3rd class berth numbers


Aug 15, 2005
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Darwen, United Kingdom
I am gathering information for my novel.
On F deck in compartment 3, adjacent to the main stairwell for that area and directly facing the forward face of the casing for hatch number two are a row of 4 four-berth cabins. does anyone know what number the starboard-most one will have been, as this is the cabin that my primary character occupies.
I know that it will have been somewhere between F1 and F25, and currently have it as F16.
I would like my book to be accurate in every detail, so would appreciate it if anyone can help. Thanks.
Regards, Ryan.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Ryan,

To start with take off the F. No 3rd Class cabins had a deck letter; that is unless as with Titanic's maiden voyage a block of rooms on G-deck which could be let to either 2nd or 3rd Class passengers were used as 3rd Class.

What the 3rd Class rooms did have were section numbers, so you had a room number starting at No 1 and going all the way up to 260. - The room I understand you to be looking at is room 33, Section C. - see the attached.

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Aug 15, 2005
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Thanks, Lester. Your information was invaluable, and I hope to chat with you elsewhere on the boards sometime. You are clearly very knowlegable on the subject of the Titanic, and there are many small details, such as the one that you have just supplied, that I wish to know, so perhaps you could help me with those, too.
Regards, Ryan.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Ryan,

Thank you. On the other hand this may muddy things!

It may be that the numbering system for 3rd Class is more complex. - If you look at the Biography of Anthony William Sage it says: List No. 20, Berth 126. - Should List No 20 be read as room No 20? Even if each berth also had a number, there were only by my count 84 berths for the 19 rooms [rooms 1 to 19 (excluding 13, but with a room 9A)] in Section B on E-deck forward, which would suggest that the berths in Room 20 were berth numbers 86 (there being I would guess no berth 13) and 87.

Room 126 was in Section M, near the after end of E-deck.

On the understanding that Section Numbers were stamped on the Tickets, the Sage information is questionable. So on the 1st count of room 20 being berths 86 & 87, in which room would berth 126 be? - I will have to work on that another time. But the Section would be C, so has section C been transcribed as List No 20?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hallo, Lester. Attached image shows the format of the information supplied to 3rd Class passengers on their inspection cards, which served also as boarding cards. Their tickets were generally given up at the same time as they received these cards. In this case we learn that Sarah Roth was allocated berth 1 in cabin 121 in M section (E deck).

The descriptions of bodies and effects from the recovery ships often referred to 'tickets' which must actually I think have been the inspection cards. These descriptions are generally very brief and often include only part of the info from the card, perhaps just that which was still legible (if any) or that which the writer thought would be most useful. In the case of Will Sage, this is where we get the first reference to 'WILL SAGE on ticket, List No 20, Berth 126'. This collection of info was taken from various sections of the card. I imagine that only the cabin number 126 relates to the 'berth no' section. But has the Sage ticket/card survived and has anybody here seen it?

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Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Bob,

Thank you for that. So the information under Berth No is actually the Section No and the Room No, with a berth number above that. Makes sense. - Any thoughts on the large S?

Regards,
Lester
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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That would be S for Southampton, I think, Lester. Unfortunately there are none available with C or Q for comparison!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Yes, it was auctioned (along with a 3rd Class menu and various items of correspondence) several years ago by Sotheby's. The seller was Sarah's great grandson.
 
May 3, 2005
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Any information on numbers of the vacant cabins ?
In ANTR , I believe Andrews advises one of the officers to get the lifebelts out of all the spare cabins.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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For 1st Class there were 6 rooms on the Boat Deck, 36 on A-deck, 101 on B-deck, 137 on C-deck, 49 on D-deck and allowing that there was no one on E-deck aft of E-68 [although up to E-88 was designated 1st Class] 71 on E-deck. = 400 [420] rooms. Take off the ones we know were occupied, allow enough rooms for those passengers [singles or couples] and servants for whom we do not have room assignments and you should get an indication.
 

Robert Hall

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Jan 26, 2005
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Was "Steerage" ever really used as a class ? I know it is sort of derogatory now, but it must have come from somewhere.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Absolutely. In fact, your ticket for the Titanic would have been headed: THIRD CLASS (Steerage) PASSENGER'S CONTRACT TICKET.

By 1912, 'steerage' was no longer a single level of quality. The 'old steerage' still existed on some ships and was just as awful as it always had been. 'New steerage', sometimes listed as '4th Class' was a great improvement. 3rd Class was a fairly recent development and could be considered as a deluxe form of the 'new steerage'. It was still legally classed as a form of steerage in terms of the shipping regulations and US immigration laws, but was really a downgraded version of 2nd Class, and much closer to that level of accommodation and service than to the horrors of traditional steerage.
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Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"Was "Steerage" ever really used as a class ? I know it is sort of derogatory now, but it must have come from somewhere."

I believe the actual term derives from an adjacence to the steering flat.

I have known the term to be used as late as the 1940s in relation to passage in the Manx packets but whether the IOMSPC themselves actually used the term I cannot say.

Noel
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Robert, the small image I posted above is the corner of a medical inspection card, not a ticket. The card itself was an indication of steerage, as the other classes of passengers didn't require them.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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On page 82 of Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy you can see a third class ticket. The tickets were actually quite large pieces of paper, with much information on both front and back. On them, the passengers are twice referred to as "Third Class (steerage)".

On page 103 an Inspection card for Katie Gilnagh is shown. This uses the expression "Immigrants and Steerage passengers". Interestingly, it's been checked by the US consul in Queenstown.

Goodness knows when the steerage died away. Our maritime museum has a photo of immigrants bound for Australia in, I think, 1948. They are in accommodation just like 19th century steerage. Temporary berths are crammed in anywhere and clothes are hanging all over the place. The voyage lasted six weeks or so.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Thanks for that, Dave. Looking at Katie's card, there's the expected large letter 'Q' for Queenstown, which confirms that the 'S' on the Roth card indicated Southampton. The caption to the pic in Eaton & Haas is a little misleading - the berth location is the handwritten (section) Q 161, not the stamped Q 42.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Bob,

I'm not sure if you got Lester's e-mail, but I discussed this at length with Lester. The S & Q (and supposedly a C) all referred to port of embarkation. If you look at these 3rd class inspection cards, they all have a large letter and a large number. In addition to that, they have a smaller number on the line that says "No. on ship's list or manifest". In Katie Gilnah's case this was 9.

I'm sure most of us are aware of the Ellis Island web site, and most of the time one can also reference the original manifest when searching for a passenger. These manifests are usually numbered. Every sheet has a number, and every sheet has a space for 30 passengers to be recorded. These manifests are also usually broken up by ports of embarkation.

As such, perhaps for when passengers reached quarantine or for roll call at the end of the trip, but they would all be checked against these manifests. The 3rd class cards allowed for a quick reference to the passenger's enumeration on the correct page. So when checking, the official would see that there is an S, C or Q, refer to the right section, then find the manifest page, which is 42 in Gilnah's case, and she was listed on line 9 (out of the 30) on that page.

Of course Titanic's manifest went down with the ship, so we can no longer reference it. What is available is a replacement manifest that was done up on the Carpathia for the survivors.

There is a really good article in the Commutator, vol. 18 #2 on Einar Carlson. Reproduced in the article is his inspection card (it has an S, a large stamped 11, he was on line 13 of the list, and had berth 2 in cabin 76 - G section). There are other items reproduced, one of which is a small card that says "Manifest Sheet No." which is 11S, "list no.13". On the reverse it says: "When landing in New York this should be pinned to the coat or dress of the passenger in a prominent position". And that is printed in 7 other languages.

Daniel.
 

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