The Titanic Commutator Issue 238


Titanic Historical Society Commutator 238

THS Commutator No. 238, Summer 3rd Quarter Membership Year 2022


Titanic Survey Expedition 2021
The day began in St. Johns, Newfoundland by asking: “Did I really just participate in an expedition to the Titanic?” Pinching my arm gently and with a smile, the answer was yes, I had just been a part of Missions 2 and 3 of the OceanGate Titanic Survey Expedition 2021.
By Cathy Jutilla-Lamet

A Voyage to New York and Back in H.M.T. Britannic
I might say that Mr. Jack Smith and I could not have made a better voyage in a better ship. The captain was well known to me; I had been his pilot in the old Britannic during the Boer War, and have been ever since. The officers we had known for a length of time, and all made us feel so comfortable that we could go where we liked and have what we liked. In the true sense of the word we were guests of the White Star Line, and we both feel very grateful to them all.
By George M. Bowyer

When Is A Rocket Called a Distress Signal?
WhenTitanic hit an iceberg and sank, the subject of distress rockets was a prime news event. To this very day, due to the United States and British Enquiries ignoring the International Regulations regarding the display of signals of distress, there is confusion.

Strange as it may seem, some people including a few “experts” of the Titanic story, don’t fully understand distress signals. Sadly, it seems, no one on Titanic that fateful night was aware of how to fire distress signals.

This lack of knowledge, starting with the personnel of the Titanic, followed by U.S. Senator Smith and his Board of Enquiry, and the British Enquiry headed by Lord Mersey was the basis for all the misunderstanding surrounding the “distress rockets.”
By John Gillespie

Should Titanic Have Had Searchlights?
In the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, there was much soul-searching and looking for a cause to point a finger as if one reason could be found and, like a magic wand, erase all the blame. Henry Wilde, who developed a prototype for the modern searchlight which had been adopted by the Royal Navy argued, “…any person of ordinary intelligence may well observe that, if searchlights are indispensable in the Royal Navy, they are no less so on large passenger vessels.”

“The failure of foreign steamships to carry searchlights is utterly inexcusable, and if a proper searchlight had been on this vessel, in my judgment the accident could have been avoided.”…Senator Raynor
By Henry Wilde, D.Sc., D.C.L., F.R.S

How Did Families of Lost Ones Sue the White Star Line?
As claims poured in, White Star Line’s New York attorney, Charles C. Burlingham faced the avalanche with the self-control that a good Wall Street lawyer can always muster; he had guided J. Bruce Ismay through the Senate hearings. Besides, he had a powerful defensive weapon––the doctrine of limited liability. Both American and British law had long given special protection to ship owners whose vessels, through negligent
handling, caused damage to others.
By Sir Peter Smith

Book Notes

Recreating Titanic and Her Sisters-A Visual History
By Tad Fitch, Bill Wormstedt, J. Kent Layton

Travelling on Titanic with Father Browne
By E. E. O’Donnell

Titanic Day By Day: 366 Days with the Titanic
By Simon Medhurst

Titanic and the City of Widows It Left Behind-Forgotten Victims of the Fatal Voyage
By Julie Cook

Why the Titanic Was Doomed
By Bryan Jackson; Review by Ray Lepien

Harland & Wolff and Workman, Clark: A Golden Age of Shipbuilding in Old Images
By Richard P. DeKerberbrech and David L. Wiliams; Review by Ray Lepien

The Wreck of the Titan: The Novel That Foretold the Sinking of the Titanic
By Morgan Robertson

Front: Close view of Olympic’scargo cranes. (THS collection)
Back: Olympic’s Boat Deck circa 1911.