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Date: 1866
Overall: 166 x 101 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00008626

User Terms

    This card is an advertisement for the WASHINGTON and its passage between New York and Melbourne in 1866, made in the space of 72 days under the shipping line Cornelius Comstock & Co. This card features a wood-cut coloured illustration on card with the colours red, blue and green.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards of the 19th century rarely survive as they were often discarded when the ship sailed. This card illustrates maritime trade and commerce in Australia during the mid-19th century.
    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 WASHINGTON was an extreme class clipper ship under the command of A C Berry in 1866. The vessel is known to have made passages between New york and Panama in 100 days, Callao to New York in 74 days and New York to Melbourne in 72 days.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: WASHINGTON

    Web title: WASHINGTON

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