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Elettra Marconi

© 2001 Dante University of America Press

In November, 1996 I went to Southampton for the 100th Birthday of Mrs. Edith Hayman, one of the last living survivors of the disaster of the Titanic. I also met a French gentleman and two other ladies who were survivors of the shipwreck. I had already met them in September at a reception near the Hudson River in New York after their return from a voyage (organized by Mr. George Tullock) to visit the place where the Titanic sank. After hearing their stories I visited the Museum in Southampton where I listened to the recorded voices of many survivors who had been interviewed after the tragedy, telling about their experiences and how they had been saved.

Now, when the story of the Titanic is so much in the news, my thoughts go back to when I was a little girl. I remember hearing my father speak about the sinking of the Titanic. I shall never forget the emotion in his voice when he spoke about the tragedy. Who knows how many more of the passengers and crew could have been saved if only the S.O.S calls sent out by the Titanic’s wireless operators had been heard by the Californian, the only ship close enough to come to their rescue in time. As it was, although over seven hundred passengers were saved thanks to the radio invented by Guglielmo Marconi, one thousand five hundred people lost their lives in the freezing sea. He always spoke with admiration of the heroism of those two young “Marconi men”, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, who continued to transmit the distress call until just a few minutes before the ship sank. My father, who was hailed as the saviour of the Titanic, always gave the greatest credit to those brave men. Jack Phillips’ heroism and devotion to duty cost him his life.

The GEC-Marconi Ltd. have given me the opportunity to consult the original radio messages received from the Titanic before and during the disaster. I have included this precious new material in the following account of the role of the radio in the rescue of the Titanic.

Ever since boyhood Marconi, who was himself a sailor, had been acutely aware of the isolation of ships at sea. Now, thanks to his invention, ships sailing the oceans hundreds or even thousands of miles from land and hundreds of miles from each other could send and receive messages. Three years before the Titanic disaster he had been acclaimed as the benefactor of humanity because his invention had made it possible to rescue another transatlantic liner, the Republic. Just after leaving New York bound for Europe it came into collision with a second ship, the Florida, in a dense fog some 26 miles southwest of the Nantucket Lightship. Fortunately the Republic was equipped with a Marconi wireless system. The C.Q.D. distress signal transmitted by the wireless operator on board the Republic was received both on land and by other ships so that almost all those on board survived the disaster.

The RMS Titanic, the pride of the White Star Line, built in Belfast, Ireland, left Southampton on her maiden voyage on Wednesday, 10th April, 1912. She had been designed to be unsinkable and was referred to as a “floating castle”. Some wealthy American passengers paid $5,000 for a first-class suite (It would have taken the senior Marconi wireless operator18 years to earn this amount) while steerage passengers paid ?7.75p.The Titanic sailed to Cherbourg in France and then to Queenstown in County Cork, Ireland where she took on more passengers. Many ships sent wireless messages of congratulations and good wishes to the Titanic as she steamed towards New York.

The night of Sunday,14th April, 1912 though moonless was starry, the atmosphere exceptionally clear and the sea absolutely calm. In the dark hours between sunset on Sunday and dawn on Monday, 15th April the Titanic met an ice field which had floated down from the Arctic sea.

It was unusual for ice to be found in the North Atlantic Ocean at this time of year but other Atlantic steamers had passed through the same ice field and several wireless messages warning of icebergs had been received by the Titanic. On Saturday,13th April the Caronia had sent out a message stating: “Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice latitude 42 N. from longitude 49 to 51 W”. On Sunday morning a message was sent from the Amerika to the Hydrographic Office in Washington D.C. via the Titanic and Cape Race: “Amerika passed two large icebergs in latitude 41.27 N. longitude 50.08 W on the 14th of April”. Another message was sent on Sunday morning to Captain Smith of the Titanic from the Captain of the Baltic saying: “Have had moderate variable winds and clear fine weather since leaving. Greek steamer Athinai reports passing icebergs and large quantity of field ice today in latitude 41.51 N. longitude 49.52 W... Wish you and Titanic all success”. Captain Smith replied: “Thanks for your message and good wishes. Had fine weather since leaving”. The Caronia transmitted another ice warning from the Noordam to the Titanic on Sunday afternoon: “To Captain S.S. Titanic. Congratulations on new command. Had moderate westerly winds fair weather no fog much ice reported in latitude 42.24 N to 42.45 N and longitude 49.50 W to 50.20 W”. The most critical report was received from the Mesaba on Sunday evening: “To Titanic and all East Bound Ships. Ice reports in latitude 42N to 41.25 N longitude 49 W to longitude 50.30 W. Saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs also field ice. Weather good clear. Reply: Received, thanks”. Amazingly, Captain Smith and his First Officer did not act on the ice warnings apart from posting lookouts in the crow’s nest to watch for icebergs and the Titanic continued to steam on at high speed. At 11.40 p.m. the lookouts shouted the report of “Iceberg dead ahead!” to the bridge. The Titanic’s position was then 41.46N. 50.14 W, exactly where the ice field had been reported. Less than a minute later the Titanic struck the iceberg, ripping open the hull for a length of nearly 100 metres. At 2.20 a.m. the invincible Titanic split in two and sank.

