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Date: 1861
Overall: 104 x 66 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00008613

User Terms

    This card is an advertisement for the clipper ship CONTINENT and its passage from New York to Melbourne. It features a black and gold wood-cut print on white enamel card. The CONTINENT was a 1032 ton ship belonging to the shipping line Fisher, Ricards & Co. The vessel was capable of carrying freight and passengers in first and second class accommodation.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards of the 19th century rarely survive as they were often discarded when the ship sailed. This card represents the gold rush period of the mid-19th century and the mass immigration it instigated to Australia.
    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 CONTINENT was an A1 class clipper ship with a capacity of 1032 tons. In 1861 it was under the command of J Gibbs. The CONTINENT was one of the Fisher, Ricards & Co fleet used on the Australian trade route to carry freight and passengers.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: CONTINENT

    Assigned title: CONTINENT

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