Whistles


knightprowl

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Jul 8, 2015
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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone can tell me how many sets of whistles the titanic had that functioned? I know it had a set of 3 whistles of different sizes on all four funnels. But did all four sets actually work when the horn was blown? Reason I am asking is because I have been trying to find this out for awhile and I saw on one site it said that only the first and second funnels had working whistles.

And the ones on the third and fourth funnels where just for show. Now is this correct or did all four sets of whistles work? I also need to know if all three whistles in a set had steam come from them when the horn was blown or not as well. I am guessing they did but I just need to make sure on this as well. Anyways please let me know when you can.

Thank you and Peace.
 

B-rad

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Jul 1, 2015
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Only the whistles on the 1st and 2nd funnles worked. The other two were just for show. This is related in the Shipbuilder Midsummer 1911 special edition:

"The whistles are the largest ever made. Each set consists of three bell domes grouped together with a suitable branch plate, as shown in Fig. 71. The three domes are 9in., 15in., and 12in. diameter. The total height from the base of the branch piece to the top of the centre dome is 4ft. 2 1/2in, and the extreme width over the outer dome is 3ft. 6in. the total weight of the three domes and branch pieces is about 6 3/4cwt. One set has been fitted on each of the two foremost funnels. The whistles are electrically operated, the officer on the bridge having merely to close a switch to give the blast, and there is also an electric time-control arrangement, fitted on the Willett-Bruce system, whereby the whistles are automatically blown for 8 to 10 seconds every minute during thick weather."
 

knightprowl

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Jul 8, 2015
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Thanks for the reply. That is the same information I was going by with my question. So thanks for confirming it.

Thank you and Peace.
 

knightprowl

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Jul 8, 2015
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Thanks for the reply. And thanks for the videos and for confirming all the domes of the whistles had steam. And its okay I trust you on the information.

Thank you and Peace.
 

Cheri Winger

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Jun 24, 2016
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How many Whistle really worked if the 4th smoke stack was not to boiler area, does that mean that only nine whistles could be heard at noon?
 

Cheri Winger

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Jun 24, 2016
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Or according to earlier post only 6 whistles worked, so was only 6 heard at noon? Just curious how many whistles was heard at noon?
 
Apr 25, 2007
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Sunderland, Tyne & Waer
Hi all,
I had a quick look though the forum but could not find a post on this subject.

My question is as follows, is there any information on the range of Olympic, Titanic or Britannics whistles?

I remember many years ago reading that Olympics whistles could be felt long before they could be heard.

The main reason for the question is that if the range of the whistles was sufficient, could it have been used along with the ships rockets to get attention? As a ship firing rockets and blowing its whistles on a clear night with a flat clam must be trying to get attention.

All the best

Michael
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
During the US Inquiry 3rd officer Pitman was asked if her whistle could be used to get attention from another ship:


Q - If there had been a vessel that night within 5 miles of the Titanic, could not her whistle have been heard that distance?

A - No; but you could have heard her blowing off steam at a far greater distance than you could hear the steam whistle. She was blowing off steam for three-quarters of an hour, I think, and you could hear that much farther than you could hear any steam whistle.

Q - Then it would stand to reason that if there was a ship or vessel of any kind within a distance of 5 miles it ought to have heard the blowing off of the steam?

A - She could have heard that 10 miles that night.


Not sure about the atmospheric effects that night. Survivors close to the Titanic could hear very loud explosive sounds as the ship went down, while other survivors who were further away could only hear a rumble and muffled sound as she went down. Wonder if the air conditions in that locality were some how suppressing the audio? Survivors noted that the smoke rising from the ship seemed to stop at a certain altitude above the ship and flatten out "like a mushroom". Not sure if there was a combination of weather effects that were at play.


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Apr 25, 2007
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Sunderland, Tyne & Waer
Hi Aaron
Thankyou for the reply.

I was forgetting about Mr Pitman. We can take from his answer that the power of Titanic's whistles were less than 5 miles. I was not sure if there was any benchtest or regulation that specified a range that ships had be able to be heard by.

As to the atmospheric condition you may need somebody more qualified then I but, could the cold have condensed the steam that was blown off by Titanic in such a way as to dampen the sound? On a bigger scale a little like how snow falling can dampen the sound of a busy city?

All the best

Michael
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Here is footage of the Olympic coming into New York. Not sure how far away the camera man is, but the pitch coming from her forward whistle is quite deep. Is there a way to measure the distance by the level of pitch from her whistle? i.e. the deeper it is, the further away she is? Lookout Frederick Fleet was serving on the Olympic at this time as an able sea man.



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TimTurner

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Dec 11, 2012
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No way to determine distance. You could determine speed of approach by the doppler shift. Best way to determine distance would probably be to determine the lens of the camera.
 

Georges Guay

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ney_yo10.jpg


We see the Olympic, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, right downtown Manhattan, at almost at right angle. The Hudson River at that location is only half (½) a mile wide. I am pretty sure that the vessel was proceeding on a north heading close to the middle of the channel, commercial traffic permitting. So the distance from the New Jersey west shore where the video was taken, would be between one quarter (¼) to one third (⅓) of a mile or two to three cables in nautical terms. I must admit that Olympic looks further away, who knows…
 

Rob Lawes

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Jun 13, 2012
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That is the strangest sounding whistle I've heard. It sounds like a recording of a duck being dropped on to a set of bagpipes, being played back very slowly.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
The weather was foggy during her arrival. Perhaps the whistle was a modified sound that way during fog?


I believe the buildings in the video are in lower Manhattan. The tallest one in view is the Woolworth building. I believe the cameraman was somewhere near the old Central Railroad Terminal in New Jersey.




skyline1.PNG


newjersey.PNG



The cameraman I believe was somewhere here, looking almost directly east towards Lower Manhattan and the Woolworth building.


mapnewyork.PNG



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Dec 4, 2000
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Beware -- in Olympic's day sound on film was complicated and expensive business. The film was almost certainly shot silent and a stock sound effect added during editing. There was no other cost-effective way. Today, we can't imagine not recording audio and video simultaneously, but that was not the case even as late as WW-II. You could be hearing that duck dancing a hornpipe on a bagpipe, or something similar.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Aaron_2016

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Sounds pretty authentic to me. The Olympic video was from 1934. Many newsreels from Movietone, Fox, and Hearst were recorded outdoors. e.g. Outtakes of a couple sailing on the Leviathan in 1929. They had to make multiple takes as he kept making mistakes and audio in the background kept interrupting the newsreel. Pretty funny.






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Aaron_2016

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Here is excellent footage of the Aquitania leaving New York in 1930.





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