In this first issue for 2009, there is a wonderful variety of great reading.
We saw a film made some years ago recently on one of the movie channels, “The Running Man” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The story was set in the future where the government is all powerful as in “1984” and a man is framed for mass murder by means of editing a videotape showing him doing things he didn’t do. The abuse of power is a reminder how the media has been (and is still) used to destroy individuals. The biography of Fred Bullock, the New York correspondent for The Daily Mail is a case in point in a fascinating article. He saw errors of omission rather than intentional errors in reporting the story of the century. As an honest reporter, he sought to record accurately. “The greater part of the news now available consists chiefly of Press reports heard on various sources of information, and in the absence of direct official advices these must be accepted with some reserve. ” Mr. Bullock was uncomfortable with his initial Titanic report so much so that he continued searching for more facts. On a hunch, he wired the White Star Line and proceeded to resubmit corrections. However, The Times and Daily Mail had already gone to press. His headlines, beginning in the Daily Mail’s April 16, 1912 edition (London behind New York by a day) conveyed the suspected losses of Titanic, and his followup features gave England access to its greatest loss at sea. His eyewitness reports from April 15 to 30 are interesting and historic in content. Subsequently, Mr. Bullock became the top correspondent for the Daily Mail and The Times until Lord Northcliffe’s death in 1922 at which time he became Director of the Daily Mail.
History plays many strange pranks, but surely it was quite a curious coincidence that U-103 should have been sucked into the screw current of Olympic. Olympic and U-103 is the account of Lieutenant Commander A. T. Emerson U.S.N., who at that time was a junior officer aboard the Davis, senior ship in the escort. Olympic was framed against the darkness and apparently the sub had not seen her but Olympic’s bow shot caused U-103 to rev up her engines to full speed ahead. Here is a unique first hand account of an incident in the First World War.
Since the market for hops was not well established in the United States at the turn of the 20th century and there was one overseas, Herman Klaber, a wealthy and successful owner of large hop farm in Washington state went abroad to promote his hops to breweries. At age 41, Klaber sailed on January 14, 1912 on Olympic to England going directly to the office of Klaber, Wolf & Netter of London and Portland (Oregon), a firm associated with Wolf, Netter and Company of Seattle, for an extended visit to the European branches of the hop establishment. Herman would not know the fate that was to befall him. He never again would see his wife and daughter. Klaber, the “Hop King,” lost his life in the Titanic disaster.
Mr. Godfrey’s account of the new Celtic in 1874 is of particular interest because it not only was one of the few descriptive articles about a voyage in an early White Star liner but also it was 13 months after the sinking of Atlantic (April 1873) and the Company was anxious to turn the page with some good publicity.
Part 2 of Titanic Afterthoughts remembering Mrs. John Pillsbury Snyder concludes. Mr. Glaeg observed the waiting in Nelle Snyder’s face was larger than Titanic herself. Call it the waiting of the Mother of all Perished Vessels equating it to a comment from the movie, Titanic, when old Rose said, “waiting for an absolution that never came.”
Ken Marschall sent an item from an auction that took place in February 2008: “Earlier this year some poor sucker paid over $3000 for a tiny scrap of wood from a boat that any first-year student of Titanic could have recognized as not being authentic. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of books around with good photos of the real things. There’s some scary fraud going on out there.” The story of the “Titanic” lifeboat is one I hope we’ve laid to rest.
Contents in this Issue
From Our Own Correspondent, New York By Alison Hella Bullock-Kagamaster.
Olympic and U-103 Excerpted from Lt. Commander A. T. Emerson, USN.
Herman Klaber “The Hop King” Compiled by Karen Kamuda.
Crossing the Atlantic in 1874 on Celtic By W. H. K. Godfrey.
Titanic Afterthoughts; Part 2 conclusion By James Glaeg.
Remembering Mrs. John P. Snyder By Don Lynch.
The “Titanic” Lifeboat By Edward Kamuda
Storage and method of release of the collapsible boats on Titanic’s officer’s quarters; have any of Titanic’s funnels been photographed underwater? Seeking information on S.S. Doric sailing May 23, 1924; “Titanic on Ice – A Different Approach”; Where did Titanic’s coal come from?; Matt Turja, Anna’s brother was not on Titanic as stated in Brad Matsen’s book; “unknown” artist in previous Commutator is identified; image of the Speddon’s Welte organ.
Reviews of: “End of Voyages: The Afterlife of a Ship” by Michael Stammers and “RMS Aquitania: The Ship Beautiful” by Tim Trower.
An artist’s impression of the waterfront in Portland, Maine at the Grand Trunk pier with White Star/Dominion liners tied up alongside.
Olympic arriving in New York on her maiden voyage, June 21, 1911. Photos: Kamuda Collection