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In photos of the flying bridge of the steamship Great Eastern are two brass thingies that look like drinking cups, somewhat separate from the ones at the center.  Can anyone tell me what they are?  They look something like a pelorus (spelling?) but I don't think they were around back then.  Thank you.

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The pelorus has been used since the beginning of seafaring - big feature of the Polynesian sailors.

More likely to be a bearing compass that you are describing  - but without a pic who can say!!

Can you point us to the picture even if you cant attach it ?

 

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Yes, if you can refer us to where to find the picture, that would be very helpful.

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Posted (edited)

The only thing I could find on line was on the National Museum of Ireland web site, one of the photos made when the ship visited Arklow near the end of her career.  The specific image shows the deck area between the paddle boxes with the flying bridge. A man in a bowler hat on the bridge is standing next to one of the instruments in question.  Hope this helps.

Edited by brunelrussell

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I'm sorry. After an extensive search on the internet, the only version of the photograph you describe is of such low resolution that I cannot make out any detail whatsoever. If you have a friend with a computer who can find a version of this with clear detail, perhaps he/she could post this here for us to look at. Otherwise, I don't think we can be of help to you.

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Are you talking about the two items I've circled in red?   Zooming in, they appear to be engine telegraphs for communicating engine speeds with the engine room.  The one on .the right is clearer,

 

B9567gEuterpecompass1.jpg.09b7ad15b424bcb66cc42ed0e4be21d2.jpg 

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No, I'm referring to the compass in front of the ship's wheel; remove the dome and what's left looks like the things on the G.E..  Maybe I'm making too much of this, since the things will be less than half an inch high on the model!

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This just in on this probably overblown topic: one of my old bridge photos actually shows a close-up of the top of gizmo! There seems to be a central hob with two parallel cylindrical objects above. one of which looks like it has a handle.  Hope this helps, but at any rate I can replicate it, even if I have no clue as to what it is.

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Yet another update (can you stand the excitement?).  There is a copy of the above mentioned image on WorthPoint, an antique and auction house.  If you put in your search as "steamship great eastern deck photos" it's in the second image section near the beginning.  Maybe this'll settle it...

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I tried to access the image you mentioned. The image (if it is the same one) is a stereoscopic pair but, once again, the screen resolution was too low to see exactly what you are querying. Sorry, but I did try!

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brunelrussel, could you just put up a link to the picture in question ? I also get assorted unuseful results.

 

In addition to the more common vertical machine telegraphs, in the earlier days also horizontal ones were in use. Machine telegraphs on the bridge are connected by wire to an equivalent device in the engine-room. With the lever you set the desired speed/direction, which is indicated to the engineer by hand connected to the lever; the engineer has to confirm your instruction by moving his handle over the hand, which in turn moves the hand on your device; if both conincide the instruction was received and acknowledged. There were also bells connected to the device to attract attention.

 

The 'thing' could also be a rudder indicator ...

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