Saturday, January 26, 2013

By Means of the Megaphone -- January 26, 2013

City of Peking was a Pacific Mail Steamship Company iron-hulled screw steamer which ran in transpacific service from 1875 to 1903.  Transfer companies took luggage and express from arriving ships and took it to hotels or transportation connections. 

From the 24-April-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image to see a larger version. 


Transfer Men Use It to Solicit Orders From Steamers.
Brought to Bear on the City of Peking Last Sunday With Good Effect.

Competition makes trade, and the fight among the transfer men seems to grow instead of diminishing. The Pacific Transfer Company seems to hold the whip hand, but it has to work hard in order to maintain its position. It brought the Morton Transfer Company to terms, but no sooner had it killed off that opposition than up sprang the Commercial Transfer Company. The latter concern went vigorously into the business, and soon had a large clientage. Rates were slashed right and left, and then the Pacific people succeeded in barring all the opposition's runners from incoming steamers and sailing vessels. Not to be beaten, the Commercial people purchased a gasoline launch and megaphone. They started in with their new scheme last Sunday, when the City of Peking was passing up the bay. One of the men handled the launch, and "Sam" Wells used the megaphone to such good effect that he secured at least two-thirds of the baggage that came on the steamer.  The little boat goes away out to sea, and she is more than a surprise to incoming ships when the passengers hear a plainly spoken request for the right to handle their baggage coming out of space.

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