Titanic Passengers Classes

Titanic image courtesy of the National Museums Northern Ireland Collection

Today it is hard for us to imagine the clear distinctions between the classes of people travelling on Titanic.

What is most notable is the fact that the class structure was not based on ability to pay as we would know today, but upon the social strata into which you were born. 

First Class on the Titanic

Titanic first class was the aristocracy such as the Countess of Rothes, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and wealthy established families such as the Wideners, the Speddens, the Astors and Benjamin Guggenheim. What they paid for their passage depended on the size of suite or cabin in which they travelled.  Some chose to book suites which contained private dining and living areas as well as bedrooms for themselves and their maids and valets. Prices range from about £260 to £60. For example, the Ryerson family from Pennsylvannia were all travelling on one ticket at a price of £262.  The party included Arthur Ryerson, his wife Emily and three children along with Mrs Ryerson’s maid.  The women and children were rescued by lifeboat number 4. Mr Ryerson did not survive.

First Class Bedroom,  from the National Museums Northern Ireland Collection
Second Class on the Titanic

In second class were those who had achieved success and money through work, people in trades such a miners, teachers and clerks.  Fares ranged from £13 to £79. Edwy and Ada West from the West Country in England were travelling to America to start a new life as fruit farmers in Florida.  Their two daughters Constance aged 4 and Barbara, 10 months were with them.  Ada was also pregnant and later gave birth to a son.  Edwy was lost in the Titanic disaster and the rest of the family returned to England on board the White Star ship, Celtic.  Ada lived in Cornwall until her death aged 74.

Third Class on the Titanic

Third class tended to be families emigrating to the United States from Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and England.  In many cases they had sold all they had to afford the passage on Titanic and to allow them a little savings to get started in America.  Initially, many were going to stay with relatives who had already gone out and established themselves in cities like Philadelphia and Chicago.  Within third class there were different standards of accommodation.  The average price for a ticket was around £7 although many were travelling on family tickets costing from £25 to £40.  A typical example would be the Skoog family from Vastergotlan in Sweden. William and Anna Skoog and their four children had been living in Michigan but returned home to Sweden.  They regretted the decision and decided to go back. The children were 11, 9, 5 and 2.  The Skoogs had persuaded two relatives to join them.  They had journeyed from Sweden to Hull in the North of England and travelled south to board Titanic at Cherbourg.  All were lost in the disaster.
Watch our video on the wealthy passengers onboard the Titanic- click here for video

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User Comments 147

no what i really want to know is what were the differences in the first and second and third class rooms??????
SLINGER 07 January 2013
:( 07 January 2013
I think titanic is really cool.I would to learn more about it!
Anna 11 December 2012
wished i couldve learned more about thhe classes!
trent 29 November 2012
Cool thanks i've learned so much:):):):):):)
cool 21 November 2012
poor people
lauren 20 November 2012
its kind of sad for the men cause they were the last ones off
ally 18 November 2012
its kinda sad how almost all 3rd class died and the 1st and 2nd class mostly lived
gage gilliam 18 October 2012
i cant stop thinking about titanic but u know what i would stop thinking about it but i would stop thinking about it if thir was a happy ending with both of them survivin p.s. im talking about the movie.
Yohannes and betty 11 October 2012
vandna 10 October 2012
Displaying Results 11 - 20 (of 147)

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