3rd class meal times


bwarpup

Member
Did each class eat their meals at the same time? I'm interested specifically in 3rd class. I know the meal times for 1st class, but can't find anything on 3rd class and so I wasn't sure if the times were for all classes or just 1st. Any insight is appreciated!
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Third Class meals are discussed in Don Lynch's Titanic: An Illustrated History in the 'Ship Of Dreams' chapter. Also, there is a chapter for this in Last Dinner on the Titanic by Rick Archbold & Dana McCauley.

It looks like breakfast and lunch were served around the same time as the other classes but the evening meal, described as 'Tea', was probably a bit earlier. I am guessing starting around 06:30 pm or so.

The overall menu looks like it was more varied and scrumptious than most 3rd Class passengers ate back home.

In Last Dinner.... it says that for those Third Class passengers requiring additional sustenance before bed, cheese and biscuits were always available.
 
Did each class eat their meals at the same time? I'm interested specifically in 3rd class. I know the meal times for 1st class, but can't find anything on 3rd class and so I wasn't sure if the times were for all classes or just 1st. Any insight is appreciated!
I've never seen a menu from Titanic that had the times on them. Meals were announced with the bugler but there might have been a schedule posted. Like Arun said I believe the all the classes were served at the same time. Other ships had meal cards but I don't about Titanic. A few example of those cards below if your interested. Cheers.
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Arun Vajpey

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Thanks for that. I have a feeling that I had seen the first card somewhere before. Having 'Tea' at 4:45 pm and nothing more till breakfast next morning for Third Class passengers is a bit cruel IMO, especially for the children. 14 to 15 hours without food for a growing child?

The ticket punching system with "no ticket, no food" warning has shades of Oliver Twist.

I don't suppose they had fruit available in addition to cheese and biscuits?
 
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bwarpup

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Thank you two for the info and quick replies! I've been meaning to get my hands on the illustrated history book but just haven't done so. Sounds like I need to finally get it!
Also, the bugler was only for 1st class, right?
 
Thanks for that. I have a feeling that I had seen the first card somewhere before. Having 'Tea' at 4:45 pm and nothing more till breakfast next morning for Third Class passengers is a bit cruel IMO, especially for the children. 14 to 15 hours without food for a growing child?

The ticket punching system with "no ticket, no food" warning has shades of Oliver Twist.

I don't suppose they had fruit available in addition to cheese and biscuits?
I don't know the particulars of 3rd class dining as regards to extra snacks or whatever. Not all the 3rd class passengers were immigrants some just frugal travelers. Many of the immigrants were probably accustom to going a good amount of time between meals. I do know the liners of the time were a great improvement of what went before where steerage had to bring their own food for the crossing. I would think some might have put a few rolls or biscuits in their pockets for later. I've seen the manifest for food aboard Titanic but forget offhand how much fruit they had. My ship kept getting extended when we were in the Indian Ocean. Spent 102 days at sea between port calls. When the unrep ships brought us oranges and bananas I remember it was a big deal. Those often went in my pockets to eat later. As for Oliver Twist..yeah does sound a little bit like that but not quite the same. That's one of my favorite novels based on real conditions. Not the same as working 16 hours a day in a jute mill for a bowl of gruel. Cheers.
 
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Thank you two for the info and quick replies! I've been meaning to get my hands on the illustrated history book but just haven't done so. Sounds like I need to finally get it!
Also, the bugler was only for 1st class, right?
Some don't think that's all of a good book on Titanic but I would recommend it. There's a few mistakes but thumb thru that book as I like it a lot. It's on one of my coffee tables and gets looked at often. Cheers.
P.S...I've read it was for all classes but not really sure about 3rd class. The bugler supposedly play some tune that had the word "beef" and "england" in the title but don;t remember the name.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Member
I read details about the Third Class meals again and it did say that for those requiring additional sustenance just before bedtime, biscuits, cheese, gruel and coffee were available. I understood it to mean in addition to the 'tea' in the early evening.
Not all the 3rd class passengers were immigrants some just frugal travelers. Many of the immigrants were probably accustom to going a good amount of time between meals.
True I'm sure, but the way I was thinking was that a lot of Third Class passengers were manual labourers and others who did a lot of physical work during the day. Such people might not have been too discerning about the variety of items available as long it was clean and palatable BUT they would have been used to sufficient quantities after a day of hard work. Then there were children, of course.
 
