# 26068

OCEAN STEAM SHIP COMPANY; ALFRED BOOTH & CO.

Ocean Steam Ship Company. Direct steam communication, via the Suez Canal, between Liverpool, the Straits Settlements, and China, every two days, without change at Suez, Ceylon, or elsewhere.

$700.00 AUD

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Liverpool, UK : Alfred Holt, [1878]. Foolscap folio sheet (330 x 212 mm), printed on both sides in black and red, recto with lithographed illustration of one of the Company’s ships, list of the Company’s eighteen iron screw steamers with names of captains and tonnage, sailing schedule for Suez, Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong, & Shanghai enetered in ms. (for February-March 1878), rates of First Class Cabin passage, including the two different rates for European and Native servants (the latter were half price); annotated at left edge ‘Agents: Alfred Booth & Co.’; verso with ‘Conditions on which a Passage Ticket is Issued’, the main one being an exclusion of liability clause for any loss or damage suffered by the ticket-holder during the voyage; some old glue marks to top edge verso (showing through at one corner), else very clean, a most attractive example; [together with] a clerical manuscript covering note on the letterhead of agents Alfred Booth & Co., Liverpool, dated 29 January 1878, which originally accompanied the Ocean Steam Ship Company circular; addressed to the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., Passenger Department, New York, it also gives imminent departure dates for the Company’s steamers for Brazil; signature of Thomas Christie (for Booth & Co.); very good condition.

The Ocean Steamship Company was founded in 1866 by brothers Alfred and Philip Holt. Also known as the Blue Funnel Line, or Holts, it operated its service between the United Kingdom and China for well over 100 years. The company would also become one of the co-founders of Malayan Airways, in 1947.

The Suez Canal was opened in 1869, and the Blue Funnel Line exploited the new route to the East from the outset. At the time this circular was printed (1878) the Blue Funnel Line prided itself on its fast and frequent Far East service, which called at Penang, Singapore and Shanghai. To “increase the comfort of Passengers in the Tropics”, most of its steamers were constructed with saloons and sleeping accommodation on deck.