Another passenger ship, the Californian was only ten miles away when the Titanic struck the iceberg. Cyril Evans, the wireless operator of the Californian, giving evidence at the British Inquiry into the Titanic disaster in May, 1912 said that on Sunday afternoon the Californian sent a message to the Captain of the Antillian saying: “Latitude 42.3 N. Longitude 49.9 W. Three large bergs five miles to Southward of us” A little later he made contact with the Titanic and gave the same report about the icebergs and received the reply: “All right, I heard the same thing from the Antillian”.

At 11 p.m. ship’s time the captain ordered him to tell the Titanic that the Californian was stopped and surrounded by ice. Evans sent the message to the Titanic and got the reply “Keep out” because the Titanic was at that moment in communication with the Cape Race receiving station near St. John’s in Newfoundland and his message had interfered with the Titanic’s transmission. Being the sole wireless operator and having put in a long day, Evans retired for the night. Early the next morning the First Officer came into his cabin and said “There’s a ship been firing rockets, will you please try to find out whether there is anything the matter?” He immediately jumped out of his bunk and took up the telephone but could hear nothing. He then sent out a general call C.Q. and got an answer from the Mount Temple saying: “Do you know the Titanic struck an iceberg and is sunk?” That was the first the Californian knew of the disaster and the desperate distress calls transmitted by the Titanic’s wireless operators went unheard by the only ship close enough to reach the sinking Titanic before it was too late.

Jack Phillips, the chief Marconi man on the Titanic was a native of Godalming in Surrey, England. He had started his career as a wireless operator on ships but had then been posted to the Marconi Company transatlantic wireless station near Clifden in Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland. After three years at Clifden he applied for a return to operating at sea. In the spring of 1912 he was appointed chief wireless operator on the Titanic. He celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday on April 11th, 1912. The assistant wireless operator on the Titanic was Harold Bride from Nunhead in England. The two wireless operators had joined the ship at Belfast at the beginning of April and on the trial trip of the ship from Belfast to Southampton they had tested the wireless apparatus and found it in good working order. The installation on the Titanic was a very modern type and the most powerful of any ship of the merchant navy at the time. It was guaranteed for a distance of about 350 miles although in actual practice it carried a great deal further. It utilised a wireless telegraphy spark transmitter (using signals in Morse Code) while the receiving equipment included the famous Marconi magnetic detector. The apparatus was in duplicate and there was a spare battery so that it could be operated in case the current from the dynamos was cut off owing to the engines being flooded.

1900 saw the birth of the Marconi International Marine Communication Company Ltd. Since that year, when the first large liner was fitted with a wireless system, the Marconi Compa­ny had provided hundreds of ships with wireless systems. All wireless stations on ships or on land had identifying “call signs” beginning with the prefix “M”. The call sign of the Titanic was MGY. The operators on most of the ships were Marconi Company employees and they wore caps with an “M” embroi­dered on the front.

