Page 12 - Amish Voice - March 2012

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The Amish Voice 12
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Few shipwrecks have held our attention as
long as the story of the
. On April 15,
2012, it will be 100 years ago since the trage-
dy of that fateful night occurred. Our ances-
tors came across the Atlantic Ocean on
wooden sailing ships that were small and
weak compared to the
was large and strongly built. Not
the largest of the time, but the most luxuri-
ous. She had a top speed of 22 knots. (About
25 miles per hour) Power was provided by
steam from 29 boilers using about 850 tons
of coal per day. It took about 73 stokers to
shovel the coal into the boilers. They were
the first to fully realize the severity of the
iceberg strike. Steam from the boilers provid-
ed the heat and electricity as well as propul-
sion. The hull was made of 1 inch steel plate
all riveted to the structure. It took 3 million
rivets to hold her together. She was 92 feet
wide and 883 feet long.
was equipped with a new Marco-
ni radio. This was a piece of equipment that
sent messages from ships in Morse code
across the seas or to other ships. This was
important as it meant that important messag-
es such as iceberg warnings could be ex-
changed to warn ships of danger. Wealthy
passengers could send messages back home,
much like the telegraph on land.
The sea was calm on that Sunday morning of
April 14 as the great ship made its way
across the Atlantic. It was the fourth day at
sea. At 10:30 AM, the passengers from all
classes gathered in the first-class dining
room for worship. Captain Edward Smith led
the service reading from a prayer book sup-
plied by White Star, the ship’s owners. Usu-
ally these services were followed by a life-
boat drill for all on board. However, for un-
known reasons Captain Smith decided to not
do this at this time.
In the wireless room things were buzzing as
incoming ice warnings interrupted outgoing
messages from wealthy patrons. The
signaled at 9 AM, “Bergs, Growlers and
much ice.” Shortly before noon, the
, also nearby, told of much ice. At
7:30 the nearby
reported that she
was completely blocked by ice. These intru-
sions annoyed the Marconi operator on the
He told the wireless operator on the
to “Shut up. Shut up, I am busy.”
At this the operator on the
shut off
his radio and went to bed. Meanwhile, the
Titanic went almost full speed ahead. Cap-
tain Smith did not receive the last warning
from the
at 9:40 PM as he was a
guest of honor at a dinner party.
It was twenty minutes before midnight. Sud-
denly officer Fleet jerked the warning bell
three times as he spotted a large iceberg in
the dim light straight ahead. He telephoned
the bridge and frantically sputtered, “Iceberg,
right ahead!”
The Titanic
— by Eli Stutzman
—Continued inside, page 11—