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Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Titanic Calling

Wireless Communications during the Great Disaster

Published in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, this book tells the story of that fateful night from an unusual angle: through the many wireless communications sent to and from the land stations and the ships involved as the tragic events unfolded.

Drawing on the extensive record of wireless transmissions in the Marconi Archives, Titanic Calling recounts this legendary story the way it was first heard, beginning with repeated warnings—just hours before the collision—of several large icebergs unusually far south and alarmingly close to the Titanic’s course. The story follows senior operator Jack Phillips as he sends distress messages to nearby ships and shows how these urgent calls for help were received and rapidly relayed across the Atlantic in a desperate attempt to save the lives of the Titanic’s passengers and crew. Finally, the distant SS Virginian receives the Titanic’s final, broken message. The story concludes with the rescue of the fortunate survivors, who radio messages to loved ones from aboard the RMS Carpathia while safely on their way to New York.
 
Illustrated throughout with photographs of the messages and including full transcripts of original material, the book also features an introduction to the development of maritime wireless communications and a discussion of the Marconi Archives’s Titanic collection. The forced brevity of the messages lends the narrative a startling sense of immediacy and brings to life to the voices of the individuals involved.

163 pages | 47 color plates | 7 x 7 1/2 | © 2012

History: History of Technology


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Note on Transcripts
Preface

Wireless Telegraphy and the Titanic Disaster
Procès-Verbaux
CQD and SOS Messages
Ice Messages
Official Messages
Personal Messages

Glossary
Notes

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