Marconi himself gave evidence during the official Inquiries into the Titanic disaster in the United States and Great Britain. He offered spontaneously to testify before the United States Senate Committee which was investigating the causes of the wreck of the Titanic. During the Inquiry he was asked: “Who was the first practical operator of wireless telegraphy covering long distances” and his answer was: “I think it was myself, in England in 1896 and 1897... I took an interest in electrical subjects generally. I had studied a great deal. I was what I might rightly describe as an amateur”. He was asked to make a brief statement describing his work and he answered: “I first carried out some tests in Italy with electrical waves... I invented apparatus which made them apparent or made it possible to detect them over 2 or 3 miles. That was at the time considered very interesting. After that I came to England where I had numerous relations and I offered to demonstrate this new idea to the British post office, the army and the navy and to Lloyd’s. They were very greatly interested in the system and tests were carried out and communi­cation was very shortly established over 9 miles. The first British ship that was fitted was a yacht belonging to the late King Edward and several warships belonging to the British Navy and the Italian Navy.

The system worked very well up to a limited distance. It was nowhere near as reliable as it is now. After a certain space of time, in 1899 and 1900, some further improvements were perfected by myself and some by others which greatly increased the range and made it apparent at once that it would be possible to communicate over thousands of miles and steps were taken for the installation of stations to carry out tests to show if it were possible.

The first tests in America were carried out by myself, in 1899, at which time I also carried out experiments on battleships of the United States Navy, the New York and the Massachusetts. Communication was established, I think, up to 20 or 25 miles, or something like that, at that time... At present the useful reliable range is something like 3,000 miles... I expect it will be one of the principal means or methods for communicating between distant parts of the world...for communication, say, between New York and England, or between New York and San Francisco, or between Chicago and another distant place, I think that with the increase of speed and the understanding of electricity it will some day become the chief means of communication”.

Marconi was asked about the rules and regulations governing wireless operators on board ship. He told the Committee that they were employees of the Marconi Company but took day to day instructions from the ship’s captain. A large ship like the Titanic always carried two operators so that a continuous service was maintained. One of the operators always had the telephone fixed to his ears and could hear any call which was made although he could talk or read when he was not actually receiving or sending a message. Smaller ships like the Carpathia carried only one wireless operator. The Carpathia carried a short-distance wireless equipment; an apparatus which could transmit messages, under favourable circumstances, up to about 180 or 200 miles, but on average about 100 miles depending on the state of space at the time and to a large extent on the skill of the operator. The Titanic was equipped with a more powerful wireless apparatus capable of communicating with accuracy over 400 or 500 miles during the daytime and very often 1,000 miles during the night-time. He thought all ships at sea should carry two wireless operators so that an operator was constantly at his key.

At the British Inquiry, in answer to a question on whether it would be possible, on a ship which was manned by one opera­tor, for a person who was not an expert in wireless telegraphy to receive some simple signal so that he could then call the opera­tor, Marconi replied: “I have another way that suggests itself to which I have given a great deal of attention since the Titanic disaster and that is of making the wireless apparatus ring a bell and thereby give warning that a ship in danger needs assis­tance...some tests have been made with an apparatus such as I have referred to and I have considerable confidence that it can be employed”.

Giving evidence at the British Inquiry Harold Bride told the court that he and Jack Phillips had agreed that Phillips would go on duty from 8 o’clock at night until two in the morning and Bride from 2 o’clock in the morning until eight. During the day they took turns to suit each other’s convenience but a continuous and constant watch was kept and one or other of them was always in the Marconi room, close to the bridge. At around 5 o’clock in the afternoon (ship’s time) on Sunday 14th April he received the message warning of icebergs from the Californian and immediately delivered it to the officer on the bridge. After dinner he went to bed but relieved Phillips at 12 o’clock midnight which was two hours earlier than usual as Phillips had been very busy the night before. This was after the impact with the iceberg. He had been asleep at the moment of the collision and the first he knew of it was when Phillips told him he thought the ship had struck something from the feel of the shock that followed. In the words of Harold Bride: “I was standing by Phillips telling him to go to bed when the captain put his head into the cabin. “We have struck an iceberg”, he said; “you had better get ready to send out a call for assistance. Don’t send it until I tell you”. The captain went away and in ten minutes he came back. We could hear terrible confusion outside but not the least thing to indicate any trouble. The wireless was working perfectly. “Send a call for assistance”, ordered the captain. “What call shall I send?” Phillips asked. “The regulation international call for help--just that”, was the reply; and Phillips began to send the signal C.Q.D., joking while doing so”.(This detail in Bride’s testimony shows that Phillips was facing this terrifying moment with the greatest courage--E.M.). “After a few minutes however, the captain reappeared and said, “Send S.O.S.; it may be your last chance”.The Carpathia answered our signal and we told her our position and said we were sinking by the head. The operator went to tell the captain and in a few minutes returned and told us that the Carpathia was putting about and heading for us”. This was the first emergency use of the distress signal S.O.S. which had taken the place of the old distress call C.Q.D. In fact, in 1906 the International Radio-telegraphic Convention had laid down principles and regulations governing wireless telegraphy at sea and at that time the distress call was altered to S.O.S. although C.Q.D. which was so well known continued to be used as well.

