1st class passengers vs 3rd class passengers

S

Stacie Winslow

Guest
I'm doing a research paper on how people of 3rd class were treated differently from people of the 1st class status. Could some one please give me some rules that were made, or ways that they were treated differently from everyone else. It would greatly be appreciated. Thank you very much. My e-mail address is StayCeline31383@aol.com
 
Apr 22, 2012
1,190
3
68
Hey Stacie,

If you're not specifically referring to Titanic, I know that before the Olympic, 3rd class passengers had to bring their own food, silverware and bed linen along on voyages. They slept in wide-open rooms on rows of cots. Sounds hard to believe, but it was true. It could have been much earlier than Olympic that that was changed, I'm not sure.

Many people think that as the Titanic was sinking, the 3rd class gates were locked, not permitting 3rd to the boats. This has never been proven for certain.

This might help a little,
Brandon.
 
G

Gevers Sara

Guest
I did read in a bybliography of a belgium surviver (third class) that he had to look everywhere for a lifevest.Finally he had to treathen someone with a knife to get one!
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
376
283
Easley South Carolina
Stacie, For some useful insights on the differences between 3rd and 1st class, read John Maxtone-Graham's "The Only Way To Cross"

As a history of North Atlantic liners and life on board, you'll be hard pressed to find anything better.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
J

Jim Trebowski

Guest
it was well before Titanic sailed..somewhere around the mid 1800's that all ships carrying steerage passengers had tp provide them food..and it was a U.S. Law. I would say that in 1912, Most, but perhaps not all ships provided cabins for 3rd class..they might have had a choice whether to select a cabin, or just a cot. Also..they were always provided deck space..but at the aft end of the ship. If it was an older ship..the funnels were straight up and down, not angled, and the smoke blew their way more readily. Ellis Island, where all 3rd class immigrants had to go, was no picnic either. They were poked,pushed, prodded, kept in fenced in pens, and often detained for lengthy periods. One examination was for trachoma, a contagios eye disease causing blindness or death. The immigration officer flipped their eyelids inside-out using his fingers, or a hook, similar to a button hook. OUCH! As they usually didnt wash off the hooks or fingers, they manged to further spread the disease more than prevent it. (way to go guys)
 
R

Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hey there,

Jim, what a disgusthing thing about the way they treath 3rd class passengers when they arrived at Ellis Island. Did they only use the examination for 3rd class immigrants and not for example at Americans in third class or people who just travelled in 3rd class to make a familytrip to the states?

About the deckspaces for 3rd class I'm almost sure that there were many ships without third class cabins during the Titanic area. I've just checked some Dutch ships and though the Dutch had the most clean ships of the world (!) there wasn't much clean space for the third class passengers. Many ships far more smaller than Titanic could carry great numbers of third class passengers. Mostly even more than Titanic. I guess that could only be possible when there were no cabins, but open berths?

BTW, before I forget. It's nothing against the English, but I heard that they didn't trust foreigners at all aboard ships. Even the Italians and French in the monsieur Gatti's Ritz restaurant staff aboard Titanic were seen as an "alien" part of the crew.

Regards,
Rolf
 
J

Jim Trebowski

Guest
Hi Rolf, as far as I know..it was only actual immigrants that had to go through all the examinations, although I don't know what happened to 3rd class foreigners who came just to visit family members here. I'll guess that the family members had to meet them, and there would still be some sort of process to insure that they weren't trying to slip through the cracks. The same with Americans. Maybe somewhat like we must go through today when we travel to foreign countries? This is a good question..anybody want to set us straight? It doesnt surprise me that there were still ships w/ no private cabins for 3rd class..probably remained the same well after the turn of the century, but I do know U.S. laws mandated that they had to be provided food. Well, cheers for now.
 

Lee Gilliland

Member
Feb 14, 2003
511
0
146
Somehow, I can't really see someone going 3rd Class on the Titanic to visit relatives when you could readily get a 2nd Class berth for the same price on a smaller, less expensive ship. However, my bet would be in any case, as in some countries today, you needed to show a non-refundable return ticket before you were landed.
 
Jan 28, 2003
2,524
5
168
I don't know. The USA was a net receiver of immigrants then, so may not have had regulations about non-refundable return tickets. And quite a few people were re-scheduled to the Titanic anyway, weren't they, because of the coal strike? And it seems to have been thought, by some, that 3rd on the Titanic was better than 2nd on a lot of other boats?
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,046
57
208
UK
Rather a lot of people travelling 3rd Class, especially those who were Irish-born, were US citizens returning from a visit to family in 'the auld country'. 3rd Class on ships like Titanic was, as Monica suggests, a lot better than the traditional 'steerage' which had earlier brought these people to the US as immigrants, and was a forerunner of the later 'tourist class' that was designed with just such travellers in mind.
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
857
0
0
"BTW, before I forget. It's nothing against the English, but I heard that they didn't trust foreigners at all aboard ships. Even the Italians and French in the monsieur Gatti's Ritz restaurant staff aboard Titanic were seen as an "alien" part of the crew."

For the record; the English are a race, their nationality is British.

In terms of UK immigration and nationality law, 'alien' merely connotes any person who is not a 'British Subject'.

The word's meaning has become somewhat obfuscated of late, chiefly by Hollywood film producers.

Noel
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Quite right, Bob - there were quite a few passengers travelling on either an outward or homebound leg of a trip to the US or Europe, particularly among the Irish passengers...either to visit family, wrap up business or even just generally vacation.