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I read details about the Third Class meals again and it did say that for those requiring additional sustenance just before bedtime, biscuits, cheese, gruel and coffee were available. I understood it to mean in addition to the 'tea' in the early evening.

True I'm sure, but the way I was thinking was that a lot of Third Class passengers were manual labourers and others who did a lot of physical work during the day. Such people might not have been too discerning about the variety of items available as long it was clean and palatable BUT they would have
been used to sufficient quantities after a day of hard work. Then there were children, of course.
I can't give you the source but I've read more than once that the portions in third class were considered generous. We know they weren't eating like 1st and 2nd class and that makes sense because of the ticket price differences. But for the times the large liners were considered way above their predecessors as far as 3rd class goes. Late rations would make sense to me for a couple of reasons. Keep them well fed and happy and they would write home letters what a good experience they had thus promoting future business form relatives. First class they went out of their way to satisfy them because those people were often repeat customers. Plus they were spending a ton of money for their tickets. They cost of a stateroom ticket for a seven day voyage would also pay for a 4 year degree at one of the major universities. Besides all that from what I've seen of the 3rd class menu's I would have been happy eating there. As long as I could get coffee that is...:)
P.S...I had to go look up what up porridge and gruel were...never had them before.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I had to go look up what up porridge and gruel were.
Growing-up, 'porridge' was usually breakfast of oatmeal with milk (and sugar, if necessary). My late father-in-law was a big fan of Quaker Oats but usually had them for his evening meal rather than breakfast. Very filling and nutritious but rather bland to taste.

I think gruel is very similar.
 
Growing-up, 'porridge' was usually breakfast of oatmeal with milk (and sugar, if necessary). My late father-in-law was a big fan of Quaker Oats but usually had them for his evening meal rather than breakfast. Very filling and nutritious but rather bland to taste.

I think gruel is very similar.
Oh. I will have to go look more at what was considered gruel. The description I read was boiled barley or other grains often a watered down form of porridge. If it is oatmeal then I've had lots of it. Grew up on that but haven't had it in years.

Went and looked at the 3rd class menu. You must be right about the porridge. They called it oatmeal porridge if I'm reading it right.. That term was never used where I lived or grew up. Any way the menu also mentioned gruel for the dinner meal. After looking at the menu I would have been a happy eater. They had ham and eggs for breakfast also.
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Arun Vajpey

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Ah, so there was a late supper available for those who wanted it. That's good to know.

My point is that as long as the food is palatable and nutritious - which it sounds like it was - it does not have to be fancy.
 

Tim Gerard

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Oh. I will have to go look more at what was considered gruel. The description I read was boiled barley or other grains often a watered down form of porridge. If it is oatmeal then I've had lots of it. Grew up on that but haven't had it in years.

Went and looked at the 3rd class menu. You must be right about the porridge. They called it oatmeal porridge if I'm reading it right.. That term was never used where I lived or grew up. Any way the menu also mentioned gruel for the dinner meal. After looking at the menu I would have been a happy eater. They had ham and eggs for breakfast also.
View attachment 76363

Some of the things on that menu look better than what I eat at home :p
 
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Some of the things on that menu look better than what I eat at home :p
Agree. There were 3 things on that menu I had to go look up because they call them by different names. I would eat pretty much everything on that menu maybe minus the gruel unless it was just oatmeal. My international food knowledge is lacking I guess. After I looked up swedish bread I'm going to have to go find some. The jacket potatoes are just what we here call baked potato loaded from the pics I saw. The cabin biscuits I couldn't really tell because the search came back with too many varieties. Cheers.
 
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