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The WHITE STAR clipper (Built expressly for the Australian passenger trade)

Date: 4 September 1858
Overall: 187 x 268 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00008743

User Terms

    This engraving depicts a broadside view of the clipper ship WHITE STAR as it rests in a harbour. The monochrome engraving was printed in the Illustrated News of the World. The 1850s was a decade of world growth spurred on by the Australian gold rush and an expanding global economy. The WHITE STAR was primarily built to cater for the increased demand on passenger ships travelling to Australia.
    SignificanceThis engraving highlights the growing passenger trade to Australia during the mid-19th century. It also illustrates the popularity of immigration stories in weekly magazines of the time.
    HistoryIllustrated weekly magazines became increasingly popular in Europe and America during the mid 19th century. They used large eye catching illustrations to accompany articles on politics, war, travel, exploration, fine arts, science and literature. Coverage of the gold rush and immigration were popular stories in America, Australia and England. The sleek and graceful ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. It was this sense of modernity, romance and excitement that made them interesting subjects in weekly magazines.

    To emigrate or remain at home was a major decision faced by many families in the 19th century. In the United Kingdom and Ireland alone, these reasons included land clearance (Scotland and Ireland), famine (Ireland), unemployment (England), the desire to get rich or the quest for political or religious freedom (Cornwall, the Midlands, Scotland and Ireland).

    During the 1850s and 1860s the discovery of gold in California and Australia instigated the movement of many people. Tens of thousands of miners criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean between Australia and America, with a £20 one-way ticket buying them a bunk and space for one trunk. The trip between Sydney and San Francisco took about six weeks. The travellers and emigrants brought with them their home customs and traditions, leaving a lasting impact on Australian society, technology, economy and lifestyle.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The WHITE STAR clipper (Built expressly for the Australian passenger trade)

    Web title: WHITE STAR

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