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Three-masted ship JOSEPH CONRAD leaving Sydney Harbour

Date: 18 December 1935
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mr and Mrs Glassford
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: ANMS1092[068]

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    Description
    This image depicts JOSEPH CONRAD leaving Sydney Harbour on the morning of Wednesday 18 December 1935. The small aircraft visible behind the vessel may be the Gipsy Moth owned by Mr Harold C. Durant who was flying with a Sydney Morning Herald photographer to capture the vessel's departure.
    SignificanceThe Hall photographic collection provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour from the 1890s to the 1930s. The collection documents the lively sailing scene in Sydney during this period and features images of vessels ranging from large racing and cruising yachts to the great array of skiffs and the emerging technologies of motorboats. Images of many iconic vessels, such as JOSEPH CONRAD, are also included in this visual record.
    HistoryThe iron-hulled sailing ship JOSEPH CONRAD was originally launched as GEORG STAGE in Copenhagen in 1882 as a training ship for young sailors of the Danish merchant service. The vessel was named as a memorial to the son of prominent ship owner Frederik Stage and could accommodate eighty cadets. GEORG STAGE worked as a training ship for the lengthy period of 52 years, with some 4,000 cadets sailing on the vessel during their six month training courses in the Baltic and North Seas.

    In 1934 GEORG STAGE was about to be broken up when Australian author and sailor Andrew Villiers bought the vessel, renaming it after his favourite author.

    Villiers sailed JOSEPH CONRAD around the world with a crew of mostly young sailors, visiting Australian shores in late 1935. Between 1936 and 1947 the vessel was sold several times before becoming part of the collection at the Mystic Seaport museum in Connecticut.

    The Gipsy Moth aircraft seen in this image may have been the one owned by Harold C Durant. Durant was a World War I pilot who often took Sydney Morning Herald photographers in his plane to take aerial photographs. Aerial images of JOSEPH CONRAD, taken from Durant's plane, appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald 19 December 1935. On 15 January 1938, Durant crashed his Gipsy Moth into the sea about 45 metres from Cronulla Beach whilst performing a stunt display for the North Cronulla surf carnival, escaping with minor injuries.

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