Between 1892 and 1954 over 12 million immigrants mostly from eastern and southern Europe transported to America, known once as the, ‘Land of Freedom’ to avoid the corrupt social and political acts and arrests that occurred within Europe’s countries. With blistered feet, tired eyes and worried hearts, thousands at a time would travel by foot, horse or if they were lucky by train to arrive at the closest seaport for a spot on a massive steamship and a chance at a new life in America.
As many 3,000 people from countries such as Italy, Poland, Russia and France would wait anxiously for a chance at a new beginning with their family and friends which meant hope. Men, women, and children would board the ships with every ounce of important piece of item needed. For some it was a blanket and orange in pocket, while others it was an entire earning of $100 and their finest leather shoes.
The two-week journey across the Alantic wasn’t a pleasant vacation. Steamships would categorize passengers by social status depicting their location on the boat for their journey. The elite first-class passengers along with the second-class passenger were placed in cabins and staterooms, while third class passengers were placed at the lowest level of the ship and were given the name of ‘steerage,’ resembling the open space at the bottom of the ship.