This Elder Dempster poster was designed by Odin Rosenvigne, a leading marine artist who worked in Liverpool. The bright colours and design were influenced by the artist’s travels to Africa.
The changes in shipbuilding technology had implications for the employment of Black seafarers. At that time, Europeans thought the engine rooms were more suited to African and West Indian seafarers from warmer climates.
Elder Dempster was the largest shipping company trading between Europe and West Africa from the late 19th century to the 1980s. It increasingly employed West African crew members, and its employees played a key role in developing economic, social and cultural links between West Africa and the UK.
Black seafarers, for a long time, endured earning less and receiving fewer rations, whilst at the same time carrying out many of the most laborious and dangerous jobs on board.