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The Eyes of the Fleet

Date: c 1912
Overall: 140 x 87 mm
Medium: Coloured photographic print on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00001560

User Terms

    This colour postcard titled 'Eyes of the Fleet' depicts a group of 10 young sailors on the deck of a ship. A signalman is standing up to the right, and is holding two semaphore flags to represent the sign for the letter 'O'. The postcard was issued as part of the Wellington Series, G&P Ltd.
    SignificanceThis postcard represents the important role that signalmen played in managing the flow of information in, out and around naval units. The hand held flags are used to communicate information at a distance, with expert navy signallers able to send and receive messages of fifteen to twenty words per minute.
    HistorySignal flags used in the hands of an expert are a fast and efficient means of signalling over short distances in daylight. The flags - one for the left hand and one for the right - are used as an extension of the signaller's arms. A series of positions corresponds with a letter of the alphabet and a numeral from 0 to 9. This type of signalling between ships was first used for naval service at sea by Britain's Royal Navy in 1866.

    Today's Communications and Information Systems Sailor is trained in morse flashing light, flag signalling, radio telephone, semaphore, satellite communication and computer technology.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: 'The Eyes of the Fleet'

    Primary title: The Eyes of the Fleet

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