Titanic Photo:


Passengers traveling onboard Titanic carried an average of two luggage pieces per person. Luggage intended for off-board use was placed in a trunk and put in the Ship's hold.  Clothing and other personal items needed for onboard usage were placed in a separate trunk and carried to cabins by a steward.

Luggage size and contents varied by type of passenger. A simple carpetbag was sufficient for many in Third Class, but for many first-class passengers a portmanteau was in order. A portmanteau is a specialized traveling trunk that opens in half, similar to a book, revealing compartments and drawers where clothing could be kept in an organized manner. Portmanteaus could be very large and were usually kept out-of-sight in a separate luggage room.

Baggage tags were marked as either "Wanted in Cabin" or "Not Wanted in Cabin,” tracking where luggage was designed to go.  If luggage was misplaced, passengers had to report to the Baggage Master, who would arrange recovery of the trunk. This process always provided considerable delay and was highly discouraged.

At the end of the voyage, the baggage dispatch process was reversed; luggage in the hold and cabins were gathered and sorted by class in rough alphabetical order. Passengers would pick out their luggage from the shelter on the dock, and then proceed to customs for declaration and inspection.