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People's Steamship Navigation Company
by John M. MacFarlane 2011
Incorporated in May 1884 their intended aim was to compete head-on with the Canadian Pacific Navigation Co. of which John Irving was the Manager since its inception. The People's Steamship Navigation Company was managed by John H. Turner and H. Beeton of Victoria and they held 27% of the shares sold in 1884. Some of the investors were Nanaimo and Chemainus business men who purchased shares. Half came from Nanaimo (46% of the shares). Another shareholder was Joseph Webb.
In 1885 the PSNC purchased the steamer Amelia and put her on the Nanaimo route in opposition to the CPN steamer R.P. Rithet. The Amelia was a sidewheeler built in San Francisco for the Sacramento River service. The company had to pay customs duty at the border of 10% on the value of the hull and 25% on the machinery.
The competition was good for passengers, as ticket prices dropped 25%. The CPN agreed to withdraw from competition in favour of a 25% share of the fares. When the E & N railway reached Nanaimo the sea route immediately became uneconomical. In 1889 Irving purchased the Amelia at auction. After a long and bitter battle between the two companies, with no assets, the company went out of business.
To quote from this article please cite:
MacFarlane, John M. (2011) People's Steamship Navigation Company. Nauticapedia.ca 2011. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Peoples Steamship Navigation Co.php
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