fullest degree, was not able to present his side of events; a view which has as much to do with losing an essential witness as it does with the concept of justice).<<

So what's to correct Inger? I think what you said is bang on the money. Dead men are not known to have any feelings to spare. However, their surviving decendants and reletives do. Something to think about there. If somebody is going to make allegations of negligence, then I would submit that they had better do their homework and base it on something more substantive...like hard evidence...which is sorely lacking in this case. I've never seen evidence that either Bride or Phillips did anything other then their jobs to the best of their abilities and without a lot of fanfare.

Nothing hidden.
No schemeing around.
No neferious conspiracies.

Just business as usual. If anything was lacking, it was in the rules they operated by, but who's fault was that? Bride and Phillips ran this particular train, but they didn't write the owners manual.
 
L

Lawrence P. Cappe

Guest
I noticed four telephones on the bridge. If one was for the crow`s nest, I suppose one was to engineering; what were the others? Victulating and the Chief Stewart? Does that leave one to ring the telephone exchange?

Lawrence
 
L

Lawrence P. Cappe

Guest
Parks,

I would indeed enjoy going back to "Phillip`s Negligence" but Capt. Wood has not yet re-opened the thread. Can you put in a good word for me if I promise to behave. Scout`s honour. And could you find out where my last dispatch to it went, as it never got posted.

Thanks,
Lawrence
 
Jul 11, 2001
547
1
171
I believe one of the phone lines was also directly to one at the forecastle tip. So a lookout posted there could also alert the bridge.

Dave
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
35
308
In his 1962 interview Boxhall recalled recieving a message from Murdoch via telephone on the bridge that the aft lifeboats had been loaded.

By the way, Mr Cappe, given the tenor of your last private message to me, I have absolutely no intention of getting into any private discussion with you off the board. I would ask you to direct your remarks to me in a public forum if they pertain to matters concerning Titanic discussions and refrain from sending me private emails, unless you wish to direct any messages to me in my capacity as a board moderator.
 

Similar threads