The Great Cunarders: The Steamship "Britannia" 1840
When Britannia reached Boston on July 18, 1840 at the end of her maiden voyage, the town had not seen such enthusiasm for years. Batteries of cannon boomed out salvos of greeting. A huge procession of mayors, ambassadors and other celebrities marched through streets lined with wildly cheering crowds.
The hero of the hour was Samuel Cunard, owner of the Cunard Steamship Line,who belonged to a brand of celebrity peculiar to the 19th century.