Life in first class

Oct 15, 2006
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I'am writing a novel about a first class british couple who go in America because the man's great uncle who have lived in California died and the man go in America with his wife and his sister to inherit. I have some questions about first class life:

-Usually, the british people were talking with only the bristish and the americans with americans? Because, in Cameron's movie, we always saw Ruth with Lady Duff Gordon anbd Countess of Rothes who are british and I always found this fact quite strange...

-Was painting a popular hobby for first class passengers? If yes, where did they could paint on the ship?

-How many times, in average, first class passengers changed clothes, in a day?

-Could the first class passengers visit the second class area?

-Could the women play squash in the squash court or it was only for men?

I think that's all.Thanks you for your answers and sorry for my english, I comfe from quebec and my native language is french.
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
Hi Jonathan!

1) Personally I think there's no problem to a british to talk with americans and vice versa. Lots of celebrities were travelling first class, both british and american, and celebrities have usually a tendence to meet each others. This is quite normal, for example, Lady Duff-Gordon was well known for being the fashion designer not just to the European royalty but also to many Hollywood stars, like Isadora Duncan.

2) Painting, listening to music, drawing, writing, all of these items were normal hobbies in aristocracy or in upper class, and very appreciated by the wealthy with education and intellectual skills. Although, I think that anyone who wanted to paint during the voyage would have to carry the materials on board, because I'm afraid there weren't any areas for this kind of artistic work.

3) I can't say you anything about men, but women could change clothes almost six times a day! Check out this site: http://www.pbs.org/manorhouse/edwardianlife/clothes.html

4) Second and steerage weren't allowed to mix with first class passengers and they would never leave their luxury accommodation to mix with the middle class. Also, first class was forbidden to go to other classes areas too.

5) Certainly! The squash court was reserved for women between 9 am and 1pm and to men between 1pm and 6pm. I'm not sure about this schedule but anyone else can confirm this numbers.

Sorry if I was unable to clarify your doubts.

Kind regards,
João
 
Oct 15, 2006
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Thanks a lot to give times to answer at my questions. I have other questions

1-I've read that, during the halt at Queenstown, some irish artists cam on board and sold their products and John Jacob Astor bought a magnificent shawl for his wife. Was it true? If yes, the artists sold their products where? On promenade A deck? Boats deck? First Class foyer?

2-Was Hudson Allison quite popular in american and english high-society? Because the Allison are one of my favourite passengers and I would love to integrate them in my story...

3-Who kept Mr Stead company during the trip?


''1) Personally I think there's no problem to a british to talk with americans and vice versa. Lots of celebrities were travelling first class, both british and american, and celebrities have usually a tendence to meet each others. This is quite normal, for example, Lady Duff-Gordon was well known for being the fashion designer not just to the European royalty but also to many Hollywood stars, like Isadora Duncan. ''

Thank's a lot...I was thinking thaat the American talk to the American, the British to the British and the Canadians to the Canadians, because I've read that the Allison always dinner with Mr Molson and Major Peuchen and they were all canadians. I admit that I have jumped to a conclusions too fast, sorry.

Thanks you again for your help, it is very appreciated

Sorry for my limited vocabulary and my grammar, I'm from Quebec province and my native language is french
 
Oct 15, 2006
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Thanks to confirm what I've read...But were tthe artists sold their item? On boat deck, first class foyer or Promenade A deck?
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
I presume they sold their products in the A-Deck promenade because I think it was only for first class passengers to buy, and the boat deck was divided in three areas: officers, first and second class. It wouldn't be nice to second class passengers to see the products and they couldn't buy them. Besides that, the A-Deck promenade was covered and it was easier to protect the the works.

P.S. I would be grateful if anyone could confirm this or correct me if I'm wrong.


