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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/26/2021 in all areas

  1. Wow!!!!!! What an absolutely fascinating bit of history. I truly had no idea about any of this. Thank you!
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  2. It's a clock for a radio operators room on a ship. Prior to the Titanic, there were no "rules" for radio. Every company sort of did what they wanted to do and any power level they wanted concerning radio. After the Titanic loss, the Radio Act of 1912 was passed and regulations were made. One of those regulations were all ships at sea and all coastal stations had to have a 24-hour radio watch. If you recall, the closest ship to the Titanic was the Californian, but it's radio operator had closed the radio room and gone to bed. So he never received the Titanic's SOS call. The Californian was within 10 miles of the Titanic and could have most likely saved everyone had the radio operator been at his post. One of the new regulations was that there were designated times of radio silence. They were denoted by the red wedges on the clock. Because back then, with the spark gap, and everyone doing what they wanted to do regarding transmitting, SOS signals were often walked on or just not heard. The "emergency" frequency was designated 500 KHz by the Radio Act of 1912 and the +15 to +18 minutes and +45 to +48 minutes after each hour were "radio silence" where all radio operators on ships were required to stop transmitting and listen for SOS calls. They later added the 2125 Khz in the 1940's and those times were 0 to +3 and +30 to +33 minutes after the hour. Those radio silence periods were denoted with green wedges, so later ships clocks had both red and green wedges on it. Any radio operator transmitting during the radio silence periods would hear "QRT SP" (Stop sending - Silent period!) and he might lose his coveted ships job and be reassigned to a land station. After the titanic disaster, some guy, I forget who, invented a radio device. It didn't transmit, it only listened. They were installed on all ships. When an operator keyed four four-second dashes at one second intervals, the machine would flash lights and ring loud bells automatically. So if the Marconi operator was asleep or away from his desk, all the noise and flashing lights would get his attention to the SOS call. I guess you could say it was the first EPIRB. The red sections around the outside of the dial indicate four-second dashes at one second intervals (the operator would hold the key down as the second hand traveled the red section and release it as it traveled the white section. I guess the idea was if your ship was sinking and you were in a panic, it was a visual aid so the ships radio operator would do it right to trigger the radio alarm on nearby ships. The Radio Act of 1912 required each ships radio room to have one of these clocks easily visible to the radio operator. Real clocks with this face from that era sell for $1,000 to $2,000 dollars. They were also fitted on aircraft during both world wars for the same reason. Maybe that's why he valued his since he was a pilot. Here's an image of the radio operators clock on the Liberty Ship SS John Brown.
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