Record of the China Line 18671882


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Mark Baber

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MAB Notes

MAB Notes: 1. The name of the line that operated the White Star ships on
the Pacific was "Occidental and Oriental," not "Oriental and Occidental."
2. The relationship between O&O and Pacific Mail was kind of odd. O&O was
created to compete with Pacific Mail, but by the time O&O began operations
only a few months later, the two lines had apparently coordinated their
sailing schedules and entered into some sort of co-existence agreement.
Later, when O&O closed up shop in 1906, it was described as being an
"adjunct" of Pacific Mail. I have not studied this relationship in any
methodical manner, but maybe someday ... 3. The White Star ships used by
O&O were chartered, manned by White Star officers and Chinese crew and
painted in White Star livery but they flew the O&O house flag. In some of
White Star's promotional material, though, they appeared in the same manner
as the ships used on the Shaw, Savill & Albion joint service to New Zealand,
even though (as I understand it) the business relationship between White
Star and SSA was quite different than the one with O&O. 4. Some of the
figures shown here as "1/2" may in fact be "1/3," and vice versa; the copy
of this article I'm working with is not altogether clear. 5. "Hongkong" was
routinely spelled as one word at the time this article was published.

Daily Alta California, 23 October 1882
Retrieved from the California Digital Newspaper Collection web site,
http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=p&p=home


OCEAN STEAMSHIPS
---
Record of the China Line from the Inauguration, January 1st, 1867, to
September 30th, 1882

---
The recent remarkable passage of the steamship Arabic has attracted
considerable attention, bringing us, as it does, a day nearer the Orient
than ever before. A brief review of the trips since the China steam line was
inaugurated, will be interesting to ALTA readers. The steamer Colorado
opened the Pacific mail line to China on January 1st, 1867. On that date she
sailed, Captain Bradbury in command. Oliver Eldridge was agent, at the time,
of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. The vessel had been, for some time
previous to that date, in the hands of those gentlemen, fitting her out for
the new service. The Colorado made three trips during that year, and before
the year was passed the Great Republic and China were added to the line. In
1868 the Japan, at that time considered a floating palace, was also placed
on the line. In 1869 the America arrived and was added to the fleet. The
two last-named were ultimately destroyed by fire, and the China, now moored
in Mission Creek, is the sole survivor of a fleet whose cost footed up in
the millions. The Alaska was placed on the line afterward, and down to 1875
the average from Hongkong was nearly if not quite thirty-two days. In 1874
the propellors Granada and Celima made each a trip to and from China, and
the former's passage of twenty-four days from Hongkong and seventeen days
twenty hours from Yokohama, and the Celima's passage of twenty-five days and
three hours from Hongkong and seventeen days thirteen hours from Yokohama,
gave our merchants and shippers an idea of what might be done with
propellers of good speed. In 1875, the Oriental and Occidental Steamship
Company was incorporated, and the steamers Oceanic, Belgic and Gaelic began
competing with the imposing side-wheelers of the Pacific Mail Company. At
the close of the year the average of the Oceanic was 26 days from Hongkong
17 days and 3 hours from Yokohama, and the City of Tokio 25 days from
Hongkong and 17 days from Yokohama. The City of Tokio. and the City of
Peking were two large iron propellers, built by John Roach especially for
the Pacific Mail's China Line. In 1876 the Oceanic reduced the time to 22
days and 5 1/3 hours from Hongkong, and 14 days and 15 1/3 hours Yokohama,
and the City of Peking to 22 days and 12 hours, and 15 days and 11 hours.
The grand average for the year for the Pacific Mall was 31 days and 16 hours
from Hongkong and 20 days and 23 hours from Yokohama; and for the Oriental
and Occidental 27 days and 5 1/3 hours from Hongkong and 17 days and 15 1/4
hours from Yokohama. In 1877, the average of the Pacific Mail was 29 days
and 8 1/2 hours from Hongkong, and 19 days and 21 hours from Yokohama; and
of the Oriental and Occidental 26 days and 12 hours and 16 days and 22
hours---the Oceanic again making a run of 15 days and 22 hours from
Yokohama. In 1878, the Pacific Mail's average was 30 days and 16 hours from
Hongkong, and 20 days days and 18 hours from Yokohama; and the Oriental and
Occidental 27 days and 12 hours and 17 days and 10 hours; the Gaelic made
the best run---15 days and 21 1/3 hours from Yokohama. In 1879, the Pacific
Mail's average was 30 days and 14 hours from Hongkong, and 20 days and 4
hours from Yokohama; and the Oriental and Occidental 26 days and 23 1/3
hours from Hongkong, and 17 days from Yokohama; the best passage being by
the Oceanic, which arrived here August 26th, in 14 days and 5 3/4 hours from
Yokohama. This is best on record up to the present one of the Arabic in 13
days 21 hours and 53 minutes. In 1880 the average of the Oriental and
Occidental was 27 days 5 1/3 hours from Hongkong and 16 days 17 hours from
Yokohama, and by the Pacific Mail, 27 days 10 hours and 17 days 5
hours---the Oceanic again making a 15-day run from Yokohama. In 1881 the
average of the P. M. S. S. Co was 26 days 20 1/2 hours from Hongkong and 16
days 10 hours from Yokohama, and of the O. and O. Co. 26 days 19 1/2 hours
from Hongkong and 16 days 13 1/3 hours from Yokohama, the City of Tokio
making a fine run from Yokohama during the year of 14 days 13 hours. During
the nine months ending September 30th, 1882, the average of the O. and O.
steamers was 26 days 3 1/2 hours from Hongkong and 16 days 6 hours from
Yokohama, and the Pacific Mall 25 days 19 3/4 hours from Hongkong and 17
days 14 1/3 hours from Yokohama. The Arabic, Coptic, and Oceanic of the O.
and O. each made a run from Yokohama in 15 days. From present indications,
it is safe to say that the latest additions to the O. and O. Co. will reduce
the time materially below the recent lightning time, and no one need be
astonished at a trip under 13 days. The Oriental and Occidental have reduced
the time by 10 days from Hongkong and 8 days from Yokohama, from the time of
the old side wheel steamers which first opened the trade.

-30-
 
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