Like numerous other ports, Liverpool needed to contend with a tidal river that delivered great variations in the height of the tide on a daily basis. For vessels  that could be accommodated witihn the complex dock system, this was not a major issue, but for those boats and ships that needed to adhere to a schedule, it was an obvious problem, whenever they needed to take on board or unload cargo or passengers.The problem was highlighted from the time of the first scheduled ferry, the Elizabeth, which entered service in 1815. thus in 1826 engineer Marc Brunel was commissioned to construct a floating landing stage  "for passengers of steam boats so as to be equally convenient at high and low water." Having been extensively expanded over subsequent years, the landing stage was severely damaged by fire in 1874 and needed to be replaced. The new floating landing stage depicted here, emerged in its place a year later and  at over 500 feet long served as the principal port of call for the world's great transatlantic liners right up to the time of this picture.