Radio Room Return to Diagram
Titanic's Marconi radio.
The Marconi (radio) room was located on the boat deck directly behind the first funnel. Different from the design and location on the Olympic, it had 6 sky lights and a port hole window. It was actually a series of rooms containing a generator, the radio itself, an equipment room, and a bedroom and bathroom for the crew. It connected to a corridor that led to the officers quarters on the port side of the ship. A pneumatic air tube ran from the radio room to the enquiry office on C deck where passengers would request and receive messages. (Marconigrams)
The radio was a 1.5 kw synchronous rotary spark discharger designed to broadcast as far as 250 miles, but depending on atmospheric conditions, 400 miles or more was possible. It's been claimed that parts of Titanic's distress calls were picked up by a radio operator at the top of the Woolworth Building in New York City. (In 1912, the tallest building in the world)
Although Titanic was considered a state-of-the-art ship, at the time of her maiden voyage the radio had already become obsolete. Marconi had began manufacturing this model in 1897 and was still making the same model in 1912. Other companies had already surpassed this technology with stronger, more modern wireless radios. The cables strung out between Titanic's 2 masts was the antenna for the ship's radio.
Titanic's two radio operators (Phillips and Bride) were not part of the ship's crew, they were Marconi Company employees. The uniforms they wore aboard Titanic had Marconi emblems on the buttons, sleeves, and hats. Marconi employees did report directly to any of the ship’s crew except the captain when the ship sailed. Their primary duty was to the passengers sending and receiving messages on a 24-hour basis. They did however handle ships' business such as weather reports and warnings that they would forward to the captain when received. They traveled as 2nd class passengers as did the musicians aboard Titanic.
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