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The P&O polka

Date: c 1882
Overall: 358 x 265 mm, 0.04 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00027132
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    'The P&O Polka' features a lithograph of the vessel CLYDE shown from its portside. It was dedicated to the directors of the Peninsular & Oriental (P&O) Steam Navigation Company. A number of editions of the P&O Polka were published in Australia during the 19th century.
    SignificanceThe booklet demonstrates the presence of the P & O Line in Australia during the 19th century, highlighting the diverse marketing strategies they used to boost their sales and profile.

    HistorySheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were fairly cheap to buy, making them popular with the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatre shows.

    The P&O Company was founded in 1837 and secured a contract with the British government to carry mail between Britain and their peninsular ports, eventually extending out to Egypt, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The company gained control of the Australian mail service in the 1850s and had a fleet of vessels operating on the run. They provided a regular mail service between the Far East and England via the Suez Canal. Between 1870 and 1879 P&O built their vessels at the Clyde shipyard in Scotland. At this time their ships were all iron-hulled, screw driven, compound engine vessels. P&O's first trade route incorporated Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Ceylon, Galle, Aden and Suez. The second route visited Calcutta, Ceylon and Suez, with Australia being added on the line after Ceylon.

    The CLYDE was a 4124-ton ship built at Dumbarton, Scotland by Denny & Bros in 1881. It was one of four sister ships, the GANGES, SUTLEJ and THAMES. CLYDE was used by the P&O line for their India-Far East service, conducting its maiden voyage from London to Calcutta on 11 October 1881. In 1901, the vessel was sold to Bombay owners and renamed SHAHNOOR, eventually being broken up at Bombay in 1906.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The P&O polka

    Primary title: The P&O polka

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