Privately Printed by P&O, 1st ed., 1866. 73 + v (appendices). Double-page map (partly cold.). Blue, blind decorated pebble cloth ; gilt with Company’s gilt logo to front board ; blind to rear board. 23 x 15cm. Nr.FINE. One of the Merchant Navy’s most famous shipping lines (in service today under American ownership) was founded in 1837, the year Queen Victoria ascended the throne. At the close of the year 1866 a quarter of a century elapsed since P&O shareholders held their first AGM and to mark the occasion this Special Statement was issued. It gives the current state of P&Os Charters ; Postal Service ; Passenger Service ; Transport Service ; Establishments at home and overseas ; the Consumption of Coal used by their ships ; the Consumption of Provisions on-board ; Employment of Agents, Commanders, Engineers, Officers, etc. ; Expenditure and Revenue ; The Shareholders ; Direction & Management of the Company ; and the Parliamentary Committee of 1866. The Statement makes interesting comparisons with French lines, Royal Mail out of Southampton, Cunard out of Liverpool, etc. It describes P&Os involvement in the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the Persian War, etc. P&O employed 8,250 officers and seamen in 1866 (not including coal labourers and coolies at various coaling stations) and 4,351 staff ashore, making a total of 12,601 Company servants. The double-page map shows the shipping routes from London to the Far East and Australia, and the distances between various ports. An interesting and important piece of P&Os early history (the Company was less than 30 years old) ; NEAR-FINE copy. SCARCE.