The Titanic: Disaster of a Century

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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Iowa, USA
Hey all; I decided to read this book I got in April after resting from being "Titaniced" out by all the anniversary hupla. LOL

Questions:

1. On page 25, Wade states "Another example of the force of the Titanic's suction would be revealed later when Southampton authorities discovered that sunken barge had been dragged 800 feet across the harbor bottom"

This is in reference to the New York suction incident, but I haven't read about this barge in any of the other books I've read. Wade does have a bibliography included, but without footnotes, it's hard to know where he found that bit of information.

2. On page 35, He cites Captain Smith's 1907 quote after bring the Adriatic over as follows: "When anyone can ask me how I can best describe my nearly 40 years at sea, I merely say "Uneventful". Of course there have been winter gales, storms, fog, and the like, but in all my experience, I have never been in any accident of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea-a brig, the crew of which, where taken off in a small boat in charge of my 3rd officer. I have never saw a wreck, and never been wrecked, nor have I ever been in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort. You see, I'm not very good material for a story"

Walter Lord's version of the quote as follows from his 2nd book, "The Night Lives On", page 29: "When anybody asks me how I can best describe my nearly 40 years at sea, I mearly say "Uneventful" I have never been in an accident of any sort worth speaking about. I have never seen a wreck, nor have I been wrecked, nor have I ever been in any predicament that threatened in disaster of any sort"

Which quote is correct? Walter Lord also doesn't footnote, nor is there a full bibliography... just a section devoted to Acknowledgements and selected sources.

Thoughts?
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Lords' version is merely an abridged version of Wade's. Wade is quoting The New York Times of 16 April 1912.

It is not clear where The New York Times found the quotation. The natural assumption is that it's quoting from itself in 1907 but I've never found the original 1907 statement. I managed to prove from another paper that the statement was really made in 1907 and was not a 1912 invention but I've mislaid my source.
 

Jake Peterson

Member
Mar 11, 2012
329
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Iowa, USA
Hi Dave;

Thanks! The copyright for this book appears to be 1986, so it seems that both Wade and Lord put their books out at roughly the same time. Still am not sure about that barge incident though....