Best regards,
João
 
Dec 6, 2000
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The photograph on page 19 of The Last Days of the Titanic showing a lady selling lace has windows behind her and a ceiling above. The shape of the windows are those of the 1st Class staterooms that faced the enclosed A-deck promenade.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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Referring back to the price J.J. paid for the shawl, I was just thinking that the Irish who sold J.J. the shawl could have gotten a good place on the Titanic!!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I suspect that what Astor paid for the shawl was $8.00 and somewhere along the line the decimal point has gone missing. Even that was quite a lot in 1912, enough to pay an Irish lace worker for two or three hundred hours of effort.
 
Sep 1, 2004
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I think that no woman on the Titanic would change her clothes six times during the day. Maybe on the land but not on a ship.

When she got up and took breakfast, she would wear a morning dress or so. When she decided to ride a horse afterwards, she had to change into riding habit. But she could not take her lunch wearing a riding habit so she would change the dress again. If she would give a tea in the afternoon, she would take on her tea dress and then into evening dress for the dinner. I think this is meant.

On the Titanic, she would probably wear something like walking suit or some day dress to the breakfast and keep it on until the afternoon, when she would decide to play squash and change, and than just take on the dinner dress. I do not suppose that the women on the Titanic would change their dress very often during the day. It would be proper neither. What would the other passenger think about her? And changing the dress was not as easy as today, with all the hooks an buttons...

Notice this in the Cameron's movie. They wear one dress during the whole day, and change just for the dinner. They really do. Check that.
 
May 1, 2004
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Re dress at dinner aboard ship: I found this in an etiquette book:

From Roberts, Helen L. The Cyclopaedia of Social Usage (NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, c. 1913)

Traveler’s dress Simple and suitable and extremely tidy should the costume be for those who voyage by land or water. For a long railway journey, a woman should not wear a large hat garnished with fragile or showy trimming. Ostrich plumes, white lace, and pink rose, do not stand the sea air or coal smoke well. Nor do delicate pale silks, airy muslins, or superb velvet appear to advantage on trains or boats. A woman’s traveling-suit by land or sea should be compact, comfortable in appearance, and preferably dark in color: that fabric is best for a steamer or railway suit that stands the test of dust and moister well. Neat shoes, well-fitting gloves that are not shabby, a fresh stock or ruche, or ribbon, or frill at the throat and hair that is in immaculate order mark the capable woman traveller whose appearance is always agreeable. For the dining-room of a fashionable hotel in England or on the continent or Europe, dinner dress may be suitably donned; or a high-necked, elbow-sleeved pale-tinted reception gown may be utilized at the table d’hôte or in the more exclusive restaurants. In the United States, full dress at a hotel dinner does not imply such a dinner dress as is seen at a private house, but an elaborate afternoon gown is recognized as the proper costume, worn with or without a flow toque, a handsome feathered hat, or a fancy hair ornament in a fashionable coiffure.
At small hotels, at pensions, and boarding-houses, the women guests should make a dinner toilet in the evening, wearing a pretty fancy blouse with a dark or light skirt, or a complete afternoon dress.
On steamships it is now the rule to “dress for dinner”￾. This dress for a woman may imply a fancy blouse worn with the plain short skirt of her traveling dress, or a theatre costume, or a dinner dress cut but half décolleté, that is, a little low in the neck and only elbow-length of sleeve.
For men, the proper traveling dress is a quiet morning suit, dark gloves, and such a hat as would be worn on the street at home. In the evening, at hotels and on board ship, dinner dress with a round-tailed coat, low shoes, or pumps, white linen, and a black tie, is the proper change. At pensions and boarding-houses the masculine traveler as a rule merely assumes fresh linen and a change of necktie with his morning dress, and this course is often followed on board the less fashionable ships ant at modest hotels.
Save for the essential ornaments of dress, watch and chain, brooch, tie-pin, sleeve links, etc., neither the well-bred man nor woman makes a display of jewelry when traveling. Earrings, pearl collars, diamond rings and studs, superb pendants, and a varied change in chains and bracelets serve only as a dangerous and pretentious display of possessions on board of trans and in pension and hotel dining-rooms.

This is 395 R644 Main Reference - Stacks in the Toronto Reference Library