[kwlug-disc] April 14 1912 Anniversary of Sinking of Titanic sinking and Radio

John Johnson jvj at golden.net
Wed Apr 16 13:30:02 EDT 2014

Prompted by another discussion about RF technology, I thought I would, 
somewhat close to the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, mention 
the impact the event had on the adoption of Radio technology. And on 
Search and Rescue in the North Atlantic and, as well, on hazards caused 
by icebergs in the same area.

The radio systems on the Titanic was installed for the entertainment of 
the people who could afford the luxury of sending telegrams while at sea.

These radio systems became instrumental in the rescue of those who 
survived and became required equipment.

In 1929 a radio historian documented the following:

The sinking of the Titanic is of special interest to the radio world 
because it was the primary cause of the standardization of radio 
procedure and other measures for safety at sea. From these measures 
might be mentioned the following:

     1. Adoption of the Continental Morse code as a standard for all 
ship operators.

     2. Adoption of the conventional "Q" signals.

     3. Establishment of the Ice Patrol service in the North Atlantic.*

     4. The requirement for a continuous watch on all passenger vessels.

     5. The requirement for auxiliary means of communication and a 
definite range for the main set.

     6. The law regarding intercommunication regardless of the system 

     7. The standardization of SOS as the international distress signal.

* The Canadian Coast Guard along with the US Coast Guard continues the 
Ice Patrol today.

Ref: http://www.telegraph-office.com/pages/Titanic_Disaster_Radio_1929.html

PS: (per: Discovery Channel)

John Snow, an undertaker, and Arthur Barnstead, a physician, both from 
Halifax, were among many who respectfully handled the deceased from the 
sinking of the Titanic. And in doing so, established procedures still in 
use for mass casualty events.


My grandfather immigrated to North America from Finland by ship, a few 
years before the Titanic sailed. He came to take a job as a hard rock 
miner in Northern Michigan, from where he moved to the nickel mines near 
Sudbury, Ontario.

And like many others of his era, he had to travel across Europe by train 
and ferry to get a to a port where he could get a onto a ship heading 
across the pond. There just were not that many ships or ports that could 
handle the numbers of passengers.

I am told that he was upset by the sinking of the Titanic. I suspect 
that he may have known of some fellow countrymen on their way to a new 
life that were lost in the disaster.

Please recall that not everyone on the Titanic or any ship of that era 
were eating their dinners on fine china and listening to an orchestra 
while they ate.

John Johnson

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