Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Dinner plate of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company

Date: 1858-1955
Overall: 75 x 75 x 33 mm
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Plate
Object No: 00031877

User Terms

    This dinner plate was used on the coastal passenger-cargo steamers of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company (ISN), which served the south coast of New South Wales from 1858 - 1955. The plate features the insignia of the ISN, decorated with a rope cable in green around the outer edge, with a stylised anchor chain on the inner edge.
    SignificanceThis dinner plate is significant in representing the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company, which was a successful New South Wales coastal shipping company from the 1850s - 1950s, and one of the longest surviving.
    HistoryThe Illawarra Steam Navigation Company (ISN) was formed in 1858 from the amalgamation of three New South Wales coastal shipping companies - the Kiama Steam Navigation Company, the Shoalhaven Steam Navigation Company, and the General Steam Navigation Company. The new company increased its fleet and extended its business, holding a near monopoly of the shipping along the New South Wales south coast. In 1858 its fleet consisted of the paddle steamers HUNTER, MIMOSA, ILLAWARRA, KIAMA and WILLIAM IV. In 1862, the ILLAWARRA was sold, and in the 1870s the ILLALONG and JOHN PENN joined the fleet.

    The steamers traded to Wollongong, Kiama, Shoalhaven, the Clyde River, Ulladulla, Merimbula, Twofold Bay and Port Macquarie. In the company’s early days passengers and livestock (mostly poultry, calves and pigs) were close travelling companions - rather than the passenger cabins of the company's later steamships, the early vessels constructed sleeping berths at night in the vessel's saloon with privacy curtains.

    In 1904, the company's name was changed to the Illawarra & South Coast Steam Navigation Company, but it was often still referred to as ISN. With the commissioning of the MERIMBULA, ALLOWRIE, BEGA and EDEN into the fleet in the early 20th century, the length of voyages greatly decreased and passenger comforts were enhanced. With the rising competition of passenger road and rail transport, the company focused solely on cargo shipping from the late 1920s. After almost 100 years in operation, the company was placed into voluntary receivership and was delisted from the stock exchange in 1955.

    Additional Titles


    Web title: Dinner plate of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company

    Related People
    Manufacturer: Southern Cross

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.