News Article - Sale of Titanic Telegraph messagesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TitanicShack (tm) : One Thread
Titanic telegraph messages go on sale Wednesday January 21 8:38 PM EST
NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) _ Christie's has announced that chilling telegraph messages detailing the sinking of the Titanic will go on the auction block next month.
Printed copies of the wireless message about hitting an iceberg, received by ships near the ill-fated ocean liner on April 14, 1912, are part of the auction house's East Maritime Sale, scheduled for Feb. 17.
Also on sale will be foreboding exchanges warning of the dangerous ice conditions hours before the tragedy as well as printouts of the Titanic's distress signals and messages detailing rescue efforts.
Telegraph Marconi operators aboard various vessels alerted one another of potentially dangerous conditions, such as weather, wind and ice. After translating the Morse code, the operators printed the messages, called Marconi signals, and handed them to the captain or crew.
Despite warnings of perilous ice conditions, Titanic's captain traveled full speed ahead in an effort to break records for the ship's maiden voyage, even sending a transmission saying ``Thanks for message and information. Have had variable weather throughout.''
However, at 11:20 p.m., 20 minutes after the collision, Titanic sent a message that read, ``We are putting the passengers off in small boats. '' And 25 minutes later, amid the chaos, the transmission from the unsinkable says, ``The weather is clear and calm.''
The eeriest message that's being offered to buyers, one sent at 11 p. m., reads, ``We have struck an iceberg.''
Christie's estimates the printouts will rake in as much as $6,500 each.
-- crystal smithwick (email@example.com), January 30, 1998