Passage Contract - Rotterdam to New York - 29 May 1895

1895 Dutch Steerage Passage Contract on the Cunard Line for a German Immigrant. The Voyage Took Him from Rotterdam to New York via Liverpool.

1895 Dutch Steerage Passage Contract on the Cunard Line for a German Immigrant. The Voyage Took Him from Rotterdam to New York via Liverpool. GGA Image ID # 14794e9d82

Passage Contract Summary

  • Date of Purchase / Voyage: 29 May 1895
  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Steamship: RMS Lucania
  • Route: Rotterdam to New York via Liverpool
  • Ticket Type: Passage Contract
  • Voyage Class: Steerage
  • Name on Contract: Heinrich Hermes
  • Etnicity of Passenger(s): German
  • Contract Terms: Translated from German
  • Cost of Ticket: M. 100 or about $23.62 in 1899 USD / $751.00 in 2020 USD

Image of original document

Indications of early attempts at repair probably circa 1930s. Document reinforced but not repaired by the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives using Acid Free paper tape. (Reverse side is Blank)

This is the original steamship contract for passage for a German Immigrant, Heinrich Hermes, a 21 year-old laborer who undertook the voyage in steerage.

Interims-Billet

B. Karlsberg & Co., von Maaskade 20 Rotterdam

English Translation of Dutch Contract written in German

Ticket of B. Karlsberg & Co, etc.

First and Family Name: Heinrich Hermes

Age: 21

To New York

The price for voyage across the ocean for 1 Adult at M. 100 (the standard currency for the Netherlands at this time would have been the Gilder. The Symbol "M." imprinted on the contract probably referred to German Marks)

Total M. 100

This preserved as a source of money [Literal Translation]: M. 100 (about $23.62 in 1899 US Dollars)

The Best Passage: M. Nothing is 2 days before departure to pay (The amount due).

Travelling from Rotterdam on the 29th of May 1895 via Liverpool on a fast steamer of the Cunard Line

Rotterdam, this 29/5 1895

B.Karlsberg & Co.

Requests for reductions of the money paid passage are not taken into consideration.

Original Dutch Text

Vor- und Familienname: Heinrich Hermes

Alter: 21

Nach New York, County __ State ___

Bedungener Ueberfahrtspreis

Oceanfahrt: 1 Erwachsene à M 100

Total M. 100

Heirauf erhalten als Handgeld: 100

Die Bestpassage M Nichts ist 2 Tage vor der Abfahrt zu zahlen.

Abfahrt von Rotterdam am 29 Mai 1895 via Liverpool pr. Post-Dampfer der Cunard Line.

Rotterdam, den 29/5 1895

B. Karlsberg & Co.

Maaskade No. 20

Rotterdam.

Reclamationen wagen Rückgabe des eingezahlten Passagegeldes finden keine Berücksichtigung.

Information about Passenger Heinrich Hermes:

Heinrich Hermes, 21, of Germany arrived in New York on 8 June 1895 aboard the Cunard Steamship Lucania (for the Liverpool to New York via Queenstown portion of his journey.) He was processed as an immigrant through Ellis Island. He was a Laborer and his intended destination was New York. - From Ships Manifest Line 0149.

  • Name: Heinrich Hermes
  • Arrival Date: 8 June 1895
  • Birth Year: about 1874
  • Age: 21
  • Gender: Male
  • Ethnicity/Race/Nationality: German
  • Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
  • Port of Arrival: New York, New York
  • Ship Name: Lucania

Source Citation

Year: 1895; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 24; Page Number: 4

Original data:

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. Microfilm Publication T715, 8892 rolls. NAI: 300346. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Supplemental Manifests of Alien Passengers and Crew Members Who Arrived on Vessels at New York, New York, Who Were Inspected for Admission, and Related Index, compiled 1887-1952. Microfilm Publication A3461, 21 rolls. NAI: 3887372. RG 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted at New York, New York, May 1917-Nov. 1957. Microfilm Publication A3417. NAI: 4497925. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Passenger Lists, 1962-1972, and Crew Lists, 1943-1972, of Vessels Arriving at Oswego, New York. Microfilm Publication A3426. NAI: 4441521. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Henrich Carl Hermes Ancestry

  • Name: Heinrich Carl Hermes
  • Gender: Male
  • Baptism Age: 0
  • Birth Date: 20. Aug 1873 (20 Aug 1873)
  • Baptism Date: 31. Aug 1873 (31 Aug 1873)
  • Baptism Place: Evangelisch, Werden, Rheinland, Prussia
  • Residence Place: Werden, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany
  • Father: Wilhelm Hermes
  • Mother: Elisabeth Noelken

FHL Film Number: 490145

Original data: Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

Relative Cost of Passage Ticket in Today's Currency Value

In 2020, the relative values of $23.62 from 1895 ranges from $656.00 to $31,300.00.

simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is $751.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying $23.62 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1895 to 2020.

This may not be the best answer.

The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity, Income or Wealth, or a Project.

If you want to compare the value of a $23.62 Commodity in 1895 there are three choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real price of that commodity is $751.00
  • labor value of that commodity is $4,110.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $6,100.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • income value of that commodity is $6,650.00
  • economic share of that commodity is $31,300.00

If you want to compare the value of a $23.62 Income or Wealth, in 1895 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real wage or real wealth value of that income or wealth is $751.00
  • relative labor earnings of that commodity are $4,110.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $6,100.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative income value of that income or wealth is $6,650.00
  • relative output value of that income or wealth is $31,300.00

If you want to compare the value of a $23.62 Project in 1895 there are three choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real cost of that project is $656.00
  • labor cost of that project is $4,110.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $6,100.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative cost of that project is $6,650.00
  • economy cost of that project is $31,300.00

Source: www.measuringworth.com Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1790 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2022.

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