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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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In This Chapter


The First Female
River Pilots
Traveling as a


Traveling as a Profession

Stewardess aboard the Passenger Ship

Edwin Levick, photographer
The Mariners' Museum,
Edwin Levick Collection

As more women traveled, work as a stewardess became more acceptable. Like a domestic house servant of the same period, stewardesses were at the beck and call of the passengers, including early mornings and late nights. The best stewardesses worked in first class and often earned sizable tips for their good service.

Violet Jessop
Courtesy of Sheridan House, Inc.
Petite Violet Jessop, who had lost a lung to tuberculosis in her youth, sailed from 1908 to 1950. She served as a first-class stewardess aboard the Titanic and survived the ship's sinking on April 15, 1912. She then transferred to the newly commissioned hospital ship Britannic. She was injured during the Britannic's sinking in the Aegean, but returned to the sea to finish out her career.

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