A few names that spring to mind - 67 year old Frank Dwan, who was visiting his children in the US at the urging of his family. Julia Hennessy, who been living in America for many years and had visited Ireland to nurse her mother before returning to the US. Janie Carr had lived in America, returned to Ireland in 1911 to help her family, and then in 1912 decided to return to Conneticut after her former employer killed himself. She was also going to settle her affairs before returning permanently to Ireland. Welsh boxers David "Dai" John Bowen and Leslie Williams were travelling to the US to compete. Frederick Shellard, Painter and Decorator, had emigrated to the US some time before, and in 1912 was on the homeward leg returning there after visiting relatives in Bristol. Then there are curious stories like that of the Risiens, and theories why they were travelling third class back to the US.

Some travellers were more economical than others, much as some today will travel tourist rather than spring for extra money on business or first. Senan Molony, for example, suggests that 66 year old Patrick Connors - an successful Irish immigrant who had been living in the US and was returning there after a visit to his home place in Ireland - could easily have afforded second class, but chose to travel third.

As Monica and Bob suggest, third class on the Titanic was a far cry from the steerage of old, and with decent food, clean accomodation and the near-guarantee of a fairly fast, timely passage, third class on the Titanic was an attractive prospect. Particularly if, like the evidently canny Patrick Connors with the 'considerable fortune' he was said to have amassed, you knew how to manage money.

Noel, I take your point about the problematic (and rather glib) understanding of the terms 'British' and 'English'. I'm not at all sure that the 'English' were particularly mistrustful of 'foreigners' aboard ships. I note that many British crew would be quite accustomed to 'foreigners' working aboard British registered ships, particularly those crew that came up through sail - typically, these had crew of many nationalities. Harold Lowe, for example, had a tremendous respect for the Chinese since his days sailing with them to the Far East. They also spent time interacting with non-English speaking passengers - James Moody enjoyed trying out his grasp of foreign languages when chatting to non-Anglo-Saxon passengers in South America. Of course there was an element of xenophobia, particularly when crewmen felt their wages were being undercut by cheap labour, but I wouldn't characterise this as exclusively a British character trait.
 
D

Daniel David Myers

Guest
no 3rd class passengers were actually locked behind gates. 3rd class was treated much better than most people think, a statement from a third class passenger of titanic said that his room was better than first class on other ships. The only discrimination known to third class is (?) Officer Lowe talking low about a mexican or whatever this guy was..? The food was like some slightly lower class people eat today, the mashed potatoes and everything. They kept some 3rd class off of the BOAT DECK until some people left (like a ride, "you're next"). Most 3rd class couldn't even speak english and would start a riot in panic and be overcrouded on the boat deck if they were all allowed on at once. You got what you payed for! so 3rd class wont get as luxurious staterooms as first class because they payed (what?) 700 dollars less!?

Boone
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,046
57
208
UK
The price differential was not that great. The typical cost per person in 3rd Class was around $40. A 1st Class ticket could be bought for another $90.
 
D

Daniel David Myers

Guest
Jason, the man was Masabumi Hosono. When Lowe went back to look for survivors in the water after the ship went down, he came across a man floating on a door that, by appearances, was already dead. It turned out to be Japanese Passenger Masabumi Hosono. When he didn't answer when called, Lowe said, "What's the use? He's dead, likely, and if he isn't there's others better worth saving than a Jap!" He turned out to be alive and people sent complaints about Lowe.....(from "1912 Facts About Titanic" book by Lee W. Merideth"
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,480
3
166
Daniel, The man was not Masabumi Hosono. Hosono was most likely in boat 13. Boat 10 is also suggested. Hosono claims he jumped into a boat. - There are posts on this.
As stated by Jason the man picked up by boat 14 is now generally accepted as having been Fang Lang.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,046
57
208
UK
No writer gets everything right, and Merideth was wrong on this occasion. It's worth bearing in mind that Hosono himself claimed to have left Titanic in a lifeboat, an action which brought dishonour upon him in his own country. Had he been rescued in an entirely honourable way, as were the men taken from the water, he would certainly have made that known. References to the man rescued from the water as a 'Jap' confirmed only that he was of oriental appearance. All such people at that time were commonly referred to as 'Japs', just as everybody of southern European or Near Eastern appearance was described as 'Italian'.

The account of Lowe's words and actions relating to the Asian survivor came from a magazine article written by survivor Mrs Charlotte Collyer, who left the Titanic in Lowe's boat 14. This feature article was based on Mrs Collier's recollections but was probably actually written and possibly embellished by a journalist. It should be compared with the sworn testimony of the boat's crew, who stated that all passengers had been transferred into other boats before Lowe set off on his rescue mission. In which case Mrs Collyer could not have had first-hand experience of anything said or done by Lowe after that point in time. It's true that a minority of Lowe's passengers were not entirely happy with his assertive behaviour or his use of strong language, but nobody had anything but praise for his actions while rescuing people from the water.
.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,242
5
198
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Daniel,

When Lowe went back to look for survivors in the water after the ship went down, he came across a man floating on a door that, by appearances, was already dead. It turned out to be Japanese Passenger Masabumi Hosono. When he didn't answer when called, Lowe said, "What's the use? He's dead, likely, and if he isn't there's others better worth saving than a Jap!"
Yes, I'm very familiar with Lowe's account. As pointed out by Lester and Bob, it was not Hosono that was rescued since he was already in a lifeboat. He certainly wouldn't have jumped out of it, just to get into another boat.

Some survivors gave their accounts to hungry reporters as the truth, when in fact some of it wasn't. So, it wouldn't be the first time that a survivor was either unsure of what happened, because they were in so much shock, or they were just plain wrong.

In this case, Mrs. Charlotte Collyer was the latter.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
376
283
Easley South Carolina
I don't know of Lowe getting into trouble about referring to somebody as a "Jap" but didn't he get into some hot water with the Italians over some disparaging remarks he made about them? (Or was it a different officer?)