January 15th, 2011

lost world

Control room

Description of spaceship control rooms in The Struggle for Empire (1900):
In the interior of this there was a sphere made of metal a couple of feet in thickness, and varying from 7 to 30 feet in diameter. It was here that were collected together all the handles and wheels for navigating the vessel and sending and receiving messages from other ships, and a number of telephones that communicated with every compartment.

There were no windows, but a picture of the exterior was thrown on to a screen which extended right round the wall by the telephotoscope[1], so that the captain knew exactly what was going on outside.

When an engagement was taking place in space, the captain, accompanied by one or two other officers, entered this sphere and was hermetically sealed up in it. As two or more solid sheets of metal had to be pierced before they could be touched, the commanding officers and the important machinery which they controlled were
comparatively safe while the rest of the vessel was being battered to pieces.
[1] Television.

I don't think "Electronic cockpit" is quite the right phrase to describe this, any suggestions?