What is amazing about Titanic is the array of passengers who travelled on her. She was a floating town, carrying passenger representatives from each strictly divided class
along with valets, maids, nannies, kitchen staff, stewards, engine crew and officers.
Passenger Classes on the Titanic
It is hard for us to imagine these rigid barriers between the classes which existed in late Edwardian times and the early reign of George V and Queen Mary. Society has changed and blended so much within the past hundred years. Two world wars, the Great Depression and a more humanitarian attitude to life have wiped out the belief that people stayed within the limits of the life into which they were born. The standard of travel today is based on the ability to pay rather than the socio-economic background which affected the Titanic passengers
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Titanic was built to plough the North Atlantic route from Southampton to New York, a lucrative route for any shipping line because of the volume of passengers involved. She made two stops en route.
The first was at the French port of Cherbourg
where many American first class passengers
were taken on board to travel home after their grand tour of Europe.
The last stop before heading out into the Atlantic and the fate we now know awaited her was at Queenstown
, now called Cobh in County Cork, Ireland. Here, hundreds of steerage (third) class passengers boarded Titanic, many having sold everything they owned in order to buy a ticket for a new start.
The Titanic passenger
list ranged from the richest people in the world to the poorest, setting out to make a new life in America. It is perhaps the range of people on board with a wide range of reasons for travel which makes the ship’s story so fascinating. The class system which existed at the time ensured that these different social classes never met nor mixed while on board, except perhaps during the very last minutes of Titanic’s life.
Lists of Titanic's passengers and crew can be viewed on Encyclopedia Titanica
Watch our video on Titanic Passengers