British photographic history

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Photo Archive: P&O Heritage Collection

P&O has a long and proud history stretching right back to 1815 when "a young man with no influence and but limited pecuniary means, opened an office in Lime Street, London and commenced business."  The young man was Brodie McGhie Willcox and he was joined in his new endeavour, as ship broker and agent, by Arthur Anderson, employed by him as a Clerk.  Willcox and Anderson soon became partners and with the financial backing of a Dublin ship owner, Captain Richard Bourne, the "Peninsular Steam Navigation Company" issued its first prospectus in 1835.  The rest, as they say, is our history.


The P&O Photographic Collection is a unique record of the company's ships and history from the advent of commercial photography in 1860's to 2000, and includes over 15,000 photographs which range in type from albumen prints to glass plate negatives and 35mm colour slides. Today, the collection is maintained by Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World, which acquired the P&O Group in 2006.


The photo archive, including posters, paintings, drawings, postcards etc is now online and can be found here.


Photo: View of passengers on the deck of CEYLON (1858). 
Sepia Albumen Print



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