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Model of the brigantine PHILADELPHIA

Date: 1992
Overall: 1260 x 1590 x 340 mm, 5 kg
Display Dimensions: 1320 x 500 x 1640 mm
Medium: Timber, cotton, felt, brass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00019574
Place Manufactured:Tarana

User Terms

    This fully rigged timber model of the brigantine PHILADELPHIA was created by Michael Laroche in 1992. While the PHILADELPHIA visit to Sydney in November 1792 is quite well documented there is no record by way of an image or model of this ship. This model was designed based on the considerable research conducted into the history of the PHILADELPHIA which gave Laroche a clear picture of what the ship was like.
    SignificanceThis model is significant in representing the small trading brig PHILADELPHIA, whose visit to Sydney in November 1792 is generally accepted as the real beginning of Australia/American maritime contact.
    HistoryThe PHILADELPHIA was a brigantine ship (length 73', breadth 22/9", 162 tons), captained by Thomas Patrickson, an American citizen. The ship was built and registered in Philadelphia, USA in 1787. It was owned by the Philadelphia merchants, Phillip Nicklin and Robert Eaglesfield Griffiths.

    On 1 November 1792 the PHILADELPHIA, which had a complement of 13 deckhands, arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, loaded with a speculative cargo of "assorted notions" - beef, pitch, tar, gin, rum and tobacco. Patrickson was relieved to find that most of his cargo had reached Sydney without spoiling and he made a handsome profit. The ship was on a voyage from Philadelphia to China, via the Cape of Good Hope.

    PHILADELPHIA was the first foreign trading vessel to visit the fledgling colony at Port Jackson. After unloading its cargo, the ship was charted by Governor Phillip for a short voyage to carry supplies to the second convict settlement at Norfolk Island. The ship departed Port Jackson on 7 December 1792 carrying amongst its new cargo 10000 silver dollars.

    This model of the PHILADELPHIA was commissioned by the Australian National Maritime Museum and completed by Michael Laroche in 1992.
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