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Date: 1937
Overall: 270 x 370 mm
Image: 200 x 300 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Trebilco
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00051993

User Terms

    This limited edition lithograph of WILLIAM FAWCETT was issued in 1937 to commemorate the centenary of P&O. The print was produced from a painting by renowned British marine artist Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971).
    SignificanceThe lithograph of WILLIAM FAWCETT, traditionally regarded as the first P&O ship, relates to a significant milestone in the P&O passenger trade before World War II.
    HistoryThe Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was founded in 1837 with the awarding of the British Government contract to carry the mails from the UK to Spain and Portugal. In 1840 the company was awarded a second contract for the Egyptian mails and became known as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). Additional mail contracts extended the company’s operations further east to India in 1842 and Ceylon, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong in 1845. P&O’s first mail service from the UK to Australia commenced in 1852 on the paddle steamer CHUSAN.

    The early decades of the 20th century marked a period of rapid expansion for P&O, as it acquired companies such as the Blue Anchor Line, New Zealand Shipping Company and Union Steam Ship Company, as well as a majority share in the Orient Line (which would later form the P&O-Orient Line in 1960).

    In 1932 P&O pioneered cruising from Australia with a Christmas cruise from Sydney to Norfolk Island on the mail steamer STRATHAIRD. Prior to this cruising in Australia had been the preserve of coastal steamship companies.

    P&O ships were requisitioned for service during both World Wars. After the wars they carried thousands of British migrants, including Ten Pound Poms, to new lives in Australia. The increasing popularity of air travel from the 1960s saw many P&O ships transferred to the cruising schedule. Since the 1970s P&O operations have diversified to include ferries, containers, cargo handling and ports worldwide.

    In 2000 P&O’s cruising operations were demerged from P&O to create P&O Princess Cruises, which was acquired by Carnival Corporation in 2003. P&O was acquired by DP World in 2006.

    The paddle steamer WILLIAM FAWCETT was built in Liverpool in 1828 and is traditionally regarded as the first P&O ship. In 1835 it was chartered by Brodie McGhie Willcox and Arthur Anderson to open the first mail service from London to Spain and Portugal for their newly founded Peninsular Steam Navigation Company. WILLIAM FAWCETT was refitted and registered in London in 1838 and was later broken up in 1845.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: P&O WILLIAM FAWCETT

    Web title: Colour lithograph of WILLIAM FAWCETT painting by Norman Wilkinson

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