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OHIO

Date: c 1908
Dimensions:
Overall: 90 x 139 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00015303

User Terms

    Description
    This hand coloured postcard depicts the broadside starboard view of US naval vessel OHIO arriving in Australia as part of the Great White Fleet tour in 1908. Hundreds of postcards were produced as souvenirs of the visit and were purchased by both American sailors and Australian spectators. They commonly depict the fleet's ships, public ceremonies and national motifs associated with the American fleet, Australia and Britain.
    SignificanceAustralia welcomed the United State’s Great White Fleet tour in 1908 through the production of souvenir items such as this postcard, which demonstrate the excitement the visit generated in the Australian public.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria.

    USS OHIO was a Maine-class pre-Dreadnought battleship launched on 18 May 1901. OHIO served in Manila and the Atlantic before it took part in the American Great White Fleet tour in 1908. Its later years were spent in waters off Mexico and training operations in World War I. OHIO was decommissioned on 31 May 1922 and sold for scrap.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: OHIO

    Primary title: OHIO

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