Fifty-eight miles away from the Titanic, Thomas Cottam the wireless operator of the steamship Carpathia had been prepar­ing to retire for the night when he received the distress call from the Titanic: “CQD. Struck iceberg. Come to our position. 41.46N. 50.14W.” The ship’s log on board the “Carpathia” in fact shows the annotation: “Heard the Titanic invoke CQD and SOS”, and ten minutes later: “Change course”. The Carpathia altered its course and steamed to the rescue, guided by the radio signals transmitted by the Titanic’s heroic wireless operators who remained at their posts in the wireless station until minutes before the Titanic sank.

Continuing his evidence during the British Inquiry, Harold Bride said that after Phillips sent the C.Q.D. sign they received answers from the Frankfurt and the Carpathia while they received several messages from the Olympic right up to the time when they finally left the wireless cabin. At 10.50 p.m. (ship’s time) the Olympic’s wireless log reads: “Hear MGY (Titanic’s call sign) signalling to some ship and saying about striking iceberg, not sure if it is MGY who has struck iceberg”. Bride went to report to the captain who was on the boat deck superintending the lowering of the lifeboats. Later the captain came into the Marconi room and told them the ship would not last very long and that the engine-room was flooded. Phillips later went outside to look round and when he came back he said that the fore well-deck was awash and that they were putting the women and children in the boats and clearing off. Then the captain came in and told them to shift for themselves, because the ship was sinking. Phillips took the telephones up when the captain had gone away and started to work again. Bride could read what Phillips was sending but not what he was receiving and he judged that the Carpathia and the Frankfurt had both called up together; the Frankfurt was interfering with Phillips’s reading of the Carpathia’s message. Phillips told the operator of the Frankfurt to “keep out of it and stand by”. He then told the Carpathia that they were abandoning the ship. Phillips tried to call once or twice more but the power was failing and they failed to get any replies. Then he and Phillips lined up on top of the Marconi cabin in the officers’ quarters. They were trying to fix up a collapsible boat and he helped to get it down from the top deck to A deck. He got into it but as the ship sank it floated off upside down. He was swept off the boat deck. When he last saw Phillips he was standing on the deck-house. Bride swam away from the collaps­ible boat but joined it later. He was rescued by the Carpathia early on Monday morning. Tragically, Jack Phillips perished in the disaster.

Many other ships received the Titanic’s distress call and altered course to go to her rescue.The Mount Temple was about 50 miles south west of the Titanic. John Durrant, the Marconi operator of the Mount Temple, giving evidence at the British Inquiry, told the court that on Sunday night at 11 minutes past midnight (ship’s time) he got the message CQD from the Titanic giving her position and adding “Come at once. Struck berg. Advise captain”. He told the captain at once and about 15 minutes after getting the first signal the Mount Temple had altered course and was speeding to the assistance of the Titanic. At 12.34 a.m. he heard the Frankfurt answer the Titanic’s CQD call and the Titanic immediately gave her position and asked “Are you coming to our assistance?” The Frankfurt replied “What is the matter with you?” and the Titanic answered “Have struck an iceberg. Sinking. Come to our help. Tell captain”. The Frankfurt then said, “O.K.Will tell bridge at once”, and the Titanic replied, “O.K. Yes. Quick”. At 12.42 a.m. he heard the Titanic call SOS. At 12.43 a.m. he heard the Titanic call the Olympic and at 1.06 a.m. the Olympic replied and got the message, “Going down fast by the head”, and then “We are putting the women off in the boats”. At 1.29 a.m. the Titanic sent out a call, “CQD. Engine room flooded”. At 1.33 a.m. the Olympic sent a message to the Titanic asking “Are you steering southerly to meet us?” but the only reply from the Titanic was the code word for “Received”. That was the last message the operator of the Mount Temple heard from the Titanic. The Olympic, the Frankfurt, the Birma and the Baltic were all speeding to the rescue and continued to call the Titanic but there was no reply although the operator of the Virginia thought he heard a faint C.Q. call at 2.27 a.m. The operator of the Mount Temple at 2.36 a.m. made the entry “All quiet now. The Titanic has not spoken since 1.33 a.m.”. When the messages ceased he thought the flooding of the engine room had put the wireless out of condition. Most ships carried storage batteries for use when power could not be obtained from the dynamos and the wireless apparatus could be changed from the dynamos to the storage batteries in a minute; but the range of a wireless using storage batteries would be less than that of a wireless using dynamos.

