SS Reliance Prepaid Passage Certificate - 27 January 1923


SS Reliance Prepaid Certificate for Second Class Passage - Royal Mail Steam Packet Company - 27 January 1923.

SS Reliance Prepaid Certificate for Second Class Passage - Royal Mail Steam Packet Company - 27 January 1923. GGA Image ID # 1fa3cdaba7


Summary of Prepaid Certificate

  • Date of Purchase / Voyage: 27 January 1923 / 20 October 1925 / 12 October 1928
  • Steamship Line: Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (RMSP)
  • Steamship: SS Reliance
  • Route: Hamburg to St. Louis via New York
  • Ticket Type: Prepaid Certificate
  • Voyage Class: Second Class
  • Name on Contract: Frieda Mayer
  • Etnicity of Passenger(s): German
  • Contract Terms: Limited, Transcribed
  • Cost of Ticket: $198.56 / $3,010.00 USD in 2020


Prepaid Certificate Details

Very rare prepaid certificate for second class passage on the RMS Reliance of RMSP. The passage for the 18 year old German immigrant girl was paid for by a relative, Bernhard Mayer, who immigrated in 1892. The immigrant did not arrive in the United States until October 1925. She made several voyages between Germany and the US Beginning in 1925.

The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
Head Office, 18 Moorgate Street, London, England

N.Y.P. 25091


PREPAID CERTIFICATE FOR SECOND CLASS TRANSPORTATION OF EACH PASSENGER NAMED HEREIN From HAMBURG to NEW YORK By any steamer of this Company having accommodations available at the ocean fare paid.

It Is Agreed between the Carrier and each passenger and/or the purchaser of this Certificate that the contract which will be issued in exchange for this prepaid certificate shall contain the terms and conditions appearing on the Original Prepaid Certificate, upon the basis of which transportation charges have been adjusted.

(Write each name on a separate line), AGE, OCEAN FARE

  • Name of Passenger: Frieda Mayer, 18, $130.00
  • Total Ocean Fare: $130.00
  • American Forwarding Order From New York to St. Louis: $35.56
  • United States Head Tax: $8.00
  • Cash to be Paid Passenger at New York: $25.00
  • Total Amount Received: $198.56, One Hundred Ninety Eight 56/100 ------- Dollars

Dated 192....



(This applies to Third Class Transportation).

  1. Purchaser must secure from the agent issuing prepaid certificate a copy of the Company's special LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO PASSENGER. This LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO PASSENGER must be sent to the passenger in Europe with particulars filled in as required.
  2. The Company's office in Europe nearest to the passenger will furnish all necessary instructions and advise when to proceed to port of embarkation.
  3. Passengers should be specially requested by the purchaser not to proceed to the port of embarkation without notification from the Company, otherwise the Company cannot be responsible for any delay. When writing always mention the number shown on the top of this certificate.
  4. If the passengers should not sail in the Company's steamer and refund of the amount paid for transportation be requested, the purchaser must return the original prepaid certificate together with European and American forwarding orders (if issued) whereupon the total amount paid will be refunded less agent's commission and cancellation fee of 10%.



This is to certify that on this date, Mr. Bernhard Mayer, Dowry Road, Webster Grove, MO, has paid the above sum for transportation, etc., as described above, account person(s) mentioned herein.

Passenger's Address in Europe;.

Frieda Mayer, Kuhbad [Aund?] Lahn, Badeu, Germany

(Signature of Purchaser: /s/ Bernhard Mayer


Per: Westliche Post Steamship-Agency

By /s/ Rumara Muellen

Place Issued: St. Louis, MO

Date: Jan 27 1923

N. Y. Form No 134. February, 1921. D.


Record of Passenger Arrival

  • Name: Frieda Mayer
  • Sailing From Hamburg: 20 October 1925
  • Passenger ID: 901703675237
  • Arrival Date: 31 October 1925
  • Birth Year: about 1906
  • Birth Location: Germany
  • Birth Location Other: Straubing
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Female
  • Ethnicity/Race/Nationality: German
  • Port of departure: Hamburg, Germany
  • Port of arrival: New York, New York
  • Ship Name: Reliance
  • Occupation: Barber
  • Father: Joseph Mayer, Petergasse 6, Straubing, Germany

Source Citation: Year: 1925; ; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: T715_3748; Line: 23; Page Number: 111.


Relative Cost of Passage Ticket in Today's Currency Value

In 2020, the relative values of $198.56 from 1923 ranges from $2,380.00 to $48,100.00.

simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is $3,010.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying $198.56 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1923 to 2020.

This may not be the best answer.

The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity, Income or Wealth, or a Project.

If you want to compare the value of a $198.56 Commodity in 1923 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real price of that commodity is $3,010.00
  • real value in consumption of that commodity is $6,700.00
  • labor value of that commodity is $11,900.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $13,400.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • income value of that commodity is $16,300.00
  • economic share of that commodity is $48,100.00

If you want to compare the value of a $198.56 Income or Wealth, in 1923 there are five choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real wage or real wealth value of that income or wealth is $3,010.00
  • household purchasing power value of that income or wealth is $6,700.00
  • relative labor earnings of that commodity are $11,900.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $13,400.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative income value of that income or wealth is $16,300.00
  • relative output value of that income or wealth is $48,100.00

If you want to compare the value of a $198.56 Project in 1923 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real cost of that project is $2,380.00
  • household cost of that project is $6,700.00
  • labor cost of that project is $11,900.00 (using the unskilled wage) or $13,400.00 (using production worker compensation)
  • relative cost of that project is $16,300.00
  • economy cost of that project is $48,100.00

Source: Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1790 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2022.


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