Search the Collection
Advanced Search

The clipper YOUNG AMERICA under full sail

Date: 1909
640 x 1000 x 35 mm
Medium: Oil on board, wood, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00042377

User Terms

    This painting depicts the clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA fully rigged and sailing at sea. The ship was known for its speed and reliability and used to transport cargo and passengers. Portraits such as this were commissioned by ship owners or captains to commemorate their ships.
    SignificanceYOUNG AMERICA was a famous clipper ship that was involved in Australian trade, commerce and immigration. This fine depiction of the vessel was produced by a prominent American maritime artist.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. These sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of American modernity and a fundamental part of the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity and allowed the quicker transportation of goods on long voyages.

    The extreme clipper YOUNG AMERICA was the last vessel to be designed and built by American naval architect William Webb of New York and widely considered to be his crowning achievement when launched in 1853. The ship was 243 feet long and had a beam of 43 feet. It was constructed from the best materials available at a cost of $140,000. On its maiden voyage YOUNG AMERICA sailed from New York to San Francisco in 110 days and achieved gross earnings of $86,400.

    Initially YOUNG AMERICA was owned by the prominent New York merchant George B Daniels. Over the course of twenty return passages from New York to San Francisco the ship averaged 118 days westward and 98 eastward. This figure was well below the normal average passage time for other vessels. In 1872-73 YOUNG AMERICA established a record of 82 days from the Golden Gate to New York, the fastest time ever recorded by a cargo-carrying sailing ship on that run.

    YOUNG AMERICA made three voyages to Australia. In 1857, it sailed from Hong Kong to Melbourne via Guichon with 800 Chinese coolies. In 1858 it made a passage from Liverpool to Melbourne in 71 days under Captain D S Babcock with 289 passengers. In 1860 it sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 69 days. During this voyage the vessel sailed 360 miles in one day.

    Sold out of an American registry to Austrian owners in 1883, it was renamed MIROSLAV and adopted the Croatian port of Bakar as homeport. The ship continued on the trans-Atlantic trade route until 1886 when, after leaving Delaware on 17th February, it disappeared without a trace and was never heard of again.

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.