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Menu cards from Huddart Parker & Co passenger service depicting the coat of arms and floral emblem of Australian and New Zealand states.

Date: 1912 - 1961
Dimensions:
250 x 135 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Menu
Object No: ANMS1213[060]

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    Description
    Menu cards of the Huddart Parker Line depicting coat of arms and floral emblems of Australian and New Zealand states.
    SignificanceHuddart Parker & Co played an important part in the development of Australian shipping and passenger transport industries. Many Australians found themselves voyaging on a Huddart Parker liner during their travels in the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Menus such as these were often printed to be souvenirs and were collected as mementos of their travels by crew and passengers. Many companies produced their own series of collectable menus with themes such as Australian flora and fauna.
    HistoryHuddart Parker had its roots in a small trading business working between Geelong and Melbourne in the 1850s, before becoming the firm of Huddart & Parker & Co in 1876. The company was founded by, amongst others, James Huddart and TJ Parker. Parker had built a profile as a shipping agent and trader while Huddart's relatives had made their fortune importing coal, making both men well placed to found their own business.

    Huddart Parker & Co began working with the transport of coal between Newcastle and Port Phillip before expanding their services to Melbourne and Sydney and later New Zealand. The company entered the passenger trade in the 1880s, running popular services between Sydney, Adelaide, Fremantle and Tasmania. During World War I Huddart Parker & Co had five of their vessels requisitioned for use in the war, and during World War II three of their passenger liners were acquired for war service. Huddart Parker & Co ceased trading in 1961 when, bowing to economic pressures, the company sold its remaining fleet to McIlwraith McEacharn.

    The shipping industry in Australia in the 19th century provided the foundation for the settlement and development of the country. Sea transport was essential at this time to move people, bring immigrants and distribute commodities for both domestic markets and industries. Companies such as Huddart Parker & Co were vital in the development of Australia from a collection of colonies to a federated and prospering nation.
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