At 4.46 a.m. he made the entry, “All quiet. We are stopped away. Pack Ice”. At 5.11 a.m. the Californian called C.Q. (the call to all stations) and he answered, telling her that the Titanic had struck an iceberg and sunk. His last entry was “8 a.m. Heard from Carpathia that she had rescued 20 boatloads”. The Carpa­thia was the first to arrive on the scene at 4.15 a.m. on Monday to find only the lifeboats containing seven hundred and five passengers. Three hundred and twenty-eight bodies were recov­ered from the sea. The position of the Titanic had been given at 41.46N 50.14W but the Carpathia found the survivors at 41.43N. 49.56W. approximately 13.5 miles east-southeast of this position. A message from the Carpathia to the Olympic on 15th April said: “South point pack ice in 41.l6 N. Don’t attempt to go North until 49.30W. Many bergs large and small amongst pack also for many miles to Eastward. Fear absolutely no hope searching Titanic’s position. Left Leyland S.S. Californian searching round. All boats accounted for. About 675 souls saved. Latter nearly all women and children. Titanic foundered about 2.20 a.m., 5.47 G.M.T. in 41.16 N. 50.14 W. Not certain of having got through. Please forward to White Star also to Cunard Liverpool and New York and that I am returning New York. Consider this most advisable for many considerations.--Rostron.”

Marconi himself had been invited to sail to New York on the Titanic’s maiden voyage but he was in a hurry to get to America as he had a great deal of work to do there. He cancelled his booking and travelled from England on the transantlantic liner Lusitania which was due to arrive in New York before the Titanic. He had just arrived when the news of the disaster was received. When the Carpathia reached New York he immediately rushed on board to speak to the two Marconi men, Thomas Cottam of the Carpathia and Harold Bride of the Titanic. When Marconi returned on shore he made the following declaration: “I am eternally thankful that over seven hundred persons have been saved by wireless although I know that others should not have died. It is worth having lived so that these people could be saved... I know you will understand me when I say that all those who have worked with me are sincerely grateful that the wireless has once again made it possible to save human lives”.

My mother often repeated the story of the scene on the docks. She said: “When the passengers saw that the inventor of the wireless, Guglielmo Marconi was standing there, calm and smiling, there were really touching scenes of emotion and enthusiasm. The gratitude of both the survivors and their relatives waiting for them on the quayside was indescribable. Everyone was crying and trying to kiss and embrace him. They even pulled all the buttons off his coat as keepsakes!” Some time later the survivors of the Titanic presented him with a magnificent commemorative gold medal as a sign of their gratitude. Engraved upon it is a picture of the shipwreck and the survivors with their arms outstretched towards Marconi, calling for help with the SOS signal. My mother always treasured this medal as I do to this day.

The following extracts from the British Press express the nation’s gratitude to Guglielmo Marconi:

“We owe it to patient research in a delicate and difficult branch of science that the Titanic was able, with wonderful promptitude, to make known her distress and to summon assistance. But for wireless telegraphy the disaster might have assumed proportions which at present we cannot measure; and we should have known nothing of this occurrence for an indefi­nite period. Many a well-found ship has, in fact, disap­peared in these berg-haunted waters without leaving a sign to indicate her fate. Thanks to Marconi’s apparatus, it is now hardly possible for any vessel equipped with even moderately powerful instruments to be lost on any frequented route without being able to commu­nicate information and to summon help. The Titanic had the call upon a circle of at least three hundred miles radius even in daylight, while at night the range of her instruments would be doubled or trebled. She could speak to the shore and to every vessel over that enormous area of ocean and she could be spoken to and assured that help was on the way. Not only so, but the ships appealed to could communicate with one another, act in concert, and transmit the news to indefinite distances. The advantages conferred by this abridgment of space are enormous. No vessel need be alone, none need vanish without a sign from human ken, and in none but crushing and instant disasters need any despair of help. This is surely one of the greatest of the many boons conferred upon humanity by patient, persistent and often very discouraging inquiry into natural laws...few besides experts have the faintest conception of the difficulties to be overcome, or of the mental and moral equipment needed to overcome them, when the hints are few and obscure, when every instrument has to be called out of the void, and when hope of gain, if considered at all, was infinitely remote”.--The Times. April 16th.

