The Titanic Commutator Issue 168


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We like to think of the Commutator as the expert on all things Titanic and the White Star Line and this issue is a fine example of that. People never seem to tire of stories involving the workings on board ship and the Sea Post Office on Olympic and liners of the period has not been described to this degree to our knowledge; we hope you will like it.

Would searchlights have helped Titanic in spotting an iceberg? A paper presented shortly after the disaster provides some intriguing food for thought and if it could have made a difference.

Nella Wiggins Sondheim Goldenberg’s great-granddaughter’s portrayal of her great grandmother’s joie de vivre and the Titanic disaster was described as “…just a bad day at sea” for her. Living a life of privilege, this modern woman traveled, met different people and was almost seemingly fearless to new experiences–truly a distinctive personality than many of the survivor biographies this journal has featured.

White Star Line ships chartered to the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company are looked at for the first time in this journal. In the first half, a thumbnail history of that era is provided in order to present a context, while the tragic collision between Oceanic (I) and the City of Chester will follow in the next Commutator.

Farewell Harland & Wolff continues on a different tack with personal contributions from two Belfast men. One man kindly sent us the extraordinary aerial views appearing on the covers that were taken last summer, and the other is a THS member now living in Michigan whose wife emigrated on Britannic (III), and he on Georgic (II) that he also worked on while he was at the shipyard, then transporting him to his new country.

Aline Roy’s illustrated album captures the fun and festivities of our annual Titanic Dinner event.

Contents in this Issue

Olympic’s Sea Post Office, from Railway & Travel Monthly.

Farewell Harland & Wolff, Part 3, with thanks to Alexander Torrance and Paul Fryer.

Nella Wiggins Sondheim Goldenberg by Philip Gowan.

Should Titanic Have Had Searchlights? by Henry Wilde, D.Sc., D.C.L., F.R.S.

Occidental & Oriental Steamship Co. and Oceanic and the City of Chester by Karen Kamuda.

Sea Poste: featuring Reply to The Departure Time of Collapsible C; Titanic in Branson.

International Ice Patrol Remembers Titanic; 2004 Annual Wreath Drop

Astor Gala Weekend Photo Album by Aline Roy

Cover: The old and the new are illustrated in this stunning aerial view of the Harland & Wolff yard taken in August 2004 by Paul Fryer of Belfast. A modern cruise ship is moored across the River Lagan from where Titanic was launched. The portion of Queens Island that is most familiar is relatively barren, the former Engine and Erecting Shop are gone. Two squarish-looking objects near the bottom left that are actually wedge-shaped and foreshortened from this angle, are where Titanic, Olympic and Britannic’s massive hulls rose in the Arrol Gantry.

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in