Tag Archives: New York Herald

‘Keep Your Mouth Shut; Big Money for You,’ Was Message to Hide News

Harold Bridge, the assistant wireless operator on the Titanic suffered frostbitten feet. He is shown being carried from the Carpathia upon arrival in New York.

Harold Bridge, the assistant wireless operator on the Titanic suffered frostbitten feet. He is shown being carried from the Carpathia upon arrival in New York.

New York Herald, April 21, 1912, page 1:

‘Keep Your Mouth Shut; Big Money for You,’ Was Message to Hide News

Hold Story for ‘Four Figures,’ Marconi Official Also Warned the Carpathia Operator, While Anxious World Waited Details of Disaster.

While the world was waiting three days for information concerning the fate of the Titanic, for part of the time at least, details concerning the disaster were being withheld by the wireless operator of the steamship Carpathia under specific orders from T. W. Sammis, chief engineer of the Marconi Wireless Company of America, who had arranged the sale of the story. This was admitted yesterday by Mr. Sammis, who defended his action. He said he was justified for getting for the wireless operators the largest amount he could for the details of the sinking of the ship, the rescue of the passengers and the other information the world had waited for. The first information concerning the loss of the Titanic came Monday evening, and it was known at that time the survivors were on board the Carpathia. About midnight the first of the list of survivors began to come by wireless, and from that time until Thursday night, when the rescue ship arrived in port, the world waited and waited in vain for the details of how the “unsinkable ship” had gone down. Three messages were sent to the Carpathia telling the operator to send out no news concerning the disaster. Two of these were unsigned, and the last one had the signature of Mr. Sammis.

“Keep Mouth Shut; Big Money.”

The first message was unsigned, and it is said it was sent as a list of names of survivors were being forwarded. It read:– “Keep your mouth shut. Hold story. Big money for you.” The messages from the Carpathia to the Marconi office concerning this matter were not available, but there was evidently some communication, for the second unsigned message followed after an interval. This message read:– “If you are wise, hold story. The Marconi company will take care of you.” The third and last message was addressed to “Marconi officer, the Carpathia and the Titanic,” and signed “S. M. Sammis,” chief engineer of the Marconi Company of America. This one read:– “Stop. Say nothing. Hold your story for dollars in four figures. Mr. Marconi agreeing. Will meet you at dock.” Mr. Sammis was at the Waldorf-Astoria yesterday at the hearing before the sub-committee of the United States Senate, and he was asked about the message.

Mr. Sammis Resents Criticism.

“It is reported,” he was told, “that a message was sent by you to the wireless operator on the Carpathia to which you gave the orders or at least said to him not to give out any details of the sinking of the Titanic, as you had arranged for four figures.” “Well?” he said is a defiant way. “Did you send such a message?” “Maybe. What of it?” he replied. “It would be interesting to know if you actually sent such a message.” “Yes, I sent the message, but whose business is it?” Mr. Sammis asked with some heat. “Perhaps it was no one’s business,” he was told, “but it is interesting to know that when the world was horror stricken over the disaster and waiting for the news, that there were persons preparing to capitalize the suspense and had arranged for ‘four figures.’ ” “Do you blame me for this,” retorted Mr. Sammis, as he backed up against the wall. “Do you blame me for getting the highest price I could for the operator for the story he had to tell about the collision and the rescue. I thought I was doing a good turn for him, and I can’t see how it is the business of anyone.” It is not unlikely that the sending of these messages with the apparent result that no details of the disaster came from the relief ship will form part of the inquiry that is being made by a sub-committee of the Senate. Part of this inquiry has been directed as to why a message from President Taft asking for information about Major Archibald W. Butt was unanswered, and it is not unlikely that in view of the message from Mr. Sammis that this will be taken up again.

Navy Likely to Have Records.

While these messages were intercepted by more than one wireless receiving station, there is one place where the Senate Committee could undoubtedly get copies of them. The New York Navy Yard has a powerful receiving station, and has what is known as an “intercepted message” book. These messages are considered confidential and are never given out, but the book would undoubtedly be at the disposal of the investigating committee. Senator Smith said yesterday that the authorities in Washington knew on Thursday long before the Carpathia arrived, that the White Star line was contemplating the return of part of the Titanic crew to England by the steamship Cedric, and this information undoubtedly came from a government station. John W. Griggs, one time Attorney General of the United States and Governor of New Jersey, is president of the Marconi Wireless Company of America. He said last night he had not heard that the chief engineer of the company was marketing the information of the disaster. “This is a matter which will be looked into,” he said. “I know nothing about it, had not heard of it before, and, of course, cannot say what will be done until it is brought to my attention in an official way.”

