Week 21 2024

White Star Line Posting Box

This cast iron posting box and the matching standing lamp were situated either side of the entrance to the Royal Albert Docks in Liverpool from 1876. The ornate box and lamp bases were manufactured at the Sun Foundry works in Glasgow.

The White Star Line Company or Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was a prominent British shipping company, today most famous for its ill-fated luxury flagship RMS Titanic. The first major shipping disaster to hit Edwardian Liverpool was the sinking of the White Star liner Titanic in 1912. Although she sailed from Southampton, Titanic was registered in Liverpool, and so carried the city’s name on her stern. This was because her managing company, the White Star Line, had its head office in James Street, Liverpool. White Star had transferred its main New York service from Liverpool to Southampton in 1907. This was partly due to the competition of the new Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania, both sailing from Liverpool from that year.

The White Star Line sign on the box reads:-

“Letters posted here will be dispatched on the next available ship sailing the the United States of America. Parcels for dispatch to the same destination should be handed in at the company telegraph office situated 50 yards to the right of this box. Letters and parcels are to have the correct postage affixed. Albert Dock Liverpool May 1876.”

Oakham Treasures recently purchased these items from the Inkpen Collection at Taunton.