Titanic Engine running time from Noon on April 14th.

Hello lads!

My how a new discovery gets the grey-matter working! Mine was obviously experiencing a 'virus'. Thanks for the correction Sam!

If you read carefully what I wrote, you will note that I did make allowances for discrepancies etc. I specifically wrote:

"All these times only hold good for time-pieces which were submerged at exactly the same moment and were synchonised with the ship's chronometers.".

As for your exampes:

You wrote:

"There is no good reason for passengers, victualling staff or day workers to carry partially adjusted time on their timepieces.

There certainly is no obvious reason in the case for day workers and passengers but there would be for 12 to 4am puplic room and night watch stewards. There is evidence of such stewards waiting to go on duty when impact took place and they would most certainly not be waiting any more than 15 minutes to do so. So what time would they have? And what clocks would those already on duty be 'watching' to see if their reliefs were on time?

As for passengers and victualling staff on day work:

It would be an arbitrary decision on the part of passengers but the latter would have made a full 47 minute set-back before turning-in.
This means that if impact took place at or about 11-40pm unaltered time, day-workers would have ( 11-40pm minus 47 minutes )10-53pm on their personal time pieces.
If however the clocks showing 11-40pm at time of impact had already been set-back 24 minutes at time of impact, then time pieces which had been set back the full 47 minutes would show( 11-40pm minus 23 minutes ) 11-17pm.

To check for evidence of day-worker time evidence, I refer you to the evidence given by Assistant First Class Cook John Collins to Senator Bourne on Day 7 of the US Senate Inquiry.
Collins was very specific about times on his personal clock.; even correcting time for clock error.
He was awakened by the impact at 11-20pm by his bedside clock. However, he told his questioner that his clock was 5 minutes fast therefore the true time on his fully set-back clock was 11-15pm.
I chose Collins particularly because he was a 'first-tripper'. As such, he would have wished to make absolutely sure that he did not blot his 'copy-book' on his first ship my sleeping-in or arriving late for work.

If Collins was wakened by the impact at 11-15pm on a fully retarded clock and the ship time of impact was 11-40pm then we have to add 47 minutes to Collins's time to get the April 14.. unadjusted..time of impact. This gives a time of 2 minutes past Midnight April 14 for the moment of impact

As you say, there are many questions unanswered. Two of these immediately come to mind.

I think of Algernon Barkworth and those purported to be waiting up for a clock change:
I can easily understand passengers waiting up an extra 25 minutes to check their watches; but over 3/4 of an hour? Very strange indeed!

Then there's the evidence of Colonel Gracie: He stated that he was awakened by the impact at 12 o'clock yet also states that by the same time-piece, the ship went down at 02-22am. Also very strange indeed.
I understand that he changed his evidence at a later date. Even more strange!

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the main point here is the time showing on that recovered chronometer.

The chronometers were the best protected time recorders on board that ship. Every other time-keeping device was of varying quality and accuracy and if stopped, did so at vaying times depending on immersion in the sea.
If we readily use the evidence of all these other time-keeping devices to prove our various points, then we must, in all honesty use the evidence provided by this particular chronometer.
It has been suggested that it might have been tampered-with. If so, why would they chose a particular setting which could only have one reference to the accident.. nomatter how vague?

The following cannot be disputed.

If the time of Titanic sinking was 15d 02h 20min and the recovered chronometer had been set to GMT it would have showed 05-18am when it stopped. One set to EST would show 00-18pm.

But why, in any case, did Titanic Carry 2 chronometers?
It has been suggested she did so in case one broke-down. I quote from "Michael, Brother of Jerry" by Jack London:

" 'But if you only have two chronometers, how can you tell which has gone wrong?' Captain Doane would demand."

Perhaps Titanic's second chronometer was set to EST so that if the first one went kaput on the way across the pond, the second would continue to give good service until it could be checked in New York and the other one put ashore there for repair or renewal? Now that would make good sense.

Jim C.
Perhaps Titanic's second chronometer was set to EST so that if the first one went kaput on the way across the pond, the second would continue to give good service until it could be checked in New York and the other one put ashore there for repair or renewal? Now that would make good sense.
If either chronometer conked out (quit running), the other could be relied upon - whether it was set to GMT or New York time, right? (GMT = New York + 5 hours.) Likewise, a chronometer set to either GMT or New York time could be checked just as easily when reaching New York.

Addressing the question posed by Jack London's character: If the two chronometers began deviating, then the ship would know there was a problem (which they wouldn't if they carried but one chronometer), and proceed with extra caution. In the case of the westbound Titanic, when the ship reached within range of time signals broadcast by the U.S. Navy, the correct time could be established. Until they got within range of time signals, they could dead reckon for longitude and use the sun and Polaris to fix the latitude. Without time signals, the ship perhaps could resolve celestial sights for each of the two times - and bracket the fix or, by comparison to the DR position, identify which clock is in error. Q.E.D.
Hello Ioannis!

You wrote:

Boats A & D could not have been in that position you placed them, also Lowe took first D in tow and then rescued the people from boat A (and both while he was on his way to Carpathia)."!

