The Titanic Commutator Issue 220


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In This Issue, Winter, Fourth Quarter, No. 220

Archibald Butt is known as one of the prominent men in first class who died in the sinking of Titanic. However he was a fascinating man as recounted by George Behe. Butt was an American journalist and United States Army officer. After a short career as a newspaper reporter, he served two years as the First Secretary of the American Embassy in Mexico. Then he was commissioned in the United States Volunteers in 1898 and served in the Quartermaster Corps during the Spanish–American War. His work in logistics and humane handling of animals transported gained attention and he received a commission in the regular United States Army. After brief postings in Washington, D.C., and Cuba he was appointed military aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Samuel Plimsoll is remembered primarily in connection with the load-line painted on the bows of ships. To seafaring men, Plimsoll’s name is that of a champion and to those who cared for their social welfare, he is one of their heroes.

Until refrigeration, cattle had to be shipped live. Plimsoll’s book, Cattle Ships which prompted him to inquire into other circumstances after reading paragraphs in newspapers announcing the arrival of ships after stormy passages and losses of many cattle overboard. Plimsoll’s book equated those of the former slave ships, when slaves were packed in the hold like sardines. The men aboard were little better off than the cattle.

The Story of a Great Ship by Joseph Chipperfield is featured in serialized form. Although a novel, it appeals to the young reader since it involves a school-age Brian Collins whom the reader relates to. It was one of Ed Kamuda’s favorites.

THS Housekeeping Notes: This Winter quarter means we are at the end of the 2017 membership year. The renewal cutoff before the first quarter mailing has been extended to February 15, 2018 instead of January 5. 2018 Renewal Form is enclosed with return envelope.

If you have noticed the current THS website, nothing has been posted for a while. I have been working with some talented people at Excell.Net in Wilbraham, Massachusetts for the past several months. Our current website is out-of-date and needed to be updated. At times like this I really miss Ed’s workaholic schedule where he could handle things with ease while I still fumble along. Anyway, we hope to have the new website live early in 2018 along with the Museum Store and a number of improvements to make it user friendly


“Archie” A Life of Major Archibald Butt 
Known primarily as President Theodore Roosevelt’s military aide, however this biography shows “Archie” was a man of many talents.
By George Behe

Sea Poste: Titanic’s Coal Bunker Fire, Continued. Senan Molony’s version caused a lot of feedback. Bill Wormstedt, Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside Tad Fitch, Ioannis Georgiou, Steve Hall, J. Kent Layton posted a very lengthy, detailed article online and added a synopsis here, Paul Louden-Brown and George Behe also replied. Ray Lepien answered a question about Titanic’s 1st class cabin interiors on A-Deck.

THS 55th Anniversary Convention
Program Schedule and Hotel Reservations. Latest Updates

Sundowner, Lightoller and Dunkirk
Contributions from Patrick Stenson

The Story of a Great Ship
The Birth and Death of the Steamship Titanic
By Joseph E. Chipperfield
This classic novel is special to THS history. It was one of Edward Kamuda’s favorite books along with “A Night to Remember”. Published in 1957, the story had an impact on the young man. The first five chapters appear in this issue.

Samuel Plimsoll
Contributions from Plimsoll are remembered primarily in connection with the load line painted on the bows of ships but to seafaring men his name is that of a champion who fought for their welfare.

Plimsoll’s “Cattle Ships”
Plimsoll’s book, “Cattle Ships” published in 1890 equated the cruelty of cattle transported aboard ships like those of former slave ships when slaves were packed in the hold like sardines. (Photo of newsclipping right)
Page 199

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 0.25 in