Thomas William Goldsmith


Feb 23, 2007
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Hi, I am the grandson of Frank John William Goldsmith. I am 43 and was 18 when he passed. He was the only Grandfather I knew, so I would follow him around and listen to him. My uncles and my dad tell me he never told them the story at home when they were growing up. His mother made him tell them before she passed. He would tell me the story or parts of it when we were alone in his den. He had strokes that took his short term memory but he could remember the past in great detail. I hope to get to England to see where he was born. I see that The Titanic Historical Society has taken his story and rewritten it with a new title. He originally wrote it for his family. From what I understand They were allowed to sell it, [the book not his story], to help fund the society. Now it seems they are trying to profit from it. It makes me sad because Ed was supposed to be a good friend to Grandpa. My Grandpa met Ed around 1963-64. My Uncle had sent him an article about the fledgling group. He spent his own money and time contacting survivors and promoting the society. He went to their meetings on his own expense and never took payment for speaking to its members. When he passed, my grandmother had the book published. The society had Walter Lord and Ed Kamuda do the intro. They both decided that Grandpa was wrong in his statement that he was in lifeboat D, the problem with that is it was Walter Lord who gave Grandpa the picture of lifeboat D after he had it analyzed under an electron microscope to prove it was Grandpa that was in the boat. When the book was released I was still in the Navy. My Grandmother was sick and could not make the trip. I don't know what happened but they have had no communication with the family that I know of that was not initiated by family members. Walter Lord states in Grandpa's book that he saw them off on his first trip back to England. He was mistaken Grandpa and his mother went back to England during the summer of 1912. He made more trips back throughout the years. It is funny how something written can be taken as 100% true while something else is not. interviews given are rarely recorded accurately. I know this from personal experience. Things that we assume should be examined more closely or else we will end up writing and reading books like " The sinking of the Titanic and Great sea disasters" which list them as perishing in the lists but mention them in the book as receiving aid from the womens' relief fund. Anyways I wanted to introduce myself and perhaps chat with some of you if you want. I am also looking for recordings and or interviews that he gave through out his life. I will leave you all with one of his sayings to me when I would go, "Pip Pip gotta be poppin", for he would never say goodbye. He told me that it was because those were his last words to his dad and he never saw him again.
 
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João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
Hello Thomas! I'm glad to see you joined us!

Welcome and hope to see you around the posts.

Best regards,
João
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Thank you to all. Micheal, I was at Millington, Tenn. for "A" school then out to Miramar, California, with VF 211 did a cruise on the ranger. When Grandpa died he had three grandsons serving in the Navy, myself and two cousins.
Best Regards to all. Tom
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Ahhhh...the Ranger was my first ship. I've some fond memories of my service aboard her, and not just a few bad ones as well. That fire in 4MMR in 1983 was no sweet picnic. Keep an eye on http://www.ussrangercv61.org/

Of all the initiatives to make a museum of the supercarriers, this one looks to be the most promising.

What was your squadron flying when you went on your cruise? Phantoms?
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Thomas

I read your Grandfathers book and enjoyed it very much. It seemed to me as if he tried to do research on the Titanic and also other survivors. I look forward to talking to you more on the boards
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Tom,

As you and I have discussed offline at some length, there are several things in your introductory paragraph that really need to be clarified.

In the middle of your paragraph, you posted: "...I see that The Titanic Historical Society has taken his story and rewritten it with a new title. He originally wrote it for his family. From what I understand They were allowed to sell it, [the book not his story], to help fund the society. Now it seems they are trying to profit from it. It makes me sad because Ed was supposed to be a good friend to Grandpa. My Grandpa met Ed around 1963-64. My Uncle had sent him an article about the fledgling group. He spent his own money and time contacting survivors and promoting the society. He went to their meetings on his own expense and never took payment for speaking to its members. When he passed, my grandmother had the book published..."

Tom, as you and I have talked about, there are several points in this post that are just wrong, and I know you would appreciate having the truth about what actually happened regarding the above copied sentences. "I see that The Titanic Historical Society has taken his story and rewritten it with a new title." Actually, no, this isn't so. "Echoes in the Night" was first published by the THS, and had a foreword by Walter Lord, a preface by Don Lynch and an introduction by Ed Kamuda. (Ed and Karen asked Walter Lord, Don Lynch and your grandmother, Victoria to each write something for the book.) Ed then titled the book "Echoes in the Night". The current revised version, titled "Titanic Witness My Story" has been edited and annotated by Karen Kamuda, but is still the story that was written by your grandfather with much additional information added to this history.

"He originally wrote it for his family." This is so. Frank wrote the story down for his three sons. For years, Frank also paid THS dues for his sons as well, but none of them ever renewed their membership once Frank was no longer paying their way (this happening in 1976).

