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Ship Crew - Life at Sea

A Steward in the Purser's Den

The crew of a ship are the heart and soul of the ocean liner. Topics covered include employment, organization, stewards, stewardesses, nurses, physicians, and life on board an ocean liner as a member of the crew.

  • Ocean-Going Steamers as Disseminators of Disease (1874)
    This article from 1884 in The British Medical Journal described the working conditions of the ship's sergeons.
  • Stewardess On An Ocean Liner - What Our Daughters Can Do For Employment (1894)
    ONE would imagine that there were not many women who would care to occupy the post of stewardess on board an ocean liner (1894)
  • The Hard Life and Work of a Steamship Stoker (1900)
    A stoker works four hours at a stretch, and during that time the temperature of his surroundings varies from 120 degrees to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. One stoker usually has four furnaces to attend to, and while feeding one furnace a man has to be extremely careful or his arm may be burned by the furnace behind him.
  • The Work of the Ships' Surgeon on a Steamship (1900)
    The duties of a ship surgeon while at sea are a combination of those of a doctor and a sanitary inspector As a health officer he must visit every part of the ship , to see that everything is clean; disinfect, if that is necessary; watch the food that is prepared for the crew, the steerage and cabin passengers. All the steerage passengers pass before the ship surgeon as they go on board. If there is any just cause why they should not be taken, they are sent back.
  • Steamship Steward's Handbook
    Provides an outline of the crew of the steamshhip City of New York from commander to donkey man. Provisions of a typical voyage are also listed. (1903)
  • How Steamship Operations Are Organized - Job Descriptions and Departments (1904)
    While the steamship company occupies a vast field of operation, its work at the same time is one of infinite details. As in every other business, it is upon the proper organization and administration of these details that its success depends. (1904)
  • Stewards of an Ocean Liner Above and Below Decks (1904)
    About eight thousand stewards are afloat on the rolling seas of the broad Atlantic at this minute—fully half of them employed on the great ships of the International Mercantile Marine Company. (1904)
  • Ship Surgeons On Transatlantic Ocean Liners (1905)
    Ship Surgeons On Transatlantic Ocean Liners provides insight and short biographical accounts of Ship Surgeons from the early 1900s. Dr. J. Fourness Brice, Dr. R. Lloyd Parker and Dr. O'Loughlin. (1905)
  • Practicing Medicine on Board Steamships: The Busy Life of the Surgeon on a Transatlantic Liner (1905)
    A very general misconception seems to exist among the medical profession and indeed among many of the laity also, as regards the professional attainments of surgeons on the transatlantic steamships. (1905)
  • Trained Nurses on Ocean Liners - 1905
    Many trained nurses on this side of the Atlantic have applied for a position on these liners, but at each of the steamship companies' offices are told that skilled nursing is not required and that the ordinary stewardess is competent to cope with seasickness without complications,
  • An Ocean Liner's Crew - Working on a Steamship 1906
    WORK on an ocean steamship never ends, for no sooner does she reach her moorings in New York, Liverpool or Hamburg than preparations begin for the next voyage.
  • Medical Arangements on Passenger Ships (1906)
    A ship can be regarded as a small town particularly liable to infection, where there is an abnormally high proportion of serious medical and surgical cases.
  • Life On Board An Ocean Liner, July 1909
    The "Baltic" is certificated by the British and American maritime authorities to carry 426 first-class passengers, 420 second, and 1,195 third, and a crew of 370; in all, 2,411 "souls," as the expression is among seamen.
  • The Organization of Comfort At Sea - 1911 Steamship Crews
    With the development of the great liners, however, it is being understood that an ocean steamship is really a great floating hotel.
  • Surgical Sociology: The Surgeon at Sea 1913
    At the present time, many of the larger steamship lines give a salary of fifty dollars a month to the ship's doctor, in addition to the opportunity of charging small fees to the passengers of the first and second class.
  • Employment in the Steamship Business - The Crews of the Ships and Home Office (1920)
    Many genealogist are searching for their ancestors who served as crew members on board a ship of one of the steamship lines. This extract deals with the practical business aspects of the loading and operations of ships as a commercial enterprise. You will be able to determine where your ancestor worked as well as what his (or her) job entailed.
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