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Australia Independant Line clipper ship OCEAN STEED : immediate dispatch for Melbourne

Date: 1856
Dimensions:
Overall: 130 x 75 mm
Medium: Engraving on enamelled paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00008606
Place Manufactured:New York

User Terms

    Description
    This clipper card features a wood-cut colour illustration of the Australia Independent Line vessel OCEAN STEAD, from the starboard side. The pocket sized card was made to advertise the ships third voyage from New York to Melbourne in 1856. The vessel left New York on the 7 October and arrived at Hobson's Bay, Melbourne on 18 January carrying supplies and passengers.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards rarely survive. This example represents Australian trade and commerce during the decade of the Australian gold rush. Hundreds of ships were competing to transport passengers, cargo and miners to the Australian gold fields.
    HistoryClipper ship cards were one of the advertising methods used by ship owners to promote their vessels and transport schedules. In colourful print and bold designs they publicised the supposedly superior qualities of each vessel, often using images of maritime scenes, mythology, patriotism and women to promote their cause. The cards were largely manufactured during the late-19th century and were designed to be handed out at the docks. They were brighter and more appealing than the newspaper advertisements of the time but often used similar wording. They could be printed in up to seven different colours including blue, red, green white, black, brown, and yellow. Some printers also used gold, bronze and purple.

    The majority of clipper cards were produced when the popularity of the clipper ship was dwindling and merchants were opting for faster steam powered vessels. Clipper ships were largely active between 1845 and 1875. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit for shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. The sleek and graceful ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. They were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy.

    OCEAN STEAD was an American clipper ship of 837 tons that operated under the shipping line Fisher, Ricards & Co. It was owned by T Cunningham.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: OCEAN STEED

    Assigned title: Australia Independant Line clipper ship OCEAN STEED : immediate dispatch for Melbourne

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