Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Return Arts and Leisure Communities Immigration and Migration Making the Exhibition Technology Work and Industry Other Topics Guest Curators

Working on the Ocean Liner Leviathan


S.S. Leviathan in New York Harbor
S.S. Leviathan in New York Harbor

The ocean liner Leviathan was one of the largest and most popularly recognizable passenger ships on the Atlantic in the 1920s. Like all ocean liners, the ship was at once a complex and powerful machine as well as a socially stratified hotel catering to different travel budgets and expectations. As such, she required a large crew in order to operate successfully. On her first peacetime crossing after World War I, that crew numbered 1,100 men and women, and they worked to ensure a comfortable, safe, and rapid five-days voyage for the ship’s 1,800 passengers.

United States Lines badge with cap band attached (1929-1931)
United States Lines badge with cap band attached (1929-1931)
Each member of the Leviathan’s crew had one or more uniforms appropriate to his or her duties and which he was responsible for buying out of his own pocket. Captain Herbert Hartley, master of the Leviathan, earned $625 per month in 1924. The next highest paid member of the crew was the chief engineer, who received $500 per month. An able-bodied seaman received $55.00.
Next Page
National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits