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Date: c 1879
Overall: 134 x 83 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Printed sepia on glazed cream board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00028544
Place Manufactured:New York

User Terms

    This card is an advertisement for the clipper ship SOUTHERN EAGLE of the Fisher, Ricards and Co Australian shipping line. It features a sepia illustration of the vessel against a cream background. The SOUTHERN EAGLE was seeking freight for its 1879 journey from New York to Melbourne via Geelong, Sydney, Hobart Town and Launceston. This pocket sized card was suitable for distribution on the dock and produced at a time when clipper ships were no longer dominating maritime transport.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards of the 19th century rarely survive as they were often discarded when the ship sailed. This card illustrates maritime trade and commerce in Australia 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 SOUTHERN EAGLE was an A1 class clipper ship that operated under the Fisher, Ricards & Co shipping line. The vessel had a capacity of 1400 tons and in 1879 was under the command of Commander Caldwell on the Australian trade route.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: SOUTHERN EAGLE

    Web title: SOUTHERN EAGLE

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