1830

Men of Steam

In the 1830s steam power was the key for P&O founders to revolutionising commerce and communication by sea.

John Doe

Historian

Introduction

No longer reliant on fickle winds, steam ships had the power to reduce passage times, operate ‘regular’ services and speed up the whole business of trade and transport. ‘Once the technology was established its development was unstoppable’.

“The very imperfect state of the communication between Great Britain, Spain and Portugal, for Passengers, Mails and Goods…”

The Irish led the way and, among them, two Dublin ship owners, Charles Wye Williams and Captain Richard Bourne, who were successfully running paddle steamers in the 1820s. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services.

In 1834 Bourne chartered a steamer to the London ship brokers and agents, Willcox and Anderson, who were running speculative services to Spain and Portugal. Like Bourne, Brodie McGhie Willcox and Arthur Anderson had ambitious plans to operate regular steamers to rival the Government’s existing ‘mail packet’ service to the Peninsula. But, unlike Bourne, Willcox and Anderson had neither their own steamers nor any experience of mail contracts. Joining forces was an obvious solution.

Three years later, on 22nd August 1837, Bourne secured a Government contract for the Peninsular mails to be managed by Willcox and Anderson under the aptly named ‘Peninsular Steam Navigation Company’. Traditionally regarded as the Company’s foundation date, the first mail contract marks the start of our P&O story.

Fashion

What was Trending in the 1830s

Summary of the fashion during the 1830s.

Wear & Tear

No longer reliant on fickle winds, steam ships had the power to reduce passage times, operate ‘regular’ services and speed up the whole business of trade and transport. ‘Once the technology was established its development was unstoppable’.

“Carrying the Royal Mail had long been the responsibility of Government and particularly the Post Office”

1/5

Three years later, on 22nd August 1837, Bourne secured a Government contract for the Peninsular mails to be managed by Willcox and Anderson under the aptly named ‘Peninsular Steam Navigation Company’. Traditionally regarded as the Company’s foundation date, the first mail contract marks the start of our P&O story.

The Irish led the way and, among them, two Dublin ship owners, Charles Wye Williams and Captain Richard Bourne, who were successfully running paddle steamers in the 1820s. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services.

Food

Wining and Dining Back Then

Summary of the food during the 1830s.

The Irish led the way and, among them, two Dublin ship owners, Charles Wye Williams and Captain Richard Bourne, who were successfully running paddle steamers in the 1820s. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services.

In 1834 Bourne chartered a steamer to the London ship brokers and agents, Willcox and Anderson, who were running speculative services to Spain and Portugal. Like Bourne, Brodie McGhie Willcox and Arthur Anderson had ambitious plans to operate regular steamers to rival the Government’s existing ‘mail packet’ service to the Peninsula. But, unlike Bourne, Willcox and Anderson had neither their own steamers nor any experience of mail contracts. Joining forces was an obvious solution.

The Irish led the way and, among them, two Dublin ship owners, Charles Wye Williams and Captain Richard Bourne, who were successfully running paddle steamers in the 1820s. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services.

1/5

The Irish led the way and, among them, two Dublin ship owners, Charles Wye Williams and Captain Richard Bourne, who were successfully running paddle steamers in the 1820s. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services. It was a costly business but both men realised that the future of steam lay in operating larger ships on longer voyages and subsidised ‘mail’ services.

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