The Titanic Commutator Issue 244


Titanic Historical Society Commutator 244

THS Commutator No. 244, Winter 1st Quarter, January to March 2024


Alexander Carlisle: Titanic’s Designer

Thomas Andrews did not design Titanic or her sister ships Olympic and Britannic. The man who deserves credit for the design is Alexander Carlisle. So why, when so much is written and talked about Titanic, has such a mistake been made? The answer lies partly in the power of film. I asked Bill MacQuitty, the Belfast-born producer of A Night to Remember––MacQuitty was well aware who really designed Titanic but his primary concern was turning a historical event into a commercially successful feature film.
By Paul Louden-Brown

Always Expect the Unexpected

A man about 35 years old shot himself in the right temple yesterday a few minutes before the White Star liner Adriatic moved out into the North River. He was Edward Ettridge, a juggler and vaudeville performer, known on the stage as “Beppo.” Practically all the Adriatic’s passengers were up on deck shouting farewells to friends when the shot was fired, and the usual noise that attends all departing liners was heightened by the stir caused by the suicide.
By George Behe

Cedric and Olympic Encounter Mountainous Seas – Vintage Vignettes

Chess on the RMS Olympics

Young Samuel Reshevsky left Southampton for New York aboard Olympic. What made this little Polish immigrant boy different from every other eight-year-old that ever came to America was his remarkable chess skill. He had just finished a year long tour of England and Europe frequently playing 20 adults at once astounding onlookers and admirers.
By Stephen W. Gordon

Cretic Detained in Boston for Four Days-Vintage Vignettes

Red Jacket

Red Jacket’s record voyage from New York and her sensational entry into the Liverpool Docks immediately caught the attention of Messrs. Pilkington and Wilson. About three weeks before Red Jacket arrived, Pilkington and Wilson suffered the loss of their premium iron clipper ship, Tayleur, which they were operating under charter. Tayleur was wrecked on her maiden and only voyage. They were in the market for a new vessel. RedJacket was built to sell and sell she did upon arrival.
By Karen Kamuda

Grift is Nothing New-Vintage Vignettes

A Steam Engineer’s Theory How Titanic Sank

I am a stationary engineer and work in the electric power industry. For many years, I restored and operated antique agricultural steam engines, rigged and lifted heavy machinery, including large engines, I’m very familiar with the construction and operation of fire tube boilers, including scotch marine boilers. It is not my intention to be controversial, or to detract from this great tragedy or other’s work but I am a mechanic at heart. The mechanical details of her sinking have always fascinated me.

Titanic’s Only Completed Voyage

This story began after reading several letters from old friends who have since passed on. In describing events that took place between the time Titanic was at Belfast until leaving Southampton for New York, their own words knit together those days in early April until noon on the 10th in 1912. Mr. John Stone in 1911, was a young engineer employed by Weir’s Pumps, Ltd. Stone, who with his colleagues, was hired as a consultant for the installation of pumps and pipes for Olympic and Titanic when they were being built at Belfast. Having earlier worked on Olympic, Stone sailed with her on her speed and machinery trials. He and fellow associates also went through the same procedure with Titanic

Vintage White Star Line travel posters, circa early 1920s