On 14 April 1912, the Virginian recorded the last known signals from the sinking Titanic. The Virginian was too far away to assist in the rescue; however this procès-verbal, usually a summary of wireless messages but in this case whole messages, adds to the picture of the final moments of the Titanic. Messages sent via wireless telegraphy used Morse code, and for brevity the Titanic was represented by ‘MGY’, the Virginian ‘MGN’, and the Olympic ‘MKC’. After a gap in communications, the operator was able to recognise two ‘Vs’ sent with a spark like the Titanic operator’s, then a faint ‘CQ’ call before power appeared to be abruptly cut off. This probably marks the final loss of power to the wireless equipment on the stricken ship.

The item is currently on display in our Treasures exhibition until February 2018:

Today in history April 14th 1912 : Titanic disaster


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