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Launch of the 'Fuji' at Blackwall

Photo credit: Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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The battleship ‘Fuji’ (‘The Unequalled’) was launched at the Blackwall yard of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. on the afternoon of 31 March 1896. In the 1880s and 1890s this shipyard was a major site for the construction of steel ships, including many for the British Navy. The ceremony of launching the ship was performed by Madame Kato, the wife of the Japanese Minister. A red and white paper balloon hung from a spar on the bow then split open to release a flock of pigeons and thousands of pieces of paper.

Science Museum





oil on canvas


H 168 x W 305 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited, 1913

Work type



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