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Clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

Date: 1853
Overall: 715 x 860 x 30 mm
Medium: Ink on paper in wood frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00030325

User Terms

    This hand coloured lithograph depicts a portside view of the clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA. It was taken from a painting by J Butterworth and reproduced for George Daniels Esq, the owner of the New York vessel. Ship portraits were often commissioned by Captains or ship owners to commemorate their vessel or a maritime event. This portrait was produced in the year that the ship was launched.
    SignificanceThis lithograph represents mid-19th century ship portraits and the YOUNG AMERICA, a noteworthy vessel that brought passengers and supplies to the Australian gold fields.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. These sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit for shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly.

    The extreme clipper YOUNG AMERICA was the last vessel to be designed and built by American naval architect William Webb at New York and was widely considered to be his crowning achievement when launched in 1853. The ship was 243 feet long and had a beam of 43 feet. It was constructed from the best possible materials at a cost of $140,000. On its maiden voyage from New York to San Francisco the YOUNG AMERICA made the journey in 110 days and achieved gross earnings of $86,400.

    Initially YOUNG AMERICA was owned by the prominent New York merchant George B Daniels. Over the course of twenty return passages from New York to San Francisco the ship averaged 118 days westward and 98 eastward. This figure was well below the normal average passage time for other vessels. In 1872-73 YOUNG AMERICA established a record of 82 days from the Golden Gate to New York, the fastest time ever recorded by a cargo-carrying sailing ship on that run.

    It made three voyages to Australia. In 1857, it sailed from Hong Kong to Melbourne via Guichon with 800 Chinese coolies. In 1858 it made a passage from Liverpool to Melbourne in 71 days under Captain D S Babcock with 289 passengers. In 1860 it sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 69 days. During this voyage the vessel sailed 360 miles in one day.

    In 1883 it was sold out of an American registry to Austrian owners who renamed it MIROSLAV and stationed it in the port of Bakar, Croatia. The ship continued to travel on the trans-Atlantic route until 1886 when it disappeared after leaving Delaware on 17th February.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

    Primary title: Clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

    Related People
    Lithographer: Nathaniel Currier

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