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Suez Canal Collection

"The Suez Canal: A Gateway of Imperialism and Strategic Importance" The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters. An American cartoon from 1882 depicting John Bull (England)

The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters. An American cartoon from 1882 depicting John Bull (England)
IMPERIALISM CARTOON, 1882. The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters. An American cartoon from 1882 depicting John Bull (England) as the octopus of imperialism grabbing land on every continent

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map of Suez Canal 1897

Map of Suez Canal 1897

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Africa, Egypt

Africa, Egypt
Egypt, Cairo. Fez-adorned Khedive Ismail who built the Gezira Palace in Cairo, Egypt to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal shown in a wall mural adorning the venue today

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Tanker passing through Suez Canal with desert on either side, Egypt, North Africa, Africa

Tanker passing through Suez Canal with desert on either side, Egypt, North Africa, Africa

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Bertha, 1850

The Bertha, 1850
3330459 The Bertha, 1850; (add.info.: Portrait of The Bertha a passenger and cargo steamer built for trade between England and Calcutta via the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Hindoo, 1850

Hindoo, 1850
3330455 Hindoo, 1850; (add.info.: Portrait of the Hindoo screw steamer trading between London and India via the Suez Canal. Dated 19th Century.); Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The screw steamer Japan, 1850

The screw steamer Japan, 1850
3330454 The screw steamer Japan, 1850; (add.info.: Portrait of the screw steamer Japan built for trade between India, China and London via the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map of the Nile Delta and Suez Canal, c.1900 (engraving)

Map of the Nile Delta and Suez Canal, c.1900 (engraving)
533396 Map of the Nile Delta and Suez Canal, c.1900 (engraving); (add.info.: Map of Nile Delta and Suez Canal, Egypt, circa 1902)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map of northeastern Africa, c.1900 (engraving)

Map of northeastern Africa, c.1900 (engraving)
533059 Map of northeastern Africa, c.1900 (engraving); (add.info.: Map of northeast Africa, with insets of the Nile Delta and Suez Canal, circa 1902)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Chart of the Suez Canal, 1870-1871, 1875 (engraving)

Chart of the Suez Canal, 1870-1871, 1875 (engraving)
7339423 Chart of the Suez Canal, 1870-1871, 1875 (engraving) by British School, (19th century); 93x63 cm; National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Cartoon titled 'Let Sleeping Dogs Lie'

Cartoon titled "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
5308749 Cartoon titled "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"; (add.info.: Cartoon titled "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie". Punch's advice to Prime Minister Lord Salisbury on the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Photographic print of Port Said at the Mediterranean entrance of the Suez Canal

Photographic print of Port Said at the Mediterranean entrance of the Suez Canal
3521174 Photographic print of Port Said at the Mediterranean entrance of the Suez Canal; (add.info.: Photographic print of Port Said at the Mediterranean entrance of the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 from Le Petit Journal, 1904 (print)

Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 from Le Petit Journal, 1904 (print)
530183 Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 from Le Petit Journal, 1904 (print); (add.info.: Russian warships, led by the Pobeida, passing through the Suez Canal. Photographer taking picture (foreground)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Canal de Suez; Le Nord-Est Africain, 1914. Creator: Unknown

Canal de Suez; Le Nord-Est Africain, 1914. Creator: Unknown
Canal de Suez; Le Nord-Est Africain, 1914. From "Grande Geographie Bong Illustree", 1914

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Indian Relief Trooping Season - Passing through the Suez Canal, 1891. Creator: Unknown

The Indian Relief Trooping Season - Passing through the Suez Canal, 1891. Creator: Unknown
The Indian Relief Trooping Season - Passing through the Suez Canal, 1891. From "The Graphic. An Illustrated Weekly Newspaper", Volume 44. July to December, 1891

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Le Periple des Russes : De Moscou a Marseille par la Siberie, les Mers de Chine et des... 1916

Le Periple des Russes : De Moscou a Marseille par la Siberie, les Mers de Chine et des... 1916. Creator: Unknown
Le Periple des Russes : De Moscou a Marseille par la Siberie, les Mers de Chine et des Indes et le Canal de Suez; Traversee du canal de Suez par le premier des transports de troupes russes

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map illustrating the Campaigns in Egypt from February, 1915, to May, 1916, . Creator: Unknown

Map illustrating the Campaigns in Egypt from February, 1915, to May, 1916, . Creator: Unknown
Map illustrating the Campaigns in Egypt from February, 1915, to May, 1916, (c1920). Alexandria and the Nile delta, Cairo, Port Said, the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula during the First World War

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map of Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, 1917. Creator: Unknown

