We all know what it’s like to go through passenger screening at an airport. We suffer through long lines and invasive screenings. Coming off a boat in 1910 wasn’t much better. Your bags were searched, and you went through several lines. This article is complete with assurances that everything being done is for the passengers’ benefit.
It sounds like delays then were actually comparable to today: “We have made a record of passing 500 passengers in fifty-five minutes. Our goal is to handle all first-class cabin passengers in thirty minutes, and while we haven’t got there yet we think it’s in sight.”
WHAT IT MEANS TO INSPECT AN INCOMING STEAMER: How the Government Enforces the Tariff Law and the Measures It Takes to Prevent Smuggling. (PDF)
From September 11, 1910