Liverpool University Press, 3rd impression, 1957 (first pub. 1956). Xvii + 201 pp., frontis + 13 other photo-plates ; map e.p's. D.j., 24 x 16cm. A couple of minor closed tears to edges of d.j., small name stamp & signature on f.f.e.p., o/w Nr.FINE. The bulk of the records of the Ocean Steamship Company were destroyed when India Buildings was bombed during an air raid on Liverpool during the Second World War. Other records held in their London office went the same way, as did those in Shanghai and Singapore at the destructive hands of the invading Japanese. Professor Hyde salvaged what he could from the ravages of human conflict and combined them with the memories of men who served Blue Funnel. He describes the origins and early history of Alfred Holt & Co. Ltd., and traces the Holt family from their Rochdale and Liverpool roots, examining along the way their ventures into cotton and their move into shipping with the founding of the Ocean Steam Ship Company (1866-1875). He examines the development of both fleet and trade and the early voyages out East during the 19th century : the years of fierce competition (1876-1885) : the losses at sea, the shipping depression, and the first China Conference (1879-1898). He continues with the founding of the China Mutual Co., the history up to the First World War, the polices of Richard Holt, Dutch competition, and the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal. Finally he examines developments in the Pacific and in Australia, the new and expanding Blue Funnel fleet, and a study of Alfred Holt himself. In addition there are 4 appendices including details of Holt vessels 1865-1914 and a family tree.