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Date: c 1930 - 1950
Other (USS ENTEPRISE): 275 mm
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Estate of Michael O'Flynn
Object Name: Plate
Object No: 00051761

User Terms

    Produced by Wedgwood, this series of luncheon plates celebrates some of the great American sailing ships of the 19th century, The American Clipper Ships, known for their innovative design and speed. With greatly reduced travelling times, goods were able to be exported all over the world more quickly than ever before. Clipper ships were the backbone of maritime trade in the 19th century.

    Also produced by Wedgwood is the dinner plate commemorating the launch of USS ENTERPRISE CVA(N)-65, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth US naval vessel to bear the name.
    SignificanceSignificant in their design and known for their speed, American Clipper Ships were involved with trade and migration not only to Australia but all over the world. Maritime activity in Australia and its surrounding waters substantially increased due to the discovery of gold and competition between shipping lines generated by 19th century trade and economics.The NIGHTINGALE was the first American clipper ship that came to Australia in response to the gold rush.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. The sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of modern America and a fundamental part of the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity and was a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. Clipper ships were the backbone of maritime trade in the 19th century.

    The American Clipper Ship Plates series:
    In 1937 and 1948, Wedgwood commemorated the great American Clipper ships in two collections. Various ships were chosen for the series of twelve plates, representing American Clipper Ships of the 19th century. Each plate has a border showing American Clipper Ships in various Ports of Call around the world, with a description of the featured ship on the back of the plate. The origins and evolution of Wedgwood's fascination with the American Clipper Ships are unknown, but perhaps it may be because those sleek and graceful ships help speed the delivery of orders of Wedgwood's famous pieces around the world and the pattern was a tribute to their role in the growth of the company, especially in a growing America.

    The GAME COCK, launched on December 21, 1850. (A figurehead of a gamecock with an outstretched neck graced the bow of the heavily-sparred Game Cock clipper.) The GAME COCK was owned by a man named Daniel C. Bacon.

    The ANN MCKIM, built at Baltimore and launched in 1833. This ship is generally known as the original clipper ship. It had never occurred to ship designers to build a large sleek craft based upon the Baltimore clipper up until 1832 when Isaac McKim (July 21,1775 - April 1, 1838) decided to try what was considered a radical experiment at the time. McKim was a leader in the commercial and industrial life of Baltimore. He contracted the prestigious Baltimore shipbuilding firm of Kennard & Williamson to build the ship of his dreams, later named after his wife. It then went on to become the model for many of the clipper ships built over the next 25 years.

    The RED JACKET was a 2460 ton ship built in Maine in 1853 by George Thomas, it was an extreme clipper ship and became famous after its groundbreaking maiden voyage from New York to Liverpool, which was completed in thirteen days, one hour and twenty-five minutes. She originally sailed the Liverpool to Melbourne run. In 1854 she set another record from Liverpool to Melbourne of 67 days, 13 hours. Named after Red Jacket (1750-1830) - known as Otetiani in his youth and Segoyewatha ("he keeps them awake") after 1780 - a Native American Seneca chief of the Wolf clan and orator who traditionally wore a red jacket given to him by the British. As a tribute to her namesake, The RED JACKET carried a life-sized carving of him as a figurehead. She was also considered the most handsome of the large American built clippers until she was wrecked ashore in a storm on 15 December 1885.

    The NIGHTINGALE played a major role in the Australian gold rush bringing supplies, miners and passengers to the colonies gold fields. News of the discovery of gold reached Boston on 11 October 1851 and the NIGHTINGALE sailed for Sydney only seven days later to arrive on the 19 January 1852. The first discovery of gold in Australia is attributed to Edward Hargraves in New South Wales in 1851, after he returned from the California goldfields. The gold rush that followed tripled Australia's population in just 10 years. Hundreds of ships travelled to the colony bringing prospectors, businessmen, mining utensils and supplies from countries including China, England and America. In many ways the discovery of gold in Australia echoed the California gold rush of 1849. For both countries gold brought people and wealth, dramatically changing their societies and environments. The vessel NIGHTINGALE played a role in the migration of Americans to the Australian goldfields. Tens of thousands of American miners criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean on a $20 one-way ticket that bought them a bunk and space for one trunk.

    The WITCH OF THE WAVE was an extreme clipper ship of 1498 tons, launched in 1851, built by George Raynes, at Portsmouth, NH at a cost of $80.000. The owners were Glidden & Williams, Hunt & Peabody, Boston, MA. The figurehead was a female figure in flowing white garments with gold. She held the record passage from Calcutta to Boston, and sailed for over 30 years.

    SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS, launched in 1852, 258 ft, the fastest and longest ship yet built when she was launched in New York, designed and built by Donald McKay, America's foremost clipper designer, of East Boston, MA. On her maiden voyage, she sailed New York to San Francisco in 103 days. This ship achieved the fastest ever recorded speed of a sailing vessel (22 knots). In 1853 she was chartered by James Baines & Co. of the Black Ball Line, Liverpool, for the Australia trade. She was wrecked in the Strait of Malacca, on voyage from Hamburg to China, in 1859.

    The WITCHCRAFT was built in 1850 by Paul Curtis and Mr. Taylor for the California and China trade. It was designed by Samuel Hartt Pook. The Witchcraft was described as a very beautiful ship, with a figurehead of "a grim Salem witch riding upon her aerial broomstick". Ports of call during her career included New York, San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, Manila, Melbourne, and Mauritius.

    Launched in 1960 and commissioned in 1961, the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth US naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed the "Big E". At 1,123 ft (342 m), she is the longest naval vessel in the world. She was built at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia. The Wedgwood plate celebrates the launch of this vessel and acknowledges previous American vessels bearing the name ENTERPRISE throughout history.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Eight items from the Michael O'Flynn bequest

    Assigned title: USS ENTERPRISE plate

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