"From what I understand They were allowed to sell it, [the book not his story], to help fund the society." Victoria gave the manuscript to Ed
Kamuda for the THS to use in any way the THS saw fit, apologizing in her handwritten note to Ed because she didn't think anyone would be interested in it.

"Now it seems they are trying to profit from it." The first edition of "Echoes in the Night" was prepared for publication by volunteer labor. The new edition, "Titanic Witness My Story" was also prepared by an unpaid member of the THS -- Karen Kamuda, as well as many other THS volunteers. Up front costs for publishing the book notwithstanding, there are also costs for warehousing, shipping, marketing and publicity, discounting to mass marketers and so on. (Frankly, it costs cold hard cash just to warehouse two pallets of books -- they've got to be stored somewhere until sold.) Will there be a true profit from the sales of this book? Probably not; just as the first edition only paid its way, the second edition will likely wind up only doing the same.

And, Tom, I'll ask this question of you: since the manuscript was given to the THS for use in any way that the THS saw fit, how would making a few dollars to help perpetuate the story of the Titanic and its passengers be a bad thing? Frank Goldsmith left a manuscript behind that had been forgotten by all except his wife; it was then given a narrow distribution and now his story has another chance to be told to an even larger audience. Given that Frank spent a great deal of time giving talks on the disaster, this would be what he wanted. Frank was a true friend to the THS and its officers. Remember too that in Victoria's note to Ed Kamuda, she specifically mentioned having the story printed and sold to benefit the THS.

"It makes me sad because Ed was supposed to be a good friend to Grandpa." Huh? I first joined the THS in 1978, and I remember very well each article dealing with any aspect of your grandfather. He was treated like royalty, and truly loved and respected not only by the membership of the THS and any others who came into contact with him, but by the officers of the THS and especially Ed Kamuda. Bob Gibbons has also told me seemingly endless stories of your grandfather and the many ways that he worked spread the story of not just the Titanic but of the THS as well; I also have a complete file of the "Titanic Commutator" on hand, and the same thought and sentiment were reflected in every page, every mention of Frankie Goldsmith going back to the beginning. Ed Kamuda was indeed a good friend of your grandfather, and no one is going to be able to successfully refute that statement.

"My Grandpa met Ed around 1963-64." True. To be exact, it was in 1964.

"My Uncle had sent him an article about the fledgling group." Maybe your uncle did this as well, but Walter Lord himself first contacted Frank about the TEA (now THS).

"He spent his own money and time contacting survivors and promoting the society." As do I. No one has, or can, profit from the THS. First as a club (the TEA), then as a non-profit corporation (THS) and currently as a 501(c)(3), no officer, member or contributor receives money from the organization. Your grandfather loved doing what he did, and actively promoted the society by passing out brochures during each of his talks. He was one of the top boosters of the TEA/THS, and was well loved for his contributions to the society.

"He went to their meetings on his own expense and never took payment for speaking to its members." At the time, every survivor did the same. Kudos to each and every one of them.

"When he passed, my grandmother had the book published." Victoria gave the manuscript (not a book) to the THS. The THS had the manuscript published, and has kept his memory alive by taking the manuscript and reprinting it once again. The THS had and has full authority from Victoria Goldsmith to use this manuscript as the THS saw fit. That the THS has kept the memory of your grandfather and your great-grandparents alive by doing so is a credit to them, and especially to your grandmother Victoria.

Even the most recent issue of the "Titanic Commutator" pays homage to this wonderful man, his mother, and their heart-rending story as it played out on the decks of the Titanic 95 years ago.

I'm not writing these criticisms to denigrate you, but to merely point out that these parts of your post have severe problems and should be lifted in their entirety. (As with many message boards, you will have to ask a moderator to delete or change previous posts. On ET, the posts are locked after one hour.) I'm sure that there were many things about the story of your grandmother's gift of the manuscript that you were not aware of, but should be given your standing in the Goldsmith family.

I'd be glad to discuss this further if you like. I am not writing on behalf of the THS; merely as a member of the organization that wants to see the record set entirely straight.
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Since the manuscript was not sold to THS, would you, Tom, as a Goldsmith, be able to republish it yourself? Is there a note from Frank or Victoria saying that anything Goldsmith related is solely the property of THS and not the family?
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
The manuscript is in the public domain. The additional material added by the THS is NOT part of the public domain.
 
