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Date: 1919-1926
83 x 108 x 2 mm
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Photographer Frederick Garner Wilkinson
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00040956

User Terms

    RMS ORONTES is shown in Sydney Harbour during one of its many trips carrying passengers and mail between Britain and Australia during the early 20th century. The vessel became a respected and well known passenger transport at the time.
    SignificanceThis photograph represents RMS ORONTES role in transporting passengers and mail to Australia during the early 20th century.

    It is part of the F G Wilkinson Photograph Collection, comprising more than 700 glass plate negatives of ships in Sydney Harbour between 1919 and 1936. The collection provides an extensive and well-documented coverage of the changing styles of shipping in the port of Sydney before the gradual decline of the coastal trade, and in a period which was probably the peak reached by commercial shipping in Australia. The backgrounds also reveal the changing face of the city and harbour foreshores.
    HistoryRMS ORONTES was a 9,028 ton Royal Mail steamer built in 1902 at Clyde, Scotland and managed by the Orient Line. The ship was designed specifically for the Australian mail and passenger service. It could accommodate 320 first class and 320 third class passengers. Its maiden voyage left from Tilbury, Britain on 24 October 1902 for Sydney, Australia travelling via the Suez Canal. The ship became popular with passengers and conducted numerous trips to Australia in the next 14 years until it was requisitioned in 1916 for service in World War I as a troopship. For a short period after 1921 the vessel was renamed BRITISH TRADE and used as an exhibition ship. In 1922 it once again came under the management of the Orient Line who renamed it ORONTES and placed the vessel back on the Australian passenger trade route until 1926 when it was scrapped.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: RMS ORONTES

    Web title: RMS ORONTES

    Collection title: F G Wilkinson Shipping Photographs Collection

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