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So I found this tide clock in a thrift store.  About a pound of solid brass, not the thin tin brass stuff.  I had seen them online for $160 but there wasn't a price tag on it.  I asked the lady how much it was, expecting to hear $60 - $80 or so.  She said the clock doesn't work and she'd take fifteen bucks for it.   I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough.

I bought a clock mechanism for ten bucks and did some photoshop work on some photo cardstock.   Now I got a neat clock for the shack.

""CQD, CQD, this is Titanic......."



 

Clock0.jpg

Clock1.jpg

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ELMER

Brings back memories. My dad (a pilot) had a similar one. Never got the chance to ask him why it meant so much to him. Note: he hated water 🧐

Now my dumb question: do the red triangular markings have a function? Don't get me wrong, they look very very nice indeed, but do they serve a purpose?

Second question... will you set it to Eastern Time or UTC 🤫??

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Posted (edited)

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.

 

SSJohnBrown.jpg

Edited by KT4OBX
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ELMER

Wow!!!!!! What an absolutely fascinating bit of history. I truly had no idea about any of this.

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

Here's one from a British ship.  It is marked for the 500 Khz (red) and 2.125 Khz (green) silent periods.  So if you were in distress, you had the opportunity every 15 minutes to send an SOS uninterrupted by regular traffic, on one freq or the other.

dealer_oliversargent_highres_1390801122959-5898944511.jpg

Edited by KT4OBX
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ELMER

This is really interesting. Okay, I want one 😎 I'll start scouring our local antique shops and fairs this winter!

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Posted (edited)

They sell the replicas Jim, fairly cheap.  If you're looking for a genuine one you probably won't find it at a fair or antique shop.
I understand eBay is full of fakes at genuine prices, so keep that in mind so you don't get "got".

Depending on your taste and budget they vary from really nice expensive to not so expensive.  A google search turns up a lot of modern replicas.

https://www.chelseaclock.com/radio-room-clock

https://www.cafepress.com/amradio.4040868

 

Edited by KT4OBX
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ELMER

I'm going to try and find one for the RV. If I find an original I like and can afford, I'll get that. Otherwise, I'll go for replica. In either case, telling my wife that the expenditure is your fault 😎

Thanks again!!

PS. I just had a flash back to my dad getting me to wind up that clock every day. I had completely forgotten about that. Oh, right, and shining it!!

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10 hours ago, K3MRI said:

 telling my wife that the expenditure is your fault 😎

 

Officers is always blaming us poor lowly enlisted guys for everything.     ;)

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ELMER

After being discharged wounded unfit from the Marine Corps, because he was hit with a Japanese wooden machine gun bullet on Guadalcanal, my father, Henry Trueworthy Horne III, joined the merchant marine and did four trips on the "Murder Run" to Murmansk. Murmansk was Russia's only year round ice free port. Getting supplies to the Russian military during WW2 prevented their defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht and the SS. To reach Murmansk the convoys had to pass between Germany and occupied Norway.  My dad beat the odds by only being torpedoed twice. During 1 Sinking he saved the bridge clock which was made by the Chelsea Clock Company near Boston Massachusetts were my Dad had grown up. I once asked him why he saved the clock. He replied "During your first sinking your not really thinking that clearly." My mother sent the clock to me after my Dad's death. Its a watch keeping chime clock. It rings one chime for every half hour during each of the 6 4 hour watches in the day. They strike in pairs so you can always tell if it is the hour or the half hour when the "(Hour) Glass was turned and the bell was struck." The order from the officer of the watch during the wooden ships and iron men period was "Turn the glass and strike the bell." Each days noon sighting of the sun at it's zenith would correct the turning of the glass.

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Tom Horne W3TDH

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On 10/1/2021 at 1:46 PM, W3TDH said:

After being discharged wounded unfit from the Marine Corps, because he was hit with a Japanese wooden machine gun bullet on Guadalcanal, my father, Henry Trueworthy Horne III, joined the merchant marine and did four trips on the "Murder Run" to Murmansk. Murmansk was Russia's only year round ice free port. Getting supplies to the Russian military during WW2 prevented their defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht and the SS. To reach Murmansk the convoys had to pass between Germany and occupied Norway.  My dad beat the odds by only being torpedoed twice. During 1 Sinking he saved the bridge clock which was made by the Chelsea Clock Company near Boston Massachusetts were my Dad had grown up. I once asked him why he saved the clock. He replied "During your first sinking your not really thinking that clearly." My mother sent the clock to me after my Dad's death. Its a watch keeping chime clock. It rings one chime for every half hour during each of the 6 4 hour watches in the day. They strike in pairs so you can always tell if it is the hour or the half hour when the "(Hour) Glass was turned and the bell was struck." The order from the officer of the watch during the wooden ships and iron men period was "Turn the glass and strike the bell." Each days noon sighting of the sun at it's zenith would correct the turning of the glass.

--

Tom Horne W3TDH

Tom, do you still have the clock? Would love to see a photo of it, or in person next time we cross paths.

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