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Date: 1859
Overall: 150 x 92 mm, 0.007 kg
Medium: Ink on white board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00028632
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This card features a coloured illustration of the Australian Pioneer Line's house flag, consisting of a white diamond with a blue letter 'A' in the centre of a red cross. It was used to promote the 1859 voyage of the clipper ship ALEXANDER sailing from New York to Sydney with freight and passengers. The 1850s was a decade of high migration to Australia with many people travelling to the gold fields.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards rarely survive as they were often discarded when the ship sailed. This card illustrates Australian trade and commerce during the mid-19th century.
    HistoryClipper ship cards were one of the advertising methods used by ship owners to promote their vessels and transport schedules. In colourful print and bold designs they publicised the supposedly superior qualities of each vessel, often using images of maritime scenes, mythology, patriotism and women to promote their cause. The cards were largely manufactured during the late-19th century and were designed to be handed out at the docks. They were brighter and more appealing than the newspaper advertisements of the time but often used similar wording. They could be printed in up to seven different colours including blue, red, green white, black, brown, and yellow. Some printers also used gold, bronze and purple.

    The majority of clipper cards were produced when the popularity of the clipper ship was dwindling and merchants were opting for faster steam powered vessels. Clipper ships were largely active between 1845 and 1875. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit for shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. The sleek and graceful ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. They were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy.

    The ALEXANDER was an A1 class clipper ship of 800 tons that was chartered by the Australia Pioneer Shipping line. In 1859 it was carrying cargo and passengers on the Australian trade route under Commander Baxter.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: ALEXANDER

    Assigned title: ALEXANDER

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