The city’s port boomed and Eastern European women began to work in its brothels.
On November 27, 1869, ten days after the Suez Canal had been inaugurated in Egypt, disaster struck the first ship headed to India laden with cargo. The Bombay Guardian reported mournfully that a ship called the Noel from Bordeaux had sunk in the Red Sea. “The barque came through the Suez Canal…bound for Bombay, with a cargo of wines,” the newspaper noted.
But that didn’t put a crimp on operations. The opening of the Suez Canal – connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea – revolutionised trade between Europe and India by cutting travel time from England to the subcontinent from more than three months to four or five weeks. Before this, ships had to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Shortly after, a steamer from Glasgow called The Stirling en route to Mumbai made the passage through the canal in under 16 hours.
Since March 23, when a 400-metre-long shipping container called the Ever Given ran aground in the channel, blocking movement, the world has been reminded of the continuing importance of the Suez Canal.
The disaster has also been the opportunity to recall the excitement that greeted the opening of the canal just over 150 years ago – and how it shaped the city of Mumbai.
News Source:- Scroll