Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cunard


Sir Samuel Cunard was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1787.  He was a successful merchant, who owned sailing ships.  During the Industrial Revolution, he travelled to Britain to join forces with a marine engineer by the name of Robert Napier.  Together, they put in a tender to HM Queen Victoria to establish a steamship service for the Royal Mail.  They formed the British & North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and began service in 1840, sailing from Liverpool to Boston.

This is the background to the Cunard Line, which carries passengers across the globe to this day.  Samuel Cunard died in 1865.

I had no knowledge of the Halifax connection to Cunard until I stumbled upon this statue at the docks where the cruise ships arrive.  The statue is adjacent to Halifax's Market, which we recently visited.  I wonder how many of the passengers disembarking from their ships pause to give thought to what a huge adventure it must have been to travel to Britain in 1839?  I imagine that it was a very different experience to the same journey today.