The Classing system

Gary.J Bell

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May 30, 2004
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I Wonder if anyone can help.
Does anyone know when and why liners stopped having classes?
I think in the late 1950's third class was renamed Tourist class (am i right?). Im just curious, nowdays liners just have one class but better grade in suites.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Hello Gary,
Well, I don't know much about this, but I am sure there are members who will. As for liners today just having one class but better grades in suites - well, call me a cynic, but I think they're just disguising the class system - but it's based on money now, not social position. In 1912, I expect money and social position were more closely allied than they are now. Today, I guess you just get what you can pay for [speaking as one who usually finds herself in modern 'steerage', whether on airlines or ships... despite the odd toff (minor) in the family history! They were all rather too keen on horse racing unfortunately...]
 

Gary.J Bell

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May 30, 2004
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Thank you for your insight into this matter Monica, I can sympathise with what you said also. One of my ancestors who was a minor toff blew what might of been our family fortune on the gee-gees!!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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My grandmother (no toff, she - just hard-working and lucky) owned a 5-storey house in Pimlico(London). When my grandfather died, she got depressed, and stuck a notice in the front parlour window - "House For Sale". She sold it to the first person who called - for £250. Arrrrgh!! (So I'm told, at any rate....)
 

Steve Santini

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Nov 29, 2000
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Hi,

I know it was in the midst of the depression of the 30's that most lines stopped with the third class and instead switched to "tourist class".

During this time fewer and fewer people were using liners for immigration purposes and those who had money (and those were few) started taking what we would now call cruises.

The creation of the tourist class in effect signaled the end of one era of mass exodus from the old world to the new and instead ushered in the advent of mass promoted tourism.

Steve Santini
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Lol! Gee-Gees are horses, Jonathan (says the granddaughter of an Irish SP bookie who lived near Sydney's Randwick Racecourse).

Cheers for that input, Steve! You're right about the changes in shipping in the inter-war period. Others, like Mark Baber, are better able to speak to this topic than me, but I understand that 'Tourist Class' was an evolution of the mid/late twenties - as you suggests, it really took off in the 30s. Part of the reason for this was the rise of the popularity of cruising - this was attibutable to several factors (e.g. increasing middle-class affluence, as you point out the changes in American Immigration Laws in the 20s etc). The shipping lines had to look to new markets to exploit, and tourist class was on the rise.

Not all the old sailors were overly fond of the changes - Joseph Boxhall, for one, missed the days before cruising took off.

Monica, the Pimlico story would make one weep...it's rather like those folks who sold their old homes in the Docklands!