Titanic dinner with author of ‘Titanic 1912’

Ken Titanic graphicFrom The River Reporter, Milford, Penn. April 16, 2014 —

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical Society will host an evening in honor of the Titanic on Sunday, April 27. The Hotel Fauchere will host a dinner in the Delmonico Room. In addition to being the largest liner ever built, when the Titanic set sail it also hosted the most advanced culinary facilities of any ship of its time. The chefs for this Titanic-inspired dinner will recreate dishes enjoyed by the passengers in the first-, second- and third-class dining saloons of the big ship. Each course will be introduced with a discussion of the culinary history of the Titanic.

The speaker, Ken Rossignol, will present his program at 5:30 at The Emerson House, located next door to the hotel. Writing true crime, maritime history and cruise thrillers occupies most of Rossignol’s time. As a maritime history speaker, Rossignol enjoys meeting audiences around the world and discussing the original news stories of the sinking of the Titanic and other maritime history topics.

Luxury liner attire ca. 1912 is encouraged. The cost is $75 per person and tax and gratuity are included; beverages at additional charge. Ten dollars of each fee will be donated back to the Pike County Historical Society. Call for reservations, space is limited, 570/409-1212, ext. 150 or, email hillary.needleman@hotelfauchere.com.

Newspaper coverage of the Sinking of the Titanic

A grim teacher Richmond Times Dispatch April 23, 1912

History is a grim teacher. This editorial cartoon refers to the loss of over 1,000 lives in the fire in New York harbor of the Slocum tour boat, the Iroquois Theatre fire and the Titanic. Richmond Times Dispatch April 23, 1912

A night to remember, new probe

Lowering of the boats The Sphere of London

This graphic was created in one week’s time for the Sunday edition of The Sphere of London as part of that newspaper’s reporting on the sinking of the Titanic.

Icebergs lesson The Sphere

Danger field of fog and ice middle view

Be sure to show your 21st century children this graphic. It is NOT a photo from space…it came from the mind of an artist, using maps and wireless reports, showing ice bergs and fog which lay in wait for ships crossing the Atlantic.

The Sphere amazing graphic showing positions of other ships

In 1912, without benefit of GPS or satellite imagery, an artist at desk in the newsroom of The Sphere of London conceived and drew up this diagram of the positions of ships at the time of the Titanic sinking. The only tool were the reports of those positions by wireless.

William Thomas Stead went down with the ship, Journalist and Editor

Famous English journalist W. T. Stead went down with the ship; today’s top news reporters would have been the first in the lifeboats.

London The Sphere page 49 photos

Photos and graphics of the Titanic which appeared in the Sphere of London

London The Sphere how wireless works page 1

How wireless worked on the Titanic. The Sphere of London

The Sphere lifeboat davits

Lifeboat davits on the Titanic. The Sphere of London

The Sphere of London The last phase of the sinking

The expeditions to the bottom of the ocean confirm that this artist’s conception of the final moments were wrong. Some witnesses related the correct breaking of the ship while this graphic shows the deadly plunge.

London The Sphere greatest wreck photos of people  Nova Scotia archives

Adrift in an open boat cartoon San Francisco

This editorial cartoon appeared in the San Francisco Examiner and cited greed on the part of the White Star Line in not having enough lifeboats. Actually, the line could easily have afforded the extra $16,000 for 32 more lifeboats but it was the arrogance of Bruce Ismay to not wanting to have his deck cluttered with boats that prevented the boats from being provided.

Bruce Ismay says his conscience is clear headline in News Leader

Politicians and top bananas of industry, labor and finance can be pretty arrogant today, but they were in 1912 as well as shown in this Richmond News Leader headline.

Christian Science Monitor says all are safe

This article appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and echoed wrong information which was also front page in the Washington Post and London Daily Mail.

Honour to the Brave The Sphere May 4 1912    London The Sphere how wireless works page 1

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