'Various Chinese Implements', c 1853-1854.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithographed plate by Ackerman showing tools and devices used in agricultural and domestic life in China during the 19th century. 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 United States wanted to increase their trade routes in the western Pacific. The expedition stopped off in China where these drawings were probably made. 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).