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Track chart of Orient Line's England - Australia service

Date: 1934-1935
Overall: 250 x 350 mm, 0.013 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Maps, charts and plans
Object Name: Chart
Object No: 00018842
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    This coloured chart tracks the voyages of Orient Line mail steamers between England and Australia, and connecting lines to New Zealand. In the centre of the chart is a table which records the distances between ports, and calculates a total distance of 13,181 miles.

    Along the bottom of the chart are 14 individual clock faces, indicating the times of places - the Canaries, Prime Meridian, Malta and Cape, Port Said, Aden, Mauritius, Colombo, Calcutta, Singapore, West, Central and East Australia, and West and East New Zealand - against longitudinal positions on the map.

    On the reverse of the chart is a table of outwards and homeward bound departures for 1935, and a list of the company offices and agencies.
    SignificanceThis chart represents the Orient Line shipping company, which first serviced the UK - Australia passenger route in 1879. The chart is an important record of the ways in which the route was marketed and explained to prospective passengers.
    HistoryThe Orient Line began as a British ship broking company founded by James Thompson in 1797. The company was joined by James Anderson in 1828, and his nephew in 1854, and operated sailing routes around the world under the name of Anderson, Anderson and Co. In 1878, the company bought a fleet of steam ships and formed the Orient Steam Navigation Company (shortened to the Orient Line). In 1879 the ORIENT, a ship purpose-built for the company, entered service on the Australia route.

    By the turn of the century, the Orient Line had a close association with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, with the two companies sharing the lucrative Australian Government mail contract. This was a time of rapid expansion for the Orient Line, with five 12,000 tonne ships - ORSOVA, OTWAY, OSTERLEY, OTRANTO and ORVIETO - entering the fleet in 1909.

    After World War I, the Orient Line sought to replenish its tonnage and commissioned the construction of five sleek new turbine-driven ships: ORAMA, ORONSAY, OTRANTO, ORFORD and ORONTES, completed between 1924 and 1929. The magnificent 20,000 tonners were designed to carry more than 1,200 migrants in modest third class accommodation and nearly 600 first class passengers in opulent surroundings. By the mid-1930s the third class capacity on these ships was reduced and renamed tourist class. In 1935, the ORION was launched, and its corn-coloured hull went on to become the Line's signature colour.

    In the 1950s three new ships, ORONSAY, ORCADES and ORSOVA, were built to replace vessels lost during World War II. With competition from air travel, the Line's ships were increasingly diverted to cruising. ORIANA was the last ship ordered for the Orient Line and the last one to fly the Orient Line flag. The Orient Line was eventually absorbed into the P&O Line in 1966.
    Related People
    Publisher: Orient Line

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