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Time and Again

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Samuel Halpern, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. After months of research and preparation:

    Time and Again - Titanic's Final Hours

    This 175-page article has covered more ground on the subject of time, as it relates to Titanic, than has ever been compiled in one place before. It is a comprehensive effort by 7 researchers, with consultation and assistance by many others, that spans all aspects of the issue of time on board Titanic on the night of 14-15 April 1912. It includes the largest gathering and analysis of survivor statements dealing with the times of the collision and sinking to date. It also deals with the issue clock changes that were expected on the night of 14-15 April 1912, delves into the workings and distribution of the Magneta clock system that was installed on board, and uncovers some new information regarding certain artifacts recovered from the wreck.
  2. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    Just a cup, Sam? Really??? I'm planning on several gallons. A cup disappears in a flash in my hands.


    Thanks and congrats to you and you co-authors for what looks like a terrific bit of work.
  3. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    That is an incredible amount of work. I've only had time to briefly dip into it this evening. I'll print a copy off and get stuck into that over the next few days. I'm particularly interested in the clock electrics as the system sounds like a basic control circuit that I studied during my apprenticeship.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  4. There were a number of others who supported us in this work.. There were things we needed to verify before releasing. It was a real team effort. We as a team also learned a lot in the process digging into primary source materials, including patents awarded during the early 1900s. and a major photographic find of an artifact recovered from the wreck that has been displayed and talked about. It's all in the article.
  5. Tim Aldrich

    Tim Aldrich Member

    Can't wait to get home and read the article.
  6. A magnificent piece of work. Even so, I have a question -- what is the "evidence" you have (mentioned on page 16)) that the engine room and wheelhouse slave units were controlled by separate master clocks? To have done so would have violated one of the precepts of safety at sea and laid WSL open to legal actions if the two masters somehow became out of step with one another. Even in 1912 there were legal cases in which the difference between wheelhouse and engine room clocks had been vital in their outcome. I can't imagine any company allowing such a situation to exist. This is why I'm very curious to know the evidence for such a potentially dangerous arrangement.

    -- David G. Brown
  7. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

    Hi Sam,

    Had the day off today and I reckon at least 8 cups of tea reading 'Time And Again'.

    I think you and your co-authors have done a very comprehensive and impressive massive and balanced job of research which we all ought to be very grateful for. Plus of course it being available online free. I can see it becoming a standard work of reference.

    Various 'canards' are well and truly disposed of and consigned to the dustbin.

    I am also aware of the implications of certain aspects of all this regarding other areas of interest.


  8. Paul Rogers

    Paul Rogers Member

    Congratulations to all involved in the writing and research of this fantastic work.
  9. Yes, and one of those cases was the Olympic/Hawke collision in 1911 where the difference was duly noted.
  10. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    What was the actual discrepancy between the two clocks?
  11. 1 Minute.
    Rob Lawes likes this.
  12. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    Thanks Ioannis
  13. One minute may not sound like much at first glance but, as Sam and I explored in detail in our published analysis, the potential significance could be great.

    The difference between 2 or 3 minutes of acceleration or 3 to 4 minutes is, proportionally, noteworthy. In the former example, 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes implies 50% more time for Olympic to accelerate. Of course, a minute's difference is less of an issue if we're talking about a period of three hours' elapsing.

    The engineer's clock only showed the minutes and so he had no way of knowing whether the minute hand had jumped to the current minute either a second earlier or 59 seconds earlier.

    By the way, Olympic's deck log recorded the collision time as 12.46 whereas the stopping of the engines and closure of watertight doors was logged a minute later, despite testimony showing these events occurred within seconds of each other.

    And Hawke's deck log recorded she 'struck' Olympic at 12.45.

    Best wishes

  14. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    I only ask because the article mentions the thought that distance from the master clocks was the cause of the difference in time. So I wondered what the difference was. I thought perhaps the issue was due to backlash in the gearing of the clock but this isn't likely as the clocks couldn't run backwards.

