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Mersey Tunnel Opening
12019-11-18T15:49:57-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f359Article from Illustrated London News on Mersey Tunnelplain2021-07-26T18:43:12-04:00LiverpoolMersey Tunnel53.4000, -3.000001/30/1886"The Prince of Wales at the Mersey Tunnel." Illustrated London News [London, England] 30 Jan. 1886: 111+. Illustrated London News. Web. 17 June 2019.Public domain.Nathaniel IsaacsonNI-0026Printed MaterialKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
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12019-11-18T15:49:57-05:00The Mersey Tunnel in Anglophone Media33Anglophone Reportage and Image of the Tunnelplain2021-09-29T16:13:46-04:00Liverpool53.4000, -3.0000Mersey Tunnel18861881-1886"The Prince of Wales at the Mersey Tunnel." Illustrated London News [London, England] 30 Jan. 1886: 111+. Illustrated London News. Web. 17 June 2019.Liverpool"The Mersey Railway Tunnel." Illustrated London News [London, England] 11 June 1881: 586+.Nathaniel IsaacsonDianshizhai huabaoIllustrated London News
While the image from Dianshizhai was an original lithograph, the artist seems to have borrowed elements of the visual style and layout used by western news sources, especially in assembling the image of the tunnel in three parts, depicting the bustling river teeming with boats, a cutaway of the train tunnel traversing the earth beneath the river, and another cutaway of train and tunnel with the train approaching the viewer.
Reports of the tunnel's planning, construction, and eventual opening appearing in Illustrated London News between 1881 and 1886 are stylistically very similar, featuring a panorama of the Mersey River teeming with steamships at the top of the page, and a cutaway view of the tunnel descending beneath the river. Both Chinese and English-language images include rudimentary depictions of the support and ventilation structure of the tunnel.
The Dianshizhai huabao image appears to combine these two images, featuring both a panoramic cutaway, and a more detailed illustration of the train itself moving through the tunnel. We cannot say for certain that the above images from the Illustrated London News are the images that Dianshizhai's illustrators saw and emulated in colonial Shanghai, but it does seem quite likely.