The Titanic Commutator Issue 218


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In This Issue

What an exciting issue is offered here as we reach the midpoint of 2017. With thanks to Don Lynch, George Behe, John Lamoreau’s World History class and Chris Stone for an incredible variety of compelling stories.

The front cover is a collage of World War One photographs against the background of a long letter typewritten by Titanic survivor Edith Rosenbaum Russell, one of the first women who served as an embedded reporter in France from 1916-1917. Her letters appeared as dispatches to the New York Herald and the New York World chronicling one of the world’s grimmest wars, appears in this issue as Edith Rosenbaum: World War One Letter from France.

Graynella Packer was the first woman to be employed on board an ocean liner as a wireless operator. Her career began at the end of November 1910 when she sailed aboard the Clyde Line steamer Mohawk from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida. Interviewed extensively at the time, this article appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Herald of November 30, 1910, giving a glimpse into the young woman’s background.

When Elmer Walters of the steamer Boston snapped out the messages heedless of the ominous list of the stricken vessel, intent only on giving out the most clear-cut and helpful information, he was only doing what thousands of his wireless colleagues had done before in similar conditions. Exploits of Pioneer Wireless Operators on Ships are recalled – Jack Binns, of the Republic, first to get on the Long Roll of Honor – and Kuehn, of the Monroe, who perished to save a woman – and the wireless key man on a doomed freighter who joked with Death and went down tapping out a cheery “Good-by!”

The stories of the nine men inscribed on the granite memorial at Battery Park, NY is an eloquent reminder of a tradition that grew out of a brand of courage which has no precedent, which, founded on the heroic action of a young man, has been written in the indelible annals of the men who go down to the sea in ships: Jack Philips of the Titanic; George Eccles of the Ohio; Lawrence A. Prudhunt, who perished in the wreck of the Rosecrans; Donald Campbell Perkins on the State of California; Ferdinand J. Kuehn when he gave up his life for another on the Monroe; Walter E. Reker, lost in the wreck of the Admiral Sampson; Clifton J. Fleming and Harry F. Otto’s heroism on the Francis H. Leggett.

Also is a piece about the Foy’s, a vaudeville family who were aboard Olympic when she collided with the Hawke; a first person impression of Titanic before she left Southampton; and the meaning of the “Titanic” stamp on the Winter Company covers.

Six-year-old Chris Ston’s playground was unique, the Ile-de- France. In 1959 his parents, Andrew and Virginia Stone, made their Academy Award nominated MGM film, The Last Voyage. This was a family affair. His father wrote, directed and co-produced with his mother, who edited the film. He and his brother tagged along as extras. Stone chronicles a fascinating adventure.

THS’s participation at the Ronald Reagan Library’s Titanic Exhibit on May 25th will be featured in the next issue (No. 219).

Details on the next THS convention at Lake George, NY, September 13-16, 2018, are listed. Make plans now. Hope to see you there!


Edith Rosenbaum: World War One Letter from France
By John Lamoreau’s La Grande High School’s World History Class

Titanic and the Winter Building Covers
Possible explanations for the marking and handstamps
By Jerry N. J. Vondeling

Book Notes: Conspiracies at Sea-Titanic & Lusitania
By J. Kent Layton, reviewed by Bill Wormstedt

Graynella Packer Wireless Operator
First woman employed on an ocean liner as a wireless operator
With thanks to Don Lynch

Melrose Man on Boston Latest of Sea’s Radio Heroes
By John E. Pember

Honoring the Wireless Men on the Memorial in Battery Park NY
By J. Andrew White

Sea Poste: Joseph Carvalho and Vincent Iturbe obituaries;
twenty years Titanic movie recollection; souvenir spoon from Cedric; where was Kaiser Wilhelm on April 14/15 1912?
Page 84

An Impression of the Titanic
By Ernest Townley

The Last Voyage-Ile de France
By Chris Stone

THS 55 Years Convention Announcement

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in