'Delivering of the American Presents at Yokuhama', c 1853-1854.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithographed plate by Sarony & Co after W T Peters. Gifts from the US Government to the nation of Japan are unloaded at Yokuhama (Yokohama). Among the gifts are a stove and a large model steam engine. Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) led a US government expedition designed to open up trade with Japan, which had been in self-imposed isolation for almost 200 years. The illustrations, notes and journals kept by Perry and his officers were compiled by Francis L Hawkes and published as 'Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan : performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854 …', (Washington, 1856).