On A Sea of Glass & Part-Time Explorer 112th Anniversary Titanic Livestream 2024

On A Sea of Glass & Part-Time Explorer 112th Anniversary Titanic Livestream 2024

I am honoured to have been invited to participate in the On A Sea of Glass and Part-Time Explorer 112th Anniversary Titanic Livestream, which will be broadcast on Thomas Lynskey’s Part-Time Explorer channel on YouTube.  It starts at 9.30 p.m. Eastern Time (United States) on Sunday 14 April 2024 / 2.30 a.m. (United Kingdom) on Monday 15 April 2024.  The livestream will also be recorded and available to replay afterwards.

Hosted by Thomas Lynskey, it includes special guests Alex Moeller and Levi Rourke; historians and On A Sea of Glass co-authors Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt; and guest historians George Behe, Don Lynch, Ken Marschall and I. 

 

 


 

Big Ships and Small Boats

New Article: Big Ships and Small Boats

A new article, ‘Big Ships and Small Boats’ has been uploaded.

In the years leading up to the Titanic disaster, ships were getting significantly larger.  A lot of comment at the time and up to the present day has focused on the increasing size of ships in relation to the lifeboats they needed to carry under the law.  However, this overlooks the fact that the size of a ship was not necessarily a reliable indicator of how many passengers and crew she could carry.  This article provides a snapshot comparison between Olympic and Carpathia in April 1912 and some comparative British government data looking at the largest foreign-going passenger steamers, their passenger and crew capacity and lifeboat provision.

It was first published in the Titanic International Society’s Voyage September 2022: Pages 3-4.

 


 

‘Olympic: Thomas Andrews’ Notes from a Successful Maiden Voyage’

It was great to be able to present my lecture about Thomas Andrews and the observations he made during Olympic‘s maiden voyage in June 1911.  I spoke at PRONI, in a lecture jointly supported by PRONI and the Belfast Titanic Society:

‘Olympic: Thomas Andrews’ Notes from a Successful Maiden Voyage”’
(September 2023)

In June 1911, Thomas Andrews was onboard Olympic during her maiden voyage to observe how she performed under normal operating conditions at sea; to monitor her progress; and make all sorts of notes. His comments were wide ranging and went beyond matters of shipbuilding in a number of cases.  These included recommendations for changing particular operating procedures or improving the working practices of the ship’s crew; improving aspects of the ship’s passenger accommodation and increasing her earning power, such as by adding additional staterooms; or in making economies (he saw no need to provide both linoleum tiles and carpeting in the captain’s sitting room).  He made a particular recommendation to try and help keep third class female passengers safe from unwanted attention. Andrews’ notes included many aspects where Titanic‘s design was improved compared to Olympic‘s.  They show a remarkable attention to detail, demonstrating the concerns of a knowledgeable professional who was intent on improving her design in even the slightest way. 

 


 

10 March 2023: Titanic Talkline

Titanic Talkline Podcast

My Titanic Talkline podcast (Season 1, Episode 17) is available online: ‘Mark Chirnside comes aboard this week for a great chat about the Titanic and her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, as well as the Harland and Wolff shipyards!’ Thanks to Alexia Thirumalai for inviting me and hosting.


 

7 February 2023

New Article: ‘”The Old Rules…Are Entirely Obsolete”: British Lifeboat Regulation in the 1880s’

A new article, ‘”The Old Rules…Are Entirely Obsolete”: British Lifeboat Regulation in the 1880s’, explores lifeboat regulations in the 1880s. They were comparatively worse than the rules in force when Titanic foundered in 1912, but a senior official argued  ‘you can make ships perfectly safe by [watertight] subdivision’.