Liverpool to New York City: 1838. Unbound. This three-page, stampless, folded letter measures approximately 16” x 10” unfolded. It is addressed to New York City with manuscript markings indicating “via Bristol” and the “Great Western.” It bears a circular, unframed, Ship’s Letter crown postmark dated 26 October 1838 indicating the postage to New York had been paid in advance. There are two additional manuscript rate markings: 1 shilling in red indicating, I believe, the cost of the postage, and 6 pence in blue indicating, I believe, the additional charge for a Ship’s Letter. The letter is in nice shape. Very good. Item #009129
The Great Western was the first steamship specifically built for crossing the Atlantic and the first vessel of the Great Western Steamship Company. The Great Western was the largest passenger ship in the world until 1839 and the model for all later successful wooden Atlantic paddle-steamers. Its first trans-Atlantic voyage began on 8 April 1838 after a delay due to an engine-room fire. An attractive b/w print (8” x 4”) of Walter’s famous aquatint of the Great Western departing Bristol on her maiden voyage accompanies the letter. (See Wikipedia.).