The Titanic Commutator Issue 178


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The Women’s Titanic Memorial in Washington, DC, like the iconic Titanic Engineer’s Memorial in Southampton, is a powerful yet poignant symbol of the disaster. Sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney executed the Titanic Memorial and called it a gift from “the women of America.” Inscribed on the back of the pedestal: “To the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the ignorant and the learned, all who gave their lives nobly to save women and children.”

The process of the monument’s creation connects with the evolution of the District of Columbia. Despite the initial emotional fervor to commemorate the heroes in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, making the memorial a reality was a lengthy process that required an incredible amount of persistence to see it through when it was finally dedicated in 1931. The story of the memorial from origin to unveiling is featured in this issue.

Time has always been one of those elusive variables when it comes to specifying when certain events took place on Titanic. Even a simple answer to the question as to what time was it when Titanic collided with an iceberg has more than one response. Samuel Halpern’s intriguing Mystery of Time, answers the question.

Britannic or Gigantic? Was Britannic really meant to be named Gigantic but, because of the Titanic disaster as some say, the name was changed? Simon Mills did some detective work and came up with the facts.

Titanic has been labeled “unsinkable” whether through public perception or simply by an editor’s stroke deleting the modifying word “practically” from the phrase, “practically unsinkable.” However the word “unsinkable” really did appear in a publication and it described a new White Star liner, the largest ship in the world.

According to Samuel Halpern’s four-part, Light on the Horizon, the direction between Californian and Titanic was established as a line-of-bearing of 315° true, from NW to SE based on observations of two of Californian’s watch officers. Part 2 examines how he calculated the distance between Titanic and Californian.

There seems to be some misconceptions about the expansion joints of the Olympic-class ships prior to and after the recent airing of the History Channel’s program, Titanic’s Achille’s Heel. Mark Chirnside provides some important information from Harland & Wolff.

Contents in this Issue

Women’s Titanic Memorial by Edward and Karen Kamuda.

Britannic or Gigantic––Titanic Mythbusters by Simon Mills.

Olympic’s Expansion Joints by Mark Chirnside.

SeaPoste: Topics include: Who supplied Captain Smith’s furniture? The last Titanic lifeboat recovered; Where did the phrase and order “Women and Children first” come from?

The Unsinkable Ship; from St. Nicholas Magazine.

The Mystery of Time, Part 1 by Samuel Halpern.

Light on the Horizon–What Did Californian See? Part 2 by Samuel Halpern.

Book Reviews by Tim Trower: Ocean Liner Chronicles; RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Last Great Ocean Liner.

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in