Slumming it?

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Slumming it?

Postby Aly Jones » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:23 am

First class passengers could go down to the lower class levels however, and often did I believe. This was called as "slumming it"

There was a little talk on Titanic, on a history forum, and I found this post. Is there any truth to it? 1st class passengers, on occasion, went down to the 3rd class area to slum it? If it is true, why? Boredom in first class / 3rd class really have parties, as we saw in 1997 Titanic?
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Aly Jones
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Re: Slumming it?

Postby VW1956 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:12 am

Hello Aly. I would have thought that some 1st class passengers would have wanted to see the lower classes if only out of curiosity. For the 1st class passengers I believe there was nowhere to dance except maybe in your room if it were large enough. Titanic had no dance floor. Olympic did in a later refit but even that was quite small and that being done away with during high season to make way for more dining tables. I am sure 3rd class would have had room to dance such as in James Cameron's film. So 1st class could have danced the night away in steerage and I should think some did. Ken.
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Re: Slumming it?

Postby Aaron2010 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:00 pm

Quarantine was very strict. First class would not be allowed to come in contract with Third. It was strictly off limits. They had to stay separate and they were taken off the ship at Ellis Island and they would be inspected for lice and disease. If a First class passenger tried to enter Third class they could endanger the whole ship because they would spread the disease to every class.

A dance was held in First class on Olympic's maiden voyage in 1911. They probably just cleared a space in the main dining room and removed the center tables and chairs for couples to dance. Very few passengers spoke about their experiences on Titanic's voyage and they just wanted to forget the whole event, so we probably will never know if they danced. I remember reading that Margaret Brown watched newly-wed couples dancing in First class and she was upset because she did not pack a suitable dress to dance in. They included this scene in the film SOS Titanic.

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Re: Slumming it?

Postby shipbuilder » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:24 pm

Very unlikely that a first class passenger would spread disease by going down into the lower classes. Plenty of the crew were mixing with steerage etc. It may surprise you all to know that in the 1960s, ships crews (including officers from captain down), were subject to medical inspections on arrival in US ports to make sure they hadn't got any horrible social diseases :oops: They later discontinued these inspections! Don't know if passengers were subject to the same inspections, as I never visited USA in a passenger ship! In any case, there was no sane reason why the lower classes should be considered disease carriers, they were probably just as healthy as anyone else!
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