Britannia rules the ice

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picture of a large ship mostly surrounded by ice

Detail of the lithograph

If you had a tricky trip to work this morning in the wintry weather then spare a thought for the poor folk on the steamship Britannia on 3 February 1844. The ship became stuck in the ice in Boston harbour at the start of a voyage to Liverpool. Luckily the Boston merchants helped pay for a channel 7 miles long and 100 feet wide to be cut through the ice to free her.

The scene has been captured in a sketch by JC King, which was then turned into this colour lithograph by A de Vaudricourt. The lithograph, which is in the Maritime Museum's collection, is featured in our winter online exhibition of objects related to the cold weather from several of National Museums Liverpool's venues. I've said it before but I'll say it again - possibly the coolest thing on the website.