The Ellerman Line was formed by John Reeves Ellerman at the end of the nineteenth century. Ellerman left home at 14, and at 24 he established J. Ellerman & Co. in London; by 1893 he was appointed chair of a shipping company. Following the acquisition of various companies Ellerman Lines Ltd was formed on 22 January 1902 becoming one of the greatest shipping lines in the world. Services were offered to the Mediterranean, India, South America, and East and South Africa as Ellerman's group grew. Ellerman Lines traded successfully through war and peace, and was heavily involved in the war effort, until the third quarter of the century when many countries gained their independence from Britain. The 1960s containerization saw this once great shipping line close for good.
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Ian Collard took early retirement around 15 years ago and began to compile a collection of maritime photographs, beginning with those he has taken over the past 40 years. His first book was Mersey Shipping: The Twilight Years, and since then he has written a number of books on shipping, industry, and local history, including Birkenhead Docks, Cammel Laird, Coastal Shipping, Isle of Man Shipping Remembered, and Liverpool’s Shipping Groups. He gives regular presentations and slide shows to various organizations.
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