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Updated: Nov. 24th, 2007

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An officer of a period liner edits the daily paper. J. Kent Layton collection.

An officer of a period liner edits the daily paper. Titanic’s was called “The Atlantic Daily Bulletin.”
J. Kent Layton collection

A printing room onboard a liner of the day. J. Kent Layton collection.

A printing room onboard a liner of the day, with a printing press for creating, in addition to the daily paper, passenger lists, menus and notices.
J. Kent Layton collection

Telephones. Author’s collection.
Tuning Lamp. Author’s collection.

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Introduction - Titanic’s wireless equipment was among the most powerful in the world at the time, capable of communicating with stations several hundred or even a thousand miles away. Wireless communication was still relatively new in 1912, the first transatlantic signal having been sent only ten-and-a-half years earlier between Cornwall, Great Britain, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, on the North American coast. However, by the time Titanic was launched all the major Atlantic liners were equipped with wireless apparatus. All this was the brainchild of Guglielmo Marconi, whose pioneering experiments made possible the sending of wireless messages aboard ship as easy and convenient as sending a telegram on land.

   Passengers on Titanic wishing to send a telegram would proceed to the ship’s Enquiry Office, located on the starboard side of C Deck by the 1st Class grand staircase. Messages were hand-written and paid for at a cost of 12s 6d for the first ten words, and 9d for each additional word (travelling westbound). The address and signature was free of charge. The message would be sent from the Enquiry Office via pneumatic tube to the Marconi Operating Room on the Boat Deck
. . . (continued)


Images above, Telephones - Although labeled “head phone receiver” here, these were properly called “telephones.”
(lower) Tuning Lamp.
Both Author’s collection

   Wireless accommodations - Olympic’s wireless accommodations were originally located along the port side of the Officers’ Quarters deckhouse. On Titanic, however, the wireless accommodations took up the mid-section of the deckhouse, just forward of the Elevator Machinery Room. This change in location was part of a redesign of the Officers’ Quarters deckhouse, which was extended forward approximately 9 feet to provide space for a number of 1st Class staterooms within the after end of the deckhouse. During Olympic’s December 1912 refit, the Officers’ Quarters deckhouse and Marconi accommodations were modified to match those of her younger sister.

   With Titanic’s Marconi suite located centrally, there was more room available for the three interconnected compartments. On the starboard side was the cabin for the two Marconi operators, with mahogany bunks and cabinetry
. . . (continued)


   Aerial wires - Titanic’s aerial wires consisted of four wires of 7/19 silicon-bronze supported between two 20-foot ash spreaders. Each of the four horizontal wires was the same length. The spreaders consisted of a pole, thicker in the center than at the ends, fitted at the corresponding spacing of the aerial wires with light malleable-iron double-lugged bands. A bridle of four 2"-circumference (13/16"-diameter) steel wires attached to each spreader, with one wire attached to each of the bands, all four wires joining together into a single bight and thimble. The length of the individual bridle wires was such that the distance between the bight and the spreader was not more than 6 feet or less than 3 feet. The thimble on the forward bridle was secured directly to the foremast; the thimble on the after bridle was rigged to a galvanized steel wire rope which ran through an iron block on the mainmast and then down to the deck; by this arrangement the after end of the array could be lowered to the deck for periodic inspection and maintenance . . . (continued)


Other topics in this chapter:

Continental Morse code and station identification - The lead-in insulator - Gugllielmo Marconi - plus full technical information on the wireless installation and components, including: The rotary spark - the 5-kW transmitting apparatus - The closed oscillatory circuit - The open oscillatory or “radiating” circuit - the emergency transmitting apparatus - tuning of the transmitting circuits

Copyright 2007 Beveridge, Hall, Andrews, Klistorner and Braunschweiger.

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