The third-class is a new form of accommodation and is provided only on certain vessels of certain lines. The rate is somewhat higher than the steerage and is a good deal less than the second cabin. Most of the remarks concerning the steerage apply to the third class as well.
On most lines and most ships, the steerage is the third class, although on some lines, or rather on some steamers of some lines, there is a class intermediate between the second cabin and the steerage, called the third class, which may be looked upon as a kind of "improved" steerage.
The Steerage Dining Room Is Far From an Unattractive Place on a Modern Ocean Liner. GGA Image ID # 17afdb06fe
Accommodations in the steerage are almost as good at the present day as second class accommodations of twenty years ago. All of the stories of overcrowding, unsanitary surroundings, etc., are not true regarding the principal lines, and the Government inspection both here and abroad is most rigid.
The steerage is not recommended for the use of tourists, and those who cannot afford accommodations in the second class should postpone their visit until they can afford to travel comfortably.
First-class passengers are not allowed to enter second or third class compartments, and vice versa, as complications might arise under the quarantine regulations. Visits to the steerage can only be made by special permission. The modern steerage is an entirely different place from which fiction has penned, and on a modern liner, it need not offend anyone.
The steerage passengers are accommodated in the steerage part of the vessel, and special hygienic means are provided for their protection, as a considerable number of them are berthed in one compartment. The steerage's sanitary arrangements are all that could be desired and superior to those of many hotels, which are nearly first class.
The steerage rooms are admirably ventilated, the foul air being drawn out through pipes having an intake in each compartment. By separating the air supply channels from the air outlet channels, a draught is prevented, which was formerly a nuisance to the steerage passengers so that they stopped up the ventilating channels with all kinds of clothing.
All the rooms in the 'tween decks are heated with steam. Even of the steerage passengers, the food is very substantial, as will be seen from a study of the bill of fare. Pasteurized milk is distributed several times daily for the use of infants.
Steerage Bunks Occupied by Women and Children Were Once a Common Scene in the Old Steerage. GGA Image ID # 17b0067bd1
The steerage is, of course, a boon to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. In the year 1909, about 771,380 persons were landed from the steerage at the Port of New York by thirty-four lines. The food is excellent, as seen by the annexed bill of fare:
SAMPLE STEERAGE BILL OF FARE FOR ONE DAY.
BREAKFAST, 8 A.M.
Oatmeal Porridge, Milk and Syrup, Boiled Eggs. Vegetable Stew, Swedish Bread, and Butter, Hot Rolls, Jam or Marmalade. Tea, Coffee, or Milk.
DINNER, 1 P.M.
Soups, Beef Steak. Kosher Beef. Roast Mutton. Beans, Potatoes. and Vegetables, Bread. Pickles. Plum Pudding and Sweet Sauce.
Tea, 6 P.M.
Boiled Eggs, Corned beef, Bread and butter, Currant Fruits, Tea, Jam or Marmalade.
Group of Steerage Passengers on the Deck of the SS Amsterdam, 1910. Library of Congress, LC # 2006675985. GGA Image ID # 17b04d5765