SS Carpathia Clock

SS Carpathia Clock

Postby Chris Wright on Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:13 pm

I'm attempting to find more information on the clock shown. It's been in my family since the 70s. It belonged to my step-father who was an avid clock collector. The story he told me was that the clock was off the ship being serviced when it was sunk. It's in excellent working condition and as far as I can tell all parts are original.

When he died in 2000. The clock was left to me as by a strange co-incidence I am a distant relative of William McMaster Murdoch. His father and my Great Great Grandfather were cousin's. Many years ago I made a trip up to Colvend to visit with Scott Murdoch who provided a family tree to me with my GG Grandfather noted on it!

Any information anyone can provide would be much appreciated.
Chris Wright
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: SS Carpathia Clock

Postby George Behe on Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi, intraview.

I don't have any info about your clock, but I just wanted to thank you for posting your photographs here. I think your information and photographs would make an interesting article for the Commutator.

All my best,

George Behe
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: SS Carpathia Clock

Postby Chris Wright on Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:19 pm

Thanks George.

Is it known when Carpathia picked up the RMS designation? I understand SS and RMS are interchangeable and maybe that's why the clock has SS vs RMS or would ships change fittings to RMS as soon as they were granted the status?


btw I recently brought the clock back from England to Manhattan where I reside.
Chris Wright
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: SS Carpathia Clock

Postby Timothy Trower on Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:09 pm


Although I can't answer the "when" as to the date that the Carpathia picked up the "RMS" designation, it was not at all unusual for ships to be interchangeably known by the public as "SS" or "RMS" -- so this part of the puzzle isn't of great concern to me.

Typographically, the type face used is period, and the terminal period after the ship's name is also common. If this is a fake, it is a very clever fake indeed; not being a timepiece historian, I'll reserve my thoughts on the age of the clock, face, etc. save to say that it looks like it could well be the real thing.

That said, it makes the observer wonder if this was normal for Cunard to have a commonplace item like a clock emblazoned with the name of a ship. (I don't think that this was at all normal on White Star ships, for instance.) But if other clocks from contemporary Cunard ships can be found to have the ship's name on the face, then that boosts the claim that this might, indeed, come from the Carpathia.

It was somewhat normal for ships used for transport to have fittings stripped before venturing forth as a hospital ship or troop transport; what was the Carpathia sailing as when she was torpedoed? If it can be shown that her fittings were removed before service to the crown, then again, this is a good pointer to the clock being an original.

Are there any notices of the sale of her fittings after the war (as was the case with the sunken Britannic)? Again, this would be a pointer.

Could it have truly been the case that the clock was off of the ship being serviced? It's possible . . . but unfortunately, at over ninety years later (fifty when the clock came into your family), almost impossible to prove.

I'm fascinated by the clock, and hope for your sake that this is a real item as carried on the Carpathia. What a find this is, and I hope that your research finds the final answer.
All the best,


THSMB Admin -- (just remove the NOSPAM before sending an email).
Timothy Trower
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:45 pm
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA

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