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