Map of Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, 1917. Creator: Unknown
Map of Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, 1917. Fighting began in January 1915, when a German-led Ottoman force invaded the Sinai Peninsula, then part of the British Protectorate of Egypt

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map of the Turkish attack on the Suez Canal, Egypt, First World War, 1915, (c1920)

Map of the Turkish attack on the Suez Canal, Egypt, First World War, 1915, (c1920). Map showing approximately the direction of the Turkish Attack on the Suez Canal, January 25 - February 3, 1915

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: HMS Monmouth Passing Under the Suez Canal Bridge at Al Qantara, Egypt

HMS Monmouth Passing Under the Suez Canal Bridge at Al Qantara, Egypt
Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth passes under the Suez Canal Bridge at Al Qantarah in Egypt during her passage to the Middle East

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Suez Canal under construction, 1869

Suez Canal under construction, 1869
Dredges beiginning to build the Suez Canal, 1869. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Map showing the Suez Canal, a man-made sea-level waterway in Egypt

Map showing the Suez Canal, a man-made sea-level waterway in Egypt, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea
6428050 Map showing the Suez Canal, a man-made sea-level waterway in Egypt, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Partition of Africa (colour litho)

The Partition of Africa (colour litho)
6016423 The Partition of Africa (colour litho) by Shepherd, William R. (1871-1934); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Partition of Africa)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Suez Canal (b / w photo)

The Suez Canal (b / w photo)
7160741 The Suez Canal (b/w photo) by American Photographer, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Percement de l isthme de Suez (engraving)

Percement de l isthme de Suez (engraving)
7179590 Percement de l isthme de Suez (engraving) by French School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Percement de l isthme de Suez)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: F. de Lesseps, c. 1876. Creator: Nadar

F. de Lesseps, c. 1876. Creator: Nadar
F. de Lesseps, c. 1876. Woodburytype, from the periodical "Galerie Contemporaine Litteraire, Artistique" (1876), volume 1

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Suez Canal, ship entering the Red Sea near Port Tewfic, c. 1900 (colour photochrom)

Suez Canal, ship entering the Red Sea near Port Tewfic, c. 1900 (colour photochrom)
5322734 Suez Canal, ship entering the Red Sea near Port Tewfic, c.1900 (colour photochrom); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Cartoon depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli holding the Suez Canal as the key to

Cartoon depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli holding the Suez Canal as the key to
5308709 Cartoon depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli holding the Suez Canal as the key to the British possession and influence in India by Tenniel

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Suez Canal, Life at Cairo (engraving)

The Suez Canal, Life at Cairo (engraving)
1059136 The Suez Canal, Life at Cairo (engraving) by Murray, William Bazett (fl.1871-90); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Suez Canal, Life at Cairo)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Country between the Suez Canal and Cairo (engraving)

The Country between the Suez Canal and Cairo (engraving)
1622013 The Country between the Suez Canal and Cairo (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Country between the Suez Canal and Cairo)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Sir Charles Augustus Hartley, KCMG, FRSE (engraving)

Sir Charles Augustus Hartley, KCMG, FRSE (engraving)
1044892 Sir Charles Augustus Hartley, KCMG, FRSE (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Sir Charles Augustus Hartley, KCMG, FRSE)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Opening of the Suez Canal, the Illuminations at Port Said (engraving)

Opening of the Suez Canal, the Illuminations at Port Said (engraving)
1104394 Opening of the Suez Canal, the Illuminations at Port Said (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Opening of the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Delta leaving Marseilles with the British Visitors to the Opening of the Suez Canal (engraving)

The Delta leaving Marseilles with the British Visitors to the Opening of the Suez Canal (engraving)
1104344 The Delta leaving Marseilles with the British Visitors to the Opening of the Suez Canal (engraving) by Weedon, Edwin (1819-79); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: M de Lesseps and the London Chamber of Commerce (engraving)

M de Lesseps and the London Chamber of Commerce (engraving)
1044632 M de Lesseps and the London Chamber of Commerce (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: M de Lesseps and the London Chamber of Commerce)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The War in Egypt, the Grenadier Guards on Board the 'Batavia'entering the Suez Canal

The War in Egypt, the Grenadier Guards on Board the "Batavia"entering the Suez Canal, 20 August (engraving)
1061060 The War in Egypt, the Grenadier Guards on Board the " Batavia" entering the Suez Canal, 20 August (engraving) by Dollman

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Defences of the Suez Canal, Ironclads at Port said on the Fourteenth of August (engraving)

The Defences of the Suez Canal, Ironclads at Port said on the Fourteenth of August (engraving)
1061043 The Defences of the Suez Canal, Ironclads at Port said on the Fourteenth of August (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Opening of the Suez Canal, the Procession of Ships in the Canal (engraving)

