Thursday, 30 January 2014

SS REPUBLIC, WIRELESS LESSON.

continued...

"Her non-arrival, however, emphasises very strongly the necessity for all ocean steamers being fitted with wireless telegraph installations."

"The system is making some headway in the British mercantile marine, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that its general adoption must not be left to the slow process of voluntary action."

"Ship owners have no more justification for neglecting such a valuable safeguard than they would have for neglecting to furnish an adequate number of boats and lifebelts, the loss of the Republic and the saving of all on board, owing to the assistance summoned by wireless.was a lesson that produced some good results, and should have produced more."

"Its immediate effect was to secure the passage through the United States House of Representatives of a Bill requiring every ocean steamer above a certain size,and travelling more than 100 miles from the port of clearance, to carry a wireless installation and operator, and the measure is expected to be passed by the Senate in a month or two."

"Canada followed the example, with a Bill on almost the same lines, and it is said that the French Government contemplate a similar step."

"Public opinion will yet force the British and colonial Governments to do something in the same direction. The value of wireless on board steamers is of course greatly increased if the countries to which they trade possess land installations, and it is gratifying to see that Natal is already moving to supply her coasts with wireless stations."

If Waratah had carried wireless this would not have helped very much along the South African coast where wireless stations were yet to be installed. Not many steamers plying this coast would have carried wireless so there would have been little chance of successfully transmitting a message of distress.

"Their value is well recognised in Australia and New Zealand, but so far we have not yet got beyond the stage of talking about doing something, and a long and wearisome and profitless stage it is."

"Perhaps if a little pressure on the Government were applied by the Chambers of Commerce, Harbour Boards, and similar bodies, something practical might be done."

Even though the British Parliament debated the necessity for wireless on steamers subsequent to the loss of the Waratah, this press reporter and others were in no doubt.

The author placed wireless in the same category of importance as the lifeboats and lifebelts.

An important point is raised:

It was all very well for steamers to be fitted with a Marconi set, but this would amount to nothing if the relevant land mass did not have wireless installations. It is encouraging to read that Natal wasted no time with this initiative. Even though the loss of the Waratah was tragic for all concerned, her mysterious disappearance and the impact this had on the Board of Trade's lengthy Inquiry with an outcome devoid of answers, was to have one positive effect: it hastened the passing of international legislation regarding the necessity of wireless on ocean going vessels. This was further enhanced by the establishment of land wireless installations along all important international coastal routes and this in turn was driven by the impetus to improve wireless communication through research and development.



Radio Towers 1910

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