What time zone did Titanic founder in?

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What time zone did Titanic set its clocks by? Was it on Greenwich time? Did it advance its clocks as it steamed westward?

(BTW, "standard time" and times zones were invented by a Canadian to help railways set their time tables in a consistent way.)

-- Thomas M. Terashima (tom@nucleus.com), January 29, 1998


Most likely ET, but not sure.

-- Dan Draghici (ddraghic@ccs.carleton.ca), January 29, 1998.

After a quick glance at at world time zone map, it looks like the CQD position (41.47 N, 50.14W) is on the western edge of the time zone which encompasses most of Greenland (don't know what they call it). Since time zones West of Greenwich are given plus values, it would be UTC +3 (i.e. 3 hours earlier that Universal, or Greenwich time).


-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), January 30, 1998.

A quick follow-up; Eastern US Time (ET) is UTC +5.

-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), January 30, 1998.

Another follow-up; the books I've read seem to imply that at that time, ship travelling the Atlantic set their clocks by the sun, rather than by time zone. This is probably because they used celestial navagation, where (if I understand correctly) the apparent solar time is important.

Peter Niviling, being an old Navy guy, might have more on this.


-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), January 30, 1998.

Well I'm going to have to get the charts out for that one but my first guess would be the eastern time zone but not sure. Interesting question though.

-- Peter Nivling (pcnivling@capecod.net), January 31, 1998.

According to curator Dan Conlin of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Titanic sank in the Newfoundland time zone (-3.5 hours, UT/GMT).

-- Thomas M. Terashima (titanicShack@yahoo.com), April 07, 1998.

According to a book I read recently about the enquiries and the Californian, the site time is one hour and 50 minutes ahead of New York time. The book was by De Groot, but I can't remember the name offhand. Read too many lately!!!

-- Lianne (liannegraham@one.net.au), April 08, 1998.

To follow-up on my original question:

Did Titanic use standard time zones, or sidereal time to set its clocks by? The former would seem to be the most practical solution, since the ship's clocks would only have to be set back once each day (about half-an-hour, on average, according to my rough calculations).

Also: when did the practice of daylight savings time come into practice? Was it used in 1912? If it wasn't, then it makes calculating the exact time of day that Titanic foundered easier.

-- Thomas M. Terashima (titanicShack@yahoo.com), April 08, 1998.

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