Overcoat, part of Charles Health's uniform as surgeon to Orient Steam Navigation Company, wool, with brass buttons, c.1890-1930
This black double-breasted jacket was part of Charles Health’s uniform as surgeon to the Orient Steam Navigation Company - also known as the Orient Line. The company had its origins in the 1790s, but came to the fore in the 1800s before being absorbed by today’s P & O shipping company in the twentieth century.
It was initially a postal service, and also ferried emigrants to Australia, before the ‘cruise’ idea caught on among wealthy Victorians. In the 1890s, a voyage from London to Bombay (now Mumbai, India) took 12½ days and cost £55 first class. The appropriately named Health dealt with any medical emergency. These included accidents to crew and passengers, tropical fevers and childbirths. His smart wool jacket with brass buttons is pictured with his leather cap (A635910 Pt 5). Both were made by tailor E. J. Monnery and Son, who specialised in outfits and furniture for cruise passengers.