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

Andrew Mercer andrew at andrewmercer.net
Fri Apr 18 21:13:40 EDT 2014

This year is the anniversary of the Newfoundland sealing disaster of 
1914 where due to lack of advanced communication, 132 men were stranded 
on the ice in the middle of the Atlantic for more than 48 hours. 78 of 
these men perished before they could be rescued. Apparently at the time, 
radios on ships were recommended but not required and due to the cost, 
the ships involved with stranding these men, did not equip their ships 
with them.


Andrew Mercer

On 2014-04-16 13:30, John Johnson wrote:
> 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 
> employed.
>     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.
> Aside:
> 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.
> Thanks
> John Johnson
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