The Titanic Commutator Issue 213


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This issue of the Commutator, the first quarter of the 2016 membership year, we are pleased to present a pre-publication exclusive. The THS normally doesn’t publicize one book over another as we try to be fair and balanced and let the reader judge a non-fiction work. However in this case, when it applies to new Titanic photographs, yes, you are reading it correctly, new Titanic photographs. The Bell and Kempster pictures have been on display in the UK and will be published in book form, Titanic Unseen, Images from the Bell and Kempster Albums, later this year. One of the authors, Senan Molony, sent a sampling of illustrations and answers the question about the number of her masthead lights purportedly seen on the night of April 14/15 1912.

Two years before the tragic sinking of the Collins liner, Arctic, a Congregational minister, Reverend John S. C. Abbott booked passage on her and during the transatlantic voyage he kept a daily record of events that occurred on board. Abbott’s diary entries were published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in June of 1852 and provide a rare glimpse of what it was like to travel the Atlantic in the 1850s.

Binoculars… My two cents worth, in his article, Eugene Nesmeyanov presents both sides––as to whether binoculars are really useful, or whether they––or their absence in the crow’s nest of Titanic – played any significant role in the tragedy.

Dr. J. C. H. Beaumont was for many years one of the principal medical officers of the White Star Line. In his trips on Cretic, Celtic, Majestic (I), Oceanic (II), Olympic, Britannic (II), Cymric, Cedric, Megantic and Majestic (II), he made many friends including nearly every American and European celebrity. In this excerpt from his book, Ships and People, published circa 1927, he relates some interesting episodes about various White Star ships during the First World War.

While searching for information on a Springfield passenger, in the Springfield (MA) Newspapers, I came across this piece on the “notorious gambler” George Brereton: George A. Braden whose name on the passenger list was George Brayton, told how Capt. Smith met his death…

In Simon Mills’ excellent account of the last voyage of S.S. Californian in Commutator No. 208, Senan Molony notes that there is also another point of view––belonging to those who brought about her demise. The German view of the Californian sinking is all the more relevant in that it provides a different longitude and latitude for where it occurred, providing another vital perspective.

Taking over the helm from Ed has been a challenge, he was one-of-a-kind. We had some rough weather in the transition and I’m happy to report there is fair weather ahead. More than it’s possible to express, I appreciate the continued support from our members.

(This issue is available to buy after February 15 2016)


New Titanic Photos Answer an Argument
By Senan Molony

Sea Poste: Obituaries of people who were part of the Titanic community: Ken Ross, son of Californian’s crow’s nest lookout on the night Titanic sank and THS member Roy Mengot. Thanks to Robert Lenzer for donating his photo collection to the Titanic Historical Society.

Olympic and Other White Star Ships in the First World War
By J.C.H. Beaumont, Surgeon, White Star Line

Binoculars… My two cents worth
By Eugene Nesmeyanov

Book Reviews: Voices from the Carpathia by George Behe, reviewed by Ray Lepien; Down Among the Black Gang by Richard deKerbrech, reviewed by Ray Lepien; Scandal: The Trial of the Mount Temple by Senan Molony, reviewed by Ray Lepien; The Titanic and Pennsylvania: The Keystone State Connection by Ned Schillow reviewed by George Behe

Ocean Life-A voyage on the Collins liner Arctic
By Rev. John Stevens Cabot Abbott

George Brereton Resurfaces
Springfield (MA) Daily News

The German view of the Californian sinking
By Senan Molony

THS Convention April 29, 30, May 1, 2016
Celebrating All Things Titanic

Covers: Front: close up bow view of Titanic leaving Belfast April 2, 1912. Back: Stern view of Titanic leaving Belfast April 2, 1912. Kempster collection

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in