Opening of the Suez Canal, the Procession of Ships in the Canal (engraving)
1104402 Opening of the Suez Canal, the Procession of Ships in the Canal (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Opening of the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Opening of the Suez Canal, Arrival of the Empress of the French, on Board the Aigle, at Port Said

Opening of the Suez Canal, Arrival of the Empress of the French, on Board the Aigle, at Port Said
1104392 Opening of the Suez Canal, Arrival of the Empress of the French, on Board the Aigle, at Port Said, the British Squadron saluting (engraving) by Weedon

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Suez Canal Works (engraving)

Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Suez Canal Works (engraving)
1103927 Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Suez Canal Works (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Cartoon of Ferdinand de Lesseps

Cartoon of Ferdinand de Lesseps
864685 Cartoon of Ferdinand de Lesseps by Sambourne, Edward Linley (1844-1910); (add.info.: Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894) French diplomat and canal promoter

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Port Said Lighthouse, c. 1875 (b / w photo)

Port Said Lighthouse, c. 1875 (b / w photo)
473806 Port Said Lighthouse, c.1875 (b/w photo) by French Photographer, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Port Said Lighthouse is the oldest building in the city)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Port Said and the Suez Canal, c. 1875 (b / w photo)

Port Said and the Suez Canal, c. 1875 (b / w photo)
473805 Port Said and the Suez Canal, c.1875 (b/w photo) by French Photographer, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The city of Port Said, Egypt)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Canal across the Isthmus of Suez (engraving)

The Canal across the Isthmus of Suez (engraving)
2773497 The Canal across the Isthmus of Suez (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Canal across the Isthmus of Suez)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: HMS Hotspur for the protection of the Suez Canal (colour litho)

HMS Hotspur for the protection of the Suez Canal (colour litho)
2795251 HMS Hotspur for the protection of the Suez Canal (colour litho) by Simkin, Richard (1840-1926) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: HMS Hotspur for the protection of the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Suez Canal, Cotton Market at Zagazig (engraving)

The Suez Canal, Cotton Market at Zagazig (engraving)
1588131 The Suez Canal, Cotton Market at Zagazig (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Suez Canal, Cotton Market at Zagazig)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: The Sunken Dredger blocking the Suez Canal (engraving)

The Sunken Dredger blocking the Suez Canal (engraving)
1591157 The Sunken Dredger blocking the Suez Canal (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Sunken Dredger blocking the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Ismailia, on the Suez Canal (coloured engraving)

Ismailia, on the Suez Canal (coloured engraving)
6028888 Ismailia, on the Suez Canal (coloured engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Ismailia, on the Suez Canal)

Background imageSuez Canal Collection: Port Said, Egypt, entrance to the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean (engraving)

Port Said, Egypt, entrance to the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean (engraving)
5207266 Port Said, Egypt, entrance to the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean (engraving) by French School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Port Said, Egypt)



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"The Suez Canal: A Gateway of Imperialism and Strategic Importance" The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters. An American cartoon from 1882 depicting John Bull (England) as the octopus of imperialism grabbing land on every continent, serves as a chilling reminder of the historical significance surrounding the Suez Canal. This man-made sea-level waterway located in Egypt connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Dating back to its construction in 1869, this engineering marvel has played a pivotal role in shaping global trade routes and geopolitical dynamics. As depicted in a map from 1897, it served as a vital link between Africa and Europe, facilitating maritime commerce and opening up new avenues for colonial powers seeking dominance over territories. The strategic importance of the canal is highlighted by various maps showcasing military campaigns such as those during World War I. From February 1915 to May 1916, Egypt became a battleground where forces clashed for control over this crucial waterway. Maps from that era depict not only Egypt but also neighboring regions like Darfur and Abyssinia, emphasizing how conflicts often spilled beyond borders due to their proximity to this key artery. A black-and-white photograph captures an image of the canal itself during its early years under construction—a testament to human ingenuity overcoming geographical obstacles. The completion of this ambitious project revolutionized international shipping by providing a shortcut between continents while avoiding treacherous journeys around Africa's Cape Horn or through stormy seas near Gibraltar. Fast forward to more recent times; even aerial warfare recognized its significance with an illustration showing Air Force restrictions banning flights above not just land but also airspace spanning across the Red Sea towards Indian Ocean—an indication that controlling access points like these holds immense strategic value. Furthermore, another lithograph titled "The Partition of Africa" highlights how European powers carved up African territories during colonization—each vying for control over resources and trade routes including those facilitated by the Suez Canal.