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Date: 1881
Overall: 164 x 100 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00032187

User Terms

    This colour chromolithograph card is an advertisement for freight travelling between Boston and Melbourne on board the clipper ship HIRAM EMERY. It features the American and Australian Coat of Arms and the seal of the Australian shipping line Henry W Peabody. These cards were often handed out at docks with their small size making them easy to carry.
    SignificanceIt is rare to find examples of surviving clipper ship cards as most were discarded when the ship's advertised voyage passed. This example highlights the HIRAM EMERY, a vessel active on the Australian trade route during the late 19th century.
    HistoryClipper ship cards were one of the advertising methods used by ship owners to promote their vessels and transport schedules. In colourful print and bold designs they publicised the supposedly superior qualities of each vessel, often using images of maritime scenes, mythology, patriotism and women to promote their cause. The cards were largely manufactured during the late-19th century and were designed to be handed out at the docks. They were brighter and more appealing than the newspaper advertisements of the time but often used similar wording. They could be printed in up to seven different colours including blue, red, green white, black, brown, and yellow. Some printers also used gold, bronze and purple.

    The majority of clipper cards were produced when the popularity of the clipper ship was dwindling and merchants were opting for faster steam powered vessels. Clipper ships were largely active between 1845 and 1875. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit for shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. The sleek and graceful ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. They were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy.

    The HIRAM EMERY was built by Nathaniel L Thompson in Kennebunkport in 1877. It operated out of Boston that was used for transporting freight between America and Australia. In 1881 it was under the command of Master Wyman.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HIRAM EMERY

    Assigned title: HIRAM EMERY

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