AFRICAN STEAM-SHIP COMPANY
Incorporated by Royal Charter
Elder Dempster & Co.
14, Castle Street Liverpool
Outwards from Liverpool
...to Loango (Congo) Africa, on ship called the 'Oil Rivers'.
Shipment sent by P. Ancel Seitz, represented by his agent Paul Lecorneur. This bill is for shipment that consists of 1000 bags of salt.
Dated 16th February 1892
The Oil Rivers was built in 1890, weighed 2,777 tons, and served until 1893, was renamed Cabenda, in 1907 sold to the Shipping Syndicate, London, chartered back, again in 1912 sold, renamed Elmwood.
Nice graphic of a ship with both steam and sail, and what looks to be the flag of the Elder-Dempster Co. Also has '6 Pence' revenue stamp.
Dimensions: 24 1/2 X 15 cm (folded)
Condition: Folded vertically. Some small smudges, small creases.
The African Steamship Company was a British shipping line in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The company was founded in 1852 by Macgregor Laird, the younger son of the shipbuilder William Laird, and based in Birkenhead. The main focus of the company at first was trading with the Niger River area and other west African ports, bringing west-African palm oil back to Britain. The monthly mail steamer to the then Gold Coast (now Ghana), appointed by Royal Charter, came with a subsidy of 30,000 pounds sterling per year from the British government, starting from 1852.
In 1864 the African Steamship Company took over the Dominion Line and Beaver Line to begin operating Liverpool-Canada services. The company proved sufficiently successful that in 1869 a rival company, the British and African Steam Navigation Company, was founded, but both companies later came to an arrangement on sailing times. The business of the African Steamship company was purchased by Elder, Dempster and Company, Limited in 1891, who had bought the British and African Steam Navigation Company two years earlier, although both companies continued operating as distinct organisations.
Further expansion began with a transatlantic route using large cargo vessels, trading from Liverpool to the St Lawrence River and from Liverpool to the southern ports of the USA. A later route from Bristol to St Lawrence was also established. The company also diversified into a number of businesses related to the trade, including a bank, oil-mills for processing the palm oil, a hotel in Grand Canary for tourists, and a fruit brokerage in London to deal with the banana trade. Trade with the West Indies began in 1901, with a direct, fortnightly service from Avonmouth to Jamaica, subsidised by the Colonial Office. As part of Elder Dempster, the company was bought by Sir Owen Philipp's Royal Mail Group in 1909.
Prosper Ancel-Seitz was a French politician (1846-1930). Owner of a cotton spinning mill, he was president of a omutual insurance company that insured businesses against occupational accidents of the textile industry. He waas also a president of the colonial cotton association and the vice-president of the committee of the foreign trade. He was a delegate in the National Assembly for the Vosges from 1902 till 1906.