Commutator No. 223, Fall 3rd Quarter
Membership Year 2018
Titanic The Untold Story
National Geographic Society’s Titanic Exhibition
The title may seem puzzling to the majority of our readers who are somewhat familar with the background of how and why the wreck was found as explained in books by Dr. Ballard. To the general public, its an entirely different matter. It is a chapter of history that was tucked away for many years as classified information and provides a fascinating window into the Cold War era.
By Karen Kamuda
Harriet Fisher “The Anvil Queen”
Harriet in 1904, was reportedly the only woman factory owner in the United States, outside of perhaps the garment and home furnishing industries. She became the only woman member of the American Manufacturer’s Association, and soon bore the nickname, “The Anvil Queen.” This may have been as much due to her iron fist as her product.
By Don Lynch
Rotterdam IV The War Years
Holland being a neutral nation, there were many dangers, however the financial rewards were great. During the war years, Holland America Line was able to pay large dividends to their shareholders and the Company was able to purchase their stock back from the cash starved IMMC. By 1917, the Line was again a purely Dutch company. On 23 February 1916, the Company decided that Rotterdam was too valuable to keep in service. If she was sunk, how would they replace her? With all the major countries at war, who would be capable of producing ships of this size and quality in the immediate future? If she was damaged who would repair her? She was laid up in Schiehaven.
By Ray Lepien
Rotterdam IV Refit and a New Life (Conclusion)
In 1920 the ship was converted to oil. No longer a coal burner, the number of the crewman used to fill her boilers was reduced which helped maintain a more economic position within the fleet. She was also given a major refit in her passenger accommodation and was still the largest liner in Dutch service. United States immigration restrictions affected the major Atlantic steamship lines that depended on transporting immigrants. To survive it was necessary to figure out new ways to maintain revenue. With the war over prosperity soon returned and there was an increasing middle class that had the opportunity to travel and perhaps see the old country. Traveling was no longer just for the well-to-do; ex-soldiers took their families to show them where Daddy fought in the war. shipping lines changed their formulas of doing business and remodeled their vessels to accommodate a new traveling class.
By Ray Lepien
Sea Poste: THS member Lydia Jean Kuhn is remembered. Thank you letter from the Reagan Library for participation in their recent Titanic exhibition; will there be submersible dives for tourists to Britannic?
Mail Sent via RMS Olympic: Cancelling and Marking Covers for Transatlantic Transport
Assorted covers, stamps , labels over the years on covers for SS Olympic.
By Jerry N. J. Vondeling
Covers: The previous issue (No. 222) of the Commutator cover had a new (to us) painting of Titanic by maritime artist Stephen Card. Both front and back covers of this issue show Rotterdam IV in her original HAL colors and her “Caribbean” livery by Card.
Stephen is an old friend and many long-time members may remember the Swiss-made timepiece in the THS store he designed with Titanic, a White Star burgee and 11:40 and 2:20 noted on the face. His latest work is an exclusive for the THS, images of Titanic and Olympic grace two Delft Blue tiles manufactured in The Netherlands and exclusively available in the Titanic Museum Store.