Ferries and Piers

Image: 「新約克ヨリ「ブロックリンヘ」ノ渡船」。New York/Brooklyn Ferry
Source: Courtesy of the Kume Museum of Art.  

In 1872 New York City was a major port, surrounded by water. As the delegates arrived into the famed metropolis, they marveled at the size and breadth of the city’s commercial ferry and freight vessels. There were so many people, horses, and goods in transit along the Hudson River! Nothing the men read about America could have prepared them for the scale of the United States’ shipping enterprise. The magnitude of the operation took them aback. The delegates were impressed when their carriage was loaded onto a massive ferry, without any need for them to disembark. Kunitake Kume wrote that it was surreal to view waves from a carriage window.

Image:Albumem silver print of ferry boat with “East Side” painted across the side
Date: 1870 – 1890 
Source: Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum

Kume, Kunitake, Chushichi Tsuzuki, and R. Jules Young. 2009. Japan rising: the Iwakura embassy to the USA and Europe 1871-1873. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.