Was the Great Eastern cursed?

Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Colin, might I suggest that you try looking for a primary source to back this one up? The History Channel has some interesting stuff. I'm particularly fond of Deep Sea Detectives because the people who produce it really do their homework. I wish I could say the same for everything else they produce, the accuracy of which sometimes leaves quite a bit to be desired.

A similar tale exists for the Titanic which you can read about HERE. There's a reference to the Great Eastern in the links which reports that there may be something to this story.
 
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T. Eric Brown

Member
I've heard all kinds of horror stories about shipyard workers being sealed in between the the Great Eastern's two hulls by accident and never found. Do any of these stories have any merit, or are all of them just hogwash?

[Moderator's Note: Three threads dealing with the same question, including one which was started today, have been merged into this one. MAB]
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
>>Do any of these stories have any merit, or are all of them just hogwash?<<

They're hogwash...but they make for great stories!
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
As was pointed out by several authors, the Great Eastern struck a rock in Long Island Sound and tore a gash similar to the one which Titanic was supposed to have had (but didn't) in her hull. However, in her case, the 83 foot rent did not prove fatal- but in the wake of it, her double bottom was flooded and pumped out at least twice. So, had the riveter and his assistant been sealed in (and they must have been both exceptionally slow moving -as well as mute- to have that happen) they would have been extricated at that point, probably clogging the pumps and wreaking heaven knows WHAT kind of havoc.
 
Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson

Member
I think you'll find that the reality is a lot more mundane. Quite simply, the ship was too large for the market she ended up in, having been designed for the England to Australia run. Had she been used in that market, there's a chance she might have been marginally successful. The problem is that the costs of building and the botched attempts at launching ultimately bankrupted the original owners. The people who bought her used the vessel on the North Atlantic run for which she was way too large for the existing markets. The real reason for the ship's failure, among other things, was that operating costs exceeded income. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this would ultimately equal failure.

There weren't many docks that could handle the ship, either.

About the skeleton story--I've seen it mentioned in numerous books on ships and books on ghosts. I'm betting a worker slipped and hit their head, knocking themselves unconscious (dead?) and falling down into a space in the hull. Even if the double hull hadn't been sealed at the time of construction, a body could have escaped notice in the dark recesses, right?
 
A

Alowder

Member
>I read a book by Ivan t Sanderson which staed it was true and the skelton of the welder and his apprentice were found when she was
The ships were riveted, wielding construction didn't begin until the later half of the 20th century.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
The ships were riveted, wielding construction didn't begin until the later half of the 20th century.
Yes you are right that she was riveted. But welded ships were being constructed in the first half of the 20th century not the latter half. A minor point I know but welding was especially important during the 1940's. I don't believe the U.S. could have have constructed the massive fleets they did in the time they did using a riveting method. England had a welded warship as early as 1920. Oh...and welcome to the board. Lots of good info here. Cheers.
 
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