Built on the Thames at Limehouse for the Humber Union Steam Packet Company in 1835, Vivid - and her identical sister Waterwitch - started a pioneering steamship service between Hull and London the same year. Registered at 270 tons and sporting a three-masted barquentine rig, the two little steamers ran a scheduled service up and down the east coast which proved so successful that a third vessel (Wilberforce) had to be ordered in 1837. Taken over by the General Steam Navigation Company of London in 1841 but continuing to operate on the same route, Vivid remained in service until last recorded in 1845.
Vivid and Waterwitch both became widely known to the general public after John Ward's attractive painting of the two steamers plying the Humber was engraved and published by R.G. and A.W. Reeve in 1839.