    I've got a number of questions rumbling around in my head.
  15. The point I believe that was being made was that all the clocks on a single closed loop would tend to be relatively near each other rather than be strung on a loop that stretched all over the place, thus essentially two zones to minimize the wiring length of any one closed series loop. The propagation time of an electrical impulse on any length of wire would be insignificant. All clocks would jump at the same time, faster then your eye could blink.

    Also, what Mark said about the engineer's clock only showing the minute was also true of the wheelhouse clock and all other slave clocks in the system. He also said that Olympic's deck log recorded the collision time as 12.46 whereas the stopping of the engines and closure of watertight doors was logged a minute later, despite testimony showing these events occurred within seconds of each other. That alone tells you that there was a jump from 12:46 to 12:47 that occurred within seconds after Olympic struck. And by the way, the clock in the engine room showed the collision and stop order taking place at 12:48, clearly 1 minute ahead of what the wheelhouse clock was showing.

    The shortcomings of the system was also brought out in court by Mr. F. Laing, counsel for the WSL who was trying to downplay the speed of Olympic at the time of the collision. We cover the court case in some detail in StingOfHawke.
    Rob Lawes likes this.
  16. This body at large owes an apology to the authors of "Titanic Time And Again" for paying scant attention to a the massive amount of research and writing that went into this work. Like their conclusions or not, find the writing exciting or boring, it doesn't matter. This group has put together more information about timekeeping aboard Titanic and other early 20th century passenger vessels than has ever been gathered in one publication. I just hope that the lack of response to their effort does not lead to other researchers becoming disheartened by the apparent lack of reaction to such serious work ot this quality. If nobody cares, the forum will just become a place for bragging about perceived personal accomplishments and rehashing old, tired hackneyed banalities.

    -- David G. Brown
  17. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    David, trust me, I have several questions I'd like to ask but am away from my laptop for a week and trying to type complex engineering questions on a mobile just doesn't cut it.

    It really is a fascinating article.
  18. A. Gabriel

    A. Gabriel Member

    Ship's clocks are not my area of expertise, so I may not be qualified to ask any questions concerning the system, but this is no ordinary article in my view -- it is an outright thesis, and a masterstroke of a thesis at that, one that would likely merit full marks if it had been compiled as a degree program's final requirement. This ought be made into a paperback book and used as one of the standard references of Titanicology alongside The Ship Magnificent and Mr Chirnside's exhaustive treatment of the Olympic-class liners.

    One wonders if this means the famous Honor and Glory clock on the Forward Grand Staircase (according to this article, one of the 48 slave clocks) really was installed before the maiden voyage, in contrast to the account of its setting being occupied by a round mirror in its stead. To say nothing of the fact that the findings concerning the Chart Room may mean that the Beveridge plans available on this site are in need of revision where that area is concerned!

    The timeline of events will also be of great interest to the folks over at the THG dev team, but certain of the sequences of events may be controversial enough that debate will continue to rage over them regardless of revisions to the timeline.
  19. Bruce is quite aware of the findings. Co-author Steve Hall has been in constant contact with Bruce over the work that has been done on this, including studying wreck footage, as well as original H&W GA drawings used by the WSL during the Limitation of Liability Hearings showing the correct dimensions of the chart room. The updated chart room layout on Bruce's plans is shown on p.139 of the article.
  20. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    Interestingly, I've served on 3 different classes of RN warship and none of them have had the chartroom table on the fwd bulkhead.

    On the type 23 "Duke" Class frigate (of which I served on four) for example, the plotting table was on the aft bulkhead of the bridge. The chartroom is behind the bridge and the chart table is on the aft bulkhead of that.

    On the E Class survey ships the chartroom is on the stbd side aft of the bridge and the chart table is on the stbd bulkhead.

    Funny how different traditions exist in.different areas of ship building. I will keep an eye out the next time I'm looking at pictures of old ships.