“The imagination is struck once more by the wonderful part played by wireless telegraphy in the story of the Titanic. The wounded monster’s cry of distress sounded through the latitudes and longitudes of the Atlantic, and from all sides her sisters, great and small, hastened to her succour. But for this new instrument of communication it might have been that the greatest product of naval architecture would have passed from our human ken, her fate ever unknown, or unknown at least until one of more of her boats struggled to the Newfoundland shore...The wonder of the wireless is once more demonstrated. We recognise, with a sense near to awe, that we have been almost witnesses of the great ship’s death-agony”.--Pall Mall Gazette. April 16th.

“With this means of communication (wireless) the terrible isolation of mid-ocean has vanished for ever. Her appeal for aid was received by half a score of ships and taken in by the nearest land station. From the moment when it was made her passengers and crew had the comforting knowledge that help was coming up from all quarters. Every ship within range hurried to her assis­tance, but it was impossible to avert loss of life”.--Daily Mail. April 16th.

“But for the wireless what would have been the state of the unfortunate people wrecked? They might have drifted about for days looking in vain for the help that did not come, and there might have had to be told over again the story of privation and death with which the history of the sea has made us only too familiar.”--Portobello Advertiser, April 20th.

“Never before has the romance of wireless been brought so vividly to the imagination of two hemispheres as by the news reporting the disaster of the Titanic. Who could fail to have been thrilled by the brief word pictures of the Carpathia, the Virginian, the Olympic, the Baltic, and other great transatlantic liners speeding hundreds of miles across the waste of waters to their sister ship in her hour of need?”--Manchester Weekly Times, April 20th.

“Even while the great liner was reeling back from the shock of the fearful impact the Marconi operators were at their places, and those poignant appeals for help--mute, invisible--were flying outwards on their instantaneous errand. The Virginian, steaming through the darkness 170 miles away, noted the call and instantly turned to the rescue. The Olympic picked it up, and the bells rang, too, in the telephone-room of the Baltic 200 miles below the horizon... There is a new sense of the value of the wonderful invention which was able to summon aid when aid could have been obtained in no other way”.--Daily Telegraph, April 16th.

On 18th April. 1912 the Right Honourable Herbert Samuel, M.P., the British Post-Master General in a speech at the dinner of the London Chamber of Commerce said: “Those who have been saved have been saved through one man, Mr. Marconi, whose wonderful invention is proving not only of infinite social and commercial value but of the highest humanitarian value as well.”

For my father, the knowledge that his invention had made it possible to save so many lives was the greatest reward he could receive for all his work but he was still not satisfied because many more lives could have been saved. He was determined to fight for new rules to be made governing wireless services aboard ship. The most significant result of his efforts was an International Radio-Telegraphic Convention which convened in London on 5th July, 1912 to establish regulations and procedures governing wireless services aboard ships and ship-to-shore. It was attended by sixty-five countries and new regulations and procedures were enacted. Marconi continued his efforts and the first of a series of conferences, “Safety of Life at Sea” was held in London in November, 1913. Sweeping regulations were put into effect governing all ships at sea. All ocean-going passenger ships were obliged to be fitted with a wireless installation and furthermore the wireless station was to be manned twenty-four hours a day. The wireless room became the foremost station on board the ship, establishing safety as the first priority. Ships equipped with wireless were sent out to patrol the North Atlantic shipping lanes to report the position of icebergs. The value of wireless on board ocean-going ships was now evident.

I should like to conclude this chapter with the words of the famous cartoon in Punch Magazine after the saving of the Titanic: “SOS” (Punch to Mr. Marconi) “Many hearts Bless you today Sir. The world’s debt to you grows fast”. How true it was then and how true it is today! (With best wishes to all, Princess Elettra Marconi}

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