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Upper And Lower Class In 1912

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on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of Upper And Lower Class In 1912

Upper and Lower Class in 1912
How was life different for the rich and the poor?

The Rich
The Poor
The poor in 1912 had a tough life, they worked as factory workers, miners and other jobs of labor for survival. They usually made very little money which often was less the poverty line... In the play 'Inspector Calls' Edna and Eva Smith represent the poor working-class
women. Women could work in the factories, as parlor maids...
Transportation (Upper Class)
The upper class had many forms of transportation
including walking which cost nothing. Although the rich used to rarely do such a thing due to their class level. Instead they used cars, ships, the horse and buggy... These were costly although much easier than going walking or with a bike and also referred to their class level.
Transportation (Lower Class)
The poor had very little money, often barely enough to survive, paying for transportation was not an option, so instead they used to walk to their destination or if they were lucky use the train, although, other than that, everything was too costly. Even using a bicycle!
Upper Class Fashion (men)
Upper class menswear was fairly similar to the modern formal wear, consisting of black tail coat or tuxedo jacket, usually with satin faced lapels and pointed front waist. The Tuxedo is a more informal alternative to the tailcoat.White formal shirts can have standing or wing tip collars; waistcoats (vests) and bow ties should be either white or black (cummerbunds had not been invented yet). White waistcoat would generally be worn with tailcoats and black pump with tuxedo jackets in this period.


The rich in 1912 were able to lead very opulent and leisurely lives, with many servants, enormous meals, houses in the town and country. It was the perfect life... This was the life of the Birling family, in the play 'Inspector Calls' the Birling family are the stereotypical upper class family of 1912, they own a 'large suburban house', the father of the family is a wealthy businessman and they all have high social status's.
Lower Class Fashion (men)
Working class and rural farming men would still have been likely to own three-piece suits, to wear for “best,” though some men at this point did elect not to wear waistcoats all the time, and when working hard, any man might remove his jacket. In polite company, a man did not sit down to dinner in his shirtsleeves.
Upper Class Fashion (Women)
Day dress usually had long sleeves, fairly fitted to the arm. For the day they wore one-piece dresses in silk or cotton, blouses and skirts, jackets with matching jumpers or skirts were all popular.
Lower Class Fashion
Poor women in 1912 didn't have many outfits to choose from everyday. The materials were often itchy and poor quality, making their appearance look lazy and unappealing. They were often made out of cloth with very little or no accessories making them look less 'glamorous'...
Thank You For Listening!
Illustrated here is a tailcoat suit from 1914 with white a waistcoat and white tie, also including a top hat and white gloves.
Upper Class Meals
The rich of 1912 had a large appetite, that included 10-14 courses, which is quite astounding. Each course was filled with the most amazing food of that time, which include lamb, beef, hors d’oeuvres... It was known for them to sit for hours during only one meal...
Lower Class Meals
In the lower classes it would probably depend on what time of year it was and what part of the country they lived in. In the rural places they would have a garden, so they'd have lots of vegetables and maybe some grains. I believe bread was a pretty big part of the diet. They probably had animals, but would eat meat mostly in the fall and winter. They would slaughter animals and smoke or salt the meat for the winter, they also canned a lot of the summer and fall harvest. In jars, not actual cans.
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