I don't understand. 'A' was washed of the bridge and in a sinking condition so would remain close to where the bridge once was. 'D' was off the port side at first then joined 14, 10, 12 and another at the aft end port side, near to the majority of people in the water and wreckage.

You are right about the towing sequence. Got a bit mixed-up there (that virus again). Arthur Bright said Lowe towed 'D' to where 'A' was and Lowe said the same thing.
In my sketch, I show where 'A' must have been relative to boat 14 and 'D' if Titanic had gone down while heading west. Here's a modification of that sketch showing dotted relative positions for Titanic:

Lug sailing limits

Obviously we can't know the exact relative positions of all the players.

My point is that if Titanic was heading North when she sank and there was a north wind blowing as well as a south-setting current; all floating things would have moved in the same direction under the influence of the wind and current. High profile things would have moved faster than those with low profiles after the wind began blowing. It follows that things to the south of other things would have remained south of them. In that case, boat 14 would have had to sail north to reach anything to the north of her. Collapsible 'A' would most certainly be to the north of lifeboat 14 if Titanic had sank while heading north. However, since Lowe and his flotilla moved closer to the people and wreckage, 'A' would have been west and slightly south of 14 had Titanic gone down heading west.

Jim C.

Lug sailing limits
Jim, was that part of your post in jest? If so, I am a bit slow on the uptake, sorry.
Hello Doug!

People sailed the world long before the invention of a chronometer. The advent just made navigation more accurate and provided a solution to the longitude problem. The problem here is what was showing on the dial of the recovered chronometer. I' m pretty sure it was pre-set at EST. Here's why.

Before the advent of wireless time signals... before 1905 in the US and before 1920 in the UK, ship's set their chronometers to local meantime at each port of departure. Most ports had a time ball which was dropped at an exact moment. Some did it at local Noon... 12 o'clock, others at 1pm. Perhaps the fact that one of Titanic's chronometers seems to be set to EST was a throw-back from the very recent 'old days'? After all, Titanic was built to run between two ports of origin.. Southampton and New York. At each of these ports, there was an efficient means of checking chronometers. New York was the most accurate.

Incidentally, EST was based on longitude of 75 degrees west which is 5 hours SLOW of GMT . New York time was based on longitude of 73 degrees, 45 minutes West. which is 4 hours 55 minutes SLOW of GMT.

The latter time difference was used by navigators and was a point within sight of Sandy Hook at the entrance to New York Harbour. British and most other Navigators did not work in ship time but in hours, minutes and seconds relative to a chosen prime meridian. Thus they were concerned with the change of longitude from that meridian rather than a change of ship's aparent time. The British Nautical Almanac times were all in GMT so they needed to convert to that base to work cellestial observations.

Significantly; when Lightoller and Boxhall were questioned as to the time difference between ship and New York. both indicated that ship time was 1 hour and 33 minutes FAST of New York time. But was that New York time or EST?

At Noon on April 14, ship time was 2 hours 02 minutes FAST of EST. If Lightoller and Boxhall meant ship time was 1 hour 33 minutes FAST of EST then the ship's clocks had been retarded 29 minutes and the run time from Noon to impact was (2 hours 2 minutes minus 1 hour 33 minutes) 12 hours 9 minutes. But we understand that the clocks were to be set back 24 minutes for the first part of the total planned clock alteration of 47 minutes. So where did the extra 5 minutes come from?
Fairly obvious! The ship's officers were talking about the difference between ship time and New York time... not EST.

If the recovered chronomer was set to New York time then ship time when it stopped was 00-39 +1 hr. 33 min. = 15d-01h-12m.
However if it was set to EST, the equivalent ship time was 00-39 + 1h 38m = 15d-02h-17m.
According to Pitman, the ship disappeared 3 minutes later at 02-20am by his watch. Surely all this is not a mere coincidence?

What is certain, is the fact that her wireless operators were working on EST and had been doing so after the ship passed a certain westerly longitude on the voyage from Queenstown.

Jim C.

PS: If I'm right, then the corrected CQD was sent at 10-25pm EST + 1 hr. 38 m. = 3 minutes past midnight ship time..23 minutes after impact. It will be remembered that the Junior Wireless Operator said that Captain Smith had given the first CQD to be sent at or about midnight when he, the junior, was in the process of relieving the senior Operator Phillips. Boxhall's corrected CQD was sent minutes after that!

Additionally, this timing fits neatly with Boxhall's movements.
>>The ship's officers were talking about the difference between ship time and New York time... not EST.<<

Not true. Boxhall was quite clear in saying "At 11.46 p.m., ship's time, it was 10.13 Washington time, or New York time." He was talking about EST which was the time used in both those places in 1912. The origin of that time difference goes back to the foundering time reported by Rostron in a wireless message to Haddock sent at 4pm EST on Apr 15 when in that message he said the time of foundering was 2.20 ship's time, 5.47 GMT. And that came about by someone using the local mean time of Carpathia's position for 7.30 GMT on Apr 15, "Lat. 41.15 north, long. 51.45 west," that Rostron sent to Haddock just 45 minutes earlier. LMT for long. 51.45 west is precisely 1 h 33 m 0s ahead of EST (which is set for long. 75.00 west), and 3 h 27 m 0 s behing GMT. Someone blew it.
Hello Sam!

