Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Deck game trophy from RMS NIAGARA

Date: 1920s
Overall: 157 x 99 x 521 mm, 83 g
Medium: Silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Allan Raymond Vosti
Object Name: Trophy
Object No: AX001049

User Terms

    This deck game trophy was presented to Adeline Keating during a voyage on RMS NIAGARA in the mid 1920s.
    SignificanceDeckside games such as horse races, shuffleboard, quoits and tug of war were often highlights of the long sea voyage and many passengers cherished mementos of these events. The souvenir trophy relates to onboard entertainment on one of the largest passenger liners of the early 20th century.
    HistoryDeckside games - including horse, dog and frog races, shuffleboard, quoits and tug of war - were crucial for encouraging social interaction and relieving boredom on long sea voyages on passenger liners during the 20th century. Miniature trophies or cups were awarded to winners of these games, and were usually adorned with the badge of the shipping line.

    Adeline Keating was presented with such a trophy during a voyage on RMS NIAGARA in the mid 1920s. Ms Keating, a buyer for the Myer department store, was travelling from Australia to Vancouver, Canada for business.

    RMS NIAGARA was built in 1913 by John Brown & Co of Clydebank, Scotland for the Union Steam Ship Company. Built specifically for the Royal Mail contract, NIAGARA was referred to as "the biggest and most luxurious liner that has ever come south of the line" (N H Brewer, A Century of Style: Great Ships of the Union Line, 1875-1976, Reed, Wellington, 1982, 130). It accommodated 278 first, 224 second and 200 third class passengers on the Canadian-Australasian service from Sydney to Vancouver via Auckland.

    In 1931 NIAGARA was transferred to the Canadian Australasian Line, formed by Canadian Pacific Railway and the Union Company.

    On 19 June 1940 NIAGARA struck a mine laid by the German auxiliary cruiser ORION, and sank off the north coast of New Zealand, near Whangarei. No lives were lost. NIAGARA was carrying a consignment of 590 gold bars - weighing over eight tonnes and valued at nearly 2,500,000 pounds - as payment from England to the United States for military equipment. Melbourne-based company United Salvage Pty Ltd was contracted to recover the treasure, in one of the deepest salvage operations undertaken at the time.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Deck game trophy from RMS NIAGARA

    Assigned title: Deck game trophy from RMS NIAGARA

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.