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    Titanic helm
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 1999 Aug 17, 11:26 PM

    I remember reading several years ago that up to the 1920s, ship
    steering was reversed from automotive practice.  The reason was
    historical continuity from the days of tiller steering.  This is in
    line with what Aubrey said.  In the 20s they reversed things due to
    the increasing number of sailors who drove cars.
    I understood this to mean that in the old days, turning the helm
    clockwise moved the ship's head to port.  But after watching
    "Titanic", I wondered if I've had it wrong all these years.  Maybe the
    helm has always worked like a car's steering wheel, and it was only
    the order to the helmsman that used to be reversed.  That would
    explain the scene in the movie.
    Either way, the transition to present day practice must have been
    a headache.  If the ship's wheels were indeed wired "backward", I
    suppose we can criticize the early car makers for not conforming to an
    existing convention.

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