Got a bit delayed on this one.

Your argument about the 1 hour 33 minute ship time difference holds good if both Boxhall and Lightoller were totally unaware of the difference between ship time and New York time at the time of the accident. Is this credible?
It is all very well if we confine things to the evidence of Boxhall. But Boxhall got quite a few things wrong that night. However, it does not detract from what I have outlined regarding New York time and EST. The first converts to a longitude on the water. The second does not.
How do you think a professional sea-farer in 1912 being quizzed by a land-lubber might explain the niceties of cellestial navigation and the use of longitude time v. arbitrary time zones?
In any case it just does not make sense for either Lightoller or Boxhall to quote a 1 hour 33 minute time difference between New York and ship time when it should have been 2 hours 2 minutes on an unchanged clock. These men were questioned separately but both most certainly knew that the time difference at April 14 Noon between EST and ship time was 2 hours 02 minutes. Why should they change it to something else?

Captain Lord of Californian gave a time difference of 1 hour 50 minutes between New York and ship time but significantly, his Wireless Operator Evans gave a difference of 1 hour 55 minutes.

If we use the same criteria, and there had not been a clock alteration before impact then Titanic's captain (if he had survived) would have given a time difference of 2 hours 2 minutes and his wireless operator would have given a difference of 2 hours 7 minutes.
On the other hand, if there had been a 24 minute time change on Titanic, the answers would have been 1 hour 33 minutes and 1 hour 38 minutes respectively.

As for times on Carpathia:

The New York time at 12:35 was 10:45 p. m. Sunday night."

That's a difference of 1 hour 40 minutes. We can make a rough check on his figures.

Running back from his 12-35 DR position when he turned to an approximate Noon on April 14 would give him a time difference from EST of 1 hour 32 minutes and from New York Time of 1 hour 27 minutes. If Rostron had not made an allowance for the Gulf Stream and made good a speed of 14 knots over the previous 12 hours then the ship's clocks would be partially advanced 11 or 12 minutes at midnight, April 14. This would then increase the difference between ship and EST or NY time to 1 hour 44 minutes and 1 hour 39 minutes respectively.
If anything: Rostron's quoted time difference seems to be using a GMT - New York time difference of 4 hours 55 minutes and not 5 hours.

Continuing with Carpathia as an example.....

Bearing in mind that Cunard and White Star ships often quoted signals in GMT as well as ship time..how do you explain the following?:

Day 18..US Senate Inquiry: evidence from Process Verbal of the Wireles Operator of RMS Olympic:

"This message was relayed through the Olympic from the Carpathia, and is as follows:

Carpathia. Cunard New York and Liverpool:
Titanic struck iceberg Monday. 3 a. m., 41.16 north,. 50.14 west. Carpathia picked up many passengers in boats. Will wire further particulars later. Proceeding back to New York.


Apart from the glaring error in the CQD position latitude; the time of 3am is surely an equivalent GMT?

If Titanic hit the iceberg at 15d 03h 00min. GMT and there was no clock change then, using an unaltered 2 hours 58 minutes Noon 14 time difference from GMT; she hit it at 15d 00h 02min ship time.
If however, there had been a 24 minute clock change then she hit it at 11-38pm ship time.

Captain Haddock of RMS Olympic expressed the following opinion:

From Day 18 of the US Inquiry:

" Yes. At least, I understood the accident was somewhere about midnight of the 14th or 15th."

Rostron gave the GMT of sinking as 15d 05h 47m meaning that Titanic was afloat for either 2 hours 18 minutes or 2 hours and 47 minutes after impact. However the evidence suggest it was 2 hours and 40 minutes. In Boxhall's case, it was 2 hours 34 minutes.

There is another consideration regarding Rostron's 3 am GMT time of impact and that is the time between impact and the transmission of the corrected CQD position.

The CQD was received at 10-25 EST. The eqivalent GMT was 15d 03h 25min. If impact was, as reported by Rostron, 15d 03h 00m, then it was transmitted 25 minutes after impact.. not the popular 45 minutes after impact as would have been the case if impact had taken place at 11-40 pm ship time
(15d 02h 38m GMT) on an unaltered clock.

"And that came about by someone using the local mean time of Carpathia's position for 7.30 GMT on Apr 15 "Lat. 41.15 north, long. 51.45 west,"

How can you possibly know that? Who would that 'someone' be? More to the point: do you really believe that an experienced navigator would think along such lines?

7-30 GMT? I presume that is pm. If so then Carpathia cleared the south end of the ice almost 6 hours earlier at about 1-30pm GMT... near to Noon ship time. In fact, her ship diff EST would have been almost exactly 1 hour 40 minutes at Noon that day and there would have been no clock change made from the previous midnight.
Sam, the only source of such detailed information available to Rostron was the surviving officers.. Boxhall, Lightoller, Pitman and Lowe. These four would have been very closely questioned. It would not have been left to guess work by any of Carpathia's officers.

You still have not addressed the problem about the recovered chronometer.

Jim C.