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BLUE JACKET

Date: 1 January 1859
Dimensions:
Overall: 171 x 274 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00008745

User Terms

    Description
    This monochrome engraving depicts a broadside view of the Australian clipper ship BLUE JACKET, sailing in front of a city shoreline. It was probably printed in one of the popular illustrated weekly magazines of the period. The BLUE JACKET transported passengers between England and Australia during the mid-19th century. On its first journey to Melbourne from London it made the trip in a record breaking 68 days.
    SignificanceThis lithograph represents the BLUE JACKET and numerous other passenger ships in Australian waters during the 1850s Australian gold rush.
    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. The coverage of the gold rush and immigration were popular stories in America, Australia and England. The sleek and graceful clipper 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.

    The BLUE JACKET was a clipper ship of 1790 tons built in 1854 by Robert E Jackson at East Boston, USA. The ship's figurehead featured a man shown from the waist up wearing an old sailor's costume of a blue jacket with yellow buttons. BLUE JACKET was used as an immigrant ship between Britain and Australia and was well known on the Australian trade route, operating under several owners. It was destroyed by fire near the Falkland Islands during a voyage from Lyttleton, New Zealand in 1869.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: 'THE NEW AUSTRALIAN CLIPPER - "BLUE JACKET"', DEPICTS A BROADSIDE VIEW OF THE VESSEL UNDER SAIL AGAINSTVA CITY SKYLINE, IN THE FOREGROUND AND TO THE RIGHT ARE OTHER SMALL BOATS, MONOCHROME ENGRAVING ON NEWSPAPER

    Web title: BLUE JACKET

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