Feb 23, 2007
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Actually Tim it isn't public domain as the family owns the copyright to it. from what I understand it is held in the names of the three sons. This has come to my attention recently because I have heard that they {THS } are suing the family over this in federal court. A friend of mine MaryAnn Whitley sent me an Email with the link to the information. If you really want to correct me in public than lets get this straight. What I wrote was my opinion on what information I had at the time . You wanted me to retract some of it that you felt was incorrect. I sent a message to the moderator on this page to do that to keep from offending you and anyone else. It didn't happen. Since you see fit to try to discredit me on here I feel it is only fair for everyone to know why I said what I said. For instance, I stated that that they had rewritten the book. Perhaps they have just re-edited it but since they did not have the courtesy to contact any of the three sons before they did this or even do a copyright check, I would have to say that I came to a reasonible conclusion based on the fact that they changed the Title of the book but kept the part of him writing it as his story. You are defending the Kamuda's without regard to the other side of the story. I hold no grudge against them or the Titanic Historical Society, but find their actions confusing at best. As far as my understanding of the situation goes I can only go by what was told to me by my Grandfather as far as the story goes, by what my Grandmother told me after his death, and by what I was told by my Uncles and my father. When I tried to ask questions of Ed I was answered by Karen in a very short and curt way. Now I will ask you this when did I say that Ed wasn't a friend to Grandpa when he was alive? I merely intended it to mean if he was, why would he not have the courtesy to attempt to contact the family about what would be best in his memory, was he only a friend in life and not in death? Because I would not write in his book that he was wrong especially when the information proving what my Grandfather said was provided by another. I would not do this to a friend after he had died. As far as Walter Lord is concerned he said plenty of things that were incorrect concerning Grandpa. I know that my Grandfather paid for the memberships for his three sons. I also know that he was truely genuine in his friendship with Ed. I konw this because of conversations I personally had with him. Not everyone forgot about the manuscript either because I knew about it and had discussions with my Grandmother about it after his death. Most of your corrections seem to be a matter of sematics I did not imply that My Grandmother gave the "Book" to THS. I stated that she had the book published which is in fact what happened by her letting THS do that. I am incorrect how ever on when it happened because it was after I had been out of the Navy. As far as the conditions on it I can only reiterate what I was told. The conversation I had with my Grandmother about it went something like this, we talked about it and she told me what was going on that the Manuscript was given to THS to be published and they were allowed to sell it and use the profits to help the Society, This is only an overview nothing else. Now this did not mean that they would own the story or the book just that they could sell it. What has happened since then is that his story has appeared in many different books and other media with credits to the Society mentioned [now this could or could not be for the story because there is no specific mention of what the credits for]. whether or not they recieved any compensation for it is irrelevant in my eyes the family should have recieved a courtesy call to see if it was alright. I will state this again that this is solely my opinion. I supposed that now that the suit is filed this will all be cleared up for good or for bad. My only concern is my Grandfather and his memory. I have nothing to do with the lawsuit or the copyright issues except that I am a member of the family. I have been as truthful as I can be with what information I have. I have not been malicious in my attempt to understand the situation or my comments of my concerns.
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Thomas Goldsmith posted, "Actually Tim it isn't public domain as the family owns the copyright to it. from what I understand it is held in the names of the three sons."

A simple understanding of the 1909 copyright law under which your grandfather's manuscript was written would preclude this statement. Briefly, an author's work written before 1978 is covered under the 1909 copyright law which states that if an author does not copyright his or her work within the first three years after the date of first publication, the work automatically falls into the public domain.

Attempting to register a copy of this work in 1998 as was done by the Goldsmith family still does not fall within the law. Plainly put (copyright or not), your grandmother Victoria was very clear in her intentions to have the THS do whatever they saw fit with the manuscript. There are numerous letters from her in this regard.

Frank Goldsmith wrote this manuscript before his death in 1982 and under the copyright laws in effect at the time it was written in the 1970s, it was not copyrighted. It was given to the THS in 1988, still with no copyright, and was first published with the addition of much other material in time for the THS convention in 1992.

It is being republished this year with the title "Titanic Witness" with many additions being made as supporting material to flesh out the original story (not rewritten) -- however, members of the Goldsmith family have filed an Injunction to prevent the publication and distribution of the book -- even though the original document the book is written around is unchanged and without copyright. Far from being the heavy in this legal action, the THS is having to defend itself against an unfounded action based on a flawed reading of simple copyright law!

If I choose to print my own edition of Frank's untitled manuscript, I can do so without any legal challenge from you or the THS since it is in the public domain. But if I photocopy or scan the pages of the THS published version, then I do run afoul of current copyright law -- law that protects a publisher from unauthorized reprinting (piracy) of an intellectual work. If the Goldsmith family wants to print their own version of the book, nobody can stop them. But they, like myself, can not also use any other aspect of the THS published work -- preface, foreword, index, photographs, even the format and font -- that will be a blatant violation of copyright law.

