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Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm Donald McEacharn

Date: 1910
Overall: 2700 x 1850 mm
Medium: Canvas, oil paint, wood, gilt plaster moulding, iron, wire
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Object Name: Oil painting
Object No: 00030210
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This painting features the owners of the McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co shipping company, Malcolm Donald McEacharn (standing) and Andrew McIlwraith (seated). Objects on desk include specifications of SS KAROOLA, the flagship of the company built in 1909.
    SignificanceThis grand painting by accomplished artist Frederick Elliot of shipping magnates McIlwraith and McEacharn reflects their status as the owners a successful commercial shipping company of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
    HistoryIn the nineteenth century, shipping provided the infrastructure for the European settlement and development of Australia. It was essential to commerce that ships reached people's lives in a way which was personal and immediate; delivering groceries to small towns, carrying passengers between ports and bringing immigrants to Australia.

    McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co entered the Australian trade in 1887 bringing immigrants from Britain to Queensland. They also entered the coal trade. They entered into the fierce competition for passenger trade in the first decades of the twentieth century when competition for passengers required companies to provide more than converted cargo vessels. In 1909 their ship KAROOLA won a reputation for its salubrious accommodation and its size, and was the first Australian ship to exceed 7,000 tons. The company maintained the advantage in 1912 by commissioning KATOOMBA, which was larger and more luxurious than all its generation of passenger ships.

    With the growth of rail and road transport, Australian shipping declined during the twentieth century. McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co was a survivor and bought the fleets of James Paterson and Huddard Parker in 1961. In 1957 McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co together with Adelaide Steamship Company and Melbourne Steamship Company, set up Bulkships Pty Ltd to work the heavy ore trade and bought four ships. In 1964 it merged shipping interests with those of the Adelaide Steamship Company to form Associated Steamships. They had a combined fleet of 12 conventional cargo vessels, which they replaced with three container ships.

    McIlwraith McEacharn continued in the shipping trade until the 1990s when their ships were sold to a US company.

    During the First World War, KAROOLA was requisitioned as a hospital ship and could hold approximately 450 injured soldiers.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm Donald McEacharn

    Web title: Untitled [Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm Donald McEacharn]

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