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Coleman's California Line for San Francisco : The famous extreme A1 New York built clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

Date: 1861
Overall: 104 x 165 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00008608

User Terms

    This clipper card is advertising a voyage from San Francisco to Hong Kong, via Australia on board the clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA. It features print in gold and black with a wood-cut coloured illustration of a rowing boat with eight crew members. One of the crew is holding the house flag of the Coleman California Line. This card was a call for those wanting to transport freight to Australia.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards of the 19th century rarely survive as they were often discarded after the ship sailed. This example is representative of the prominent ship YOUNG AMERICA and its role in Australian 19th century trade.
    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.

    The extreme clipper YOUNG AMERICA was the last vessel to be designed and built by American naval architect William Webb of New York. It was widely considered to be his crowning achievement when launched in 1853. The ship was 243 feet long and had a beam of 43 feet. It was constructed from the best materials available at a cost of $140,000. On its maiden voyage from New York to San Francisco the ship sailed in 110 days and achieved gross earnings of $86,400. Initially YOUNG AMERICA was owned by the prominent New York merchant George B Daniels.

    Over the course of twenty return passages from New York to San Francisco the ship averaged 118 days westward and 98 eastward. This figure was well below the normal average passage time for other vessels. In 1872-73 YOUNG AMERICA established a record of 82 days from the Golden Gate to New York, the fastest time ever recorded by a cargo ship sailing on that run.

    YOUNG AMERICA made three voyages to Australia. In 1857, it sailed from Hong Kong to Melbourne via Guichon with 800 Chinese coolies. In 1858 it made a passage from Liverpool to Melbourne in 71 days under Captain D S Babcock with 289 passengers. In 1860 it sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 69 days. During this voyage the vessel sailed 360 miles in one day.

    Sold out of an American registry to Austrian owners in 1883, it was renamed MIROSLAV and adopted the Croatian port of Bakar as its homeport. The ship continued on the trans-Atlantic trade route until 1886 when it disappeared after leaving Delaware on 17th February.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

    Assigned title: Coleman's California Line for San Francisco : The famous extreme A1 New York built clipper ship YOUNG AMERICA

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