Class Distinctions: Selections from The Laurence Miller Collection
Today the great luxury liners of the period before the Second World War evoke images of opulent accommodations. But during that period, the majority of passengers did not enjoy the amenities available to those who sailed “first class.” Most passengers traveled “cabin,” “tourist,” or “third class”—the domain of teachers, students, refugees, and others seeking inexpensive transport. It was not until the late 1950s that the standards of accommodations for the economy passenger improved. This display of items exploring class distinctions in postwar ocean travel is culled from a substantial collection that Dr. Larry Miller donated to The Wolfsonian in 2008. A life-long ocean-liner aficionado, Dr. Miller amassed tens of thousands of printed items representing virtually every major company in the passenger ship industry. Dr. Miller’s donation augments The Wolfsonian’s existing holdings of steamship line advertisements, schedules, maps, deck plans, and other printed promotional materials from the interwar era.