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Commemorative glass milk jug

Date: 1908
Dimensions:
Overall: 90 x 110 x 65 mm, 201 g
Medium: Glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from June Lossios
Object Name: Milk jug
Object No: 00051757

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    Description
    This small green glass milk jug or creamer is engraved "To Alma from Ma / American Fleet Souvenir / 18-9-08". It was donated to the ANMM by Alma's niece June Lossios, who found it in her aunt's personal effects after her death.
    SignificanceAustralia welcomed the United States’ Great White Fleet visit in 1908 through the production of souvenir items such as postcards and badges highlighting the excitement the visit generated within the Australian public. This milk jug was engraved by a mother for her daughter, who would have been a child at the time.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.

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