I'm sorry that your family made assumptions that were wrong. But their Injunction filed against the THS has no legal standing, and this is why the THS was forced to respond with a Complaint to finally answer the question of copyright that has evaded the Goldsmith children to this point.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Let me add my two cents about an error in the current issue of the Commutator with a portion about Frank Goldsmith. The caption of the color photo of the 1973 TEA convention said it was the first general meeting of the TEA (The club was founded in 1963 as the Titanic Enthusiasts of America and was incorporated in 1975 as the Titanic Historical Society, Inc. because of the criticism Mrs. Henry Harris made to me in 1964 when she told me "How can anyone be enthusiastic about the Titanic disaster. I lost a beautiful husband that night.") Actually, the first general meeting of TEA was held at the Seamen's Church Institute in New York City in the Fall of 1966 with Walter Lord, Frank and Victoria Goldsmith, Washington Dodge, Jr. and Katherine Manning among others attending. As President of the TEA, I attended via speakerphone from Little Rock, AR. The group had a tour of the Titanic Lighthouse on the roof of the Institute. Robert H. Gibbons
 
Feb 23, 2007
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First Tim I am not a copyright lawyer but obviously someone else is. If the book was not printed until after 1978 and wasn't given to the printer until after 1978 how can it be proven to have fallen under the copyright laws that you mention. I do not have the particulars as to when it was written I do know from my conversations with my Grandfather that he was working on it. Since he passed away in 1982 it is possible that it wasn't finished until after 1978. Now I do not know the particulars of the copyright , when it was filed or who actually filed it, or even the Attorney who worked the case but I would assume they knew what they were doing when it was filed. As far as I am concerned, what I would like to see happen is this whole mess being settled amicably by both the family and THS. I do not know if that would happen and I do not know if my opinion carries any weight anyhow. I am interested in my Grandfathers name and memory only. I would abide by what I feel his intentions would be. My understanding of what is going on may or may not be the understanding of anyone else. I would like to see considerations given to the family as to what they think is the right way to preserve his memory. I feel that THS has been lacking this. I feel all this could have been avoided by keeping the family informed and by working with them . I do feel that it was odd that neither Ed or Karen attended the funeral of the man who spent a good deal of time and effort to promote THS. I also think that it would be better for THS to try to work with the family rather then alieniate them. As I said I hold no grudges towards them. I simply will defend what I see as a wrong against his legacy. If Grandma gave the manuscript to THS with the conditions you state it does not in my opinion give them cart blanche with his story. I feel this is the bottom line of the dispute. As I said I don't know the particulars as I am not involved in the suit other than being a member of the family. If you look at all my posts here or any where else you can see that it is Grandpa's story and his memory that I defend. As I said before these are merely my opinions and I think enough time has been spent on this. I go out and do talks to groups on his story and include history of the ship and its aftermath. I do not bad mouth THS I do not promote any group but merely tell the story. I am proud to be his grandson and wish to honor him by doing this. Mary Kellog Joslyn asked if I would be interested in speaking at Branson and I told her I would. Hopefully it will happen but I am unsure of the effect of the current situation will have on that. I would do the same for a THS convention if I were asked. I have signed up at different exhibits for information on joining THS and have yet to receive any information. I even signed up at the Branson Exhibit. I have even contacted them for information I assume it has gotten lost in the shuffle. Write what you want I am through with this conversation my only concern is my Grandfather and I will leave the rest of this to those who are involved.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Gentlemen, if anyone is interested in copyright law as it applies in this instance (U.S. copyright laws are applicable here) then you may wish to parse the following websites for information;

http://www.copyright.gov/

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sup_01_17_10_5.html

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

Beyond that, it may be wise to table this discussion. While I certainly respect the viewpoints and interests expressed here, in the end, it's not what we say, but what the judge deciding the case says that ultimately has legal force if/when it goes to court. We may not like it, but we have to live with it.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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I would never have thought bad blood could arise between a Titanic group and the family of a Titanic survivor- nor could i have ever imagined a Titanic group would sue the family of a survivor- Isnt that akin to a 9/11 museum suiing the family of someone who died on 9/11?
It seems rather tackey...
I don't know enough about this situation to comment in full, but i will say its very very sad- Whatever is going on, I do hope it can be resolved with civility and dignity....
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Tarn,

You are making an assumption that isn't true. The THS isn't suing anyone.

"The Titanic Historical Society, Inc et al v. Goldsmith et al is a response to a threatened injunction by the attorney representing the three sons of Titanic survivor Frank Goldsmith who are attempting to stop the printing and distribution of the book Titanic Eyewitness. The action of THS's attorney, a specialist in copyright law, is to let the court decide that no rights of the Goldsmiths were infringed."
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Hi Tim
I'm not savy on copyright law, so Ill wait and see what happens before I comment again...But even still, this is not a happy situtation regardless of who struck first-
 

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