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The Gigantic Clipper Ship GREAT AUSTRALIA, recently built for Messrs Baines and Co. of Liverpool

Date: 1860
Overall: 410 x 560 mm
Sight: 160 x 241 mm
Medium: Ink on paper in wood frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00006223

User Terms

    This hand coloured wood engraving depicts the clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA sailing in rough seas. The ship was built for the Liverpool line Messers Baines & Co by Stewart & Co of St John's Newfoundland, Canada. It formed part of their fleet of Australian immigrant ships. This engraving was taken from a sketch and probably printed in the London Illustrated News, a popular weekly magazine that often featured stories on travel, exploration, immigration and ships.
    SignificanceThis ship portrait highlights the migration of people to Australia during the mid-19th century. The choice to emigrate or remain at home was a decision faced by many families in the 1800s.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. The sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of modernity in America and a fundamental part of the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. Their prevalence on the world’s oceans coincided with the American and Australian gold rush. The discovery of gold instigated the movement of many people and encouraged an increase in the demand on clipper ships to cater for passengers.

    The GREAT AUSTRALIA was a wooden bark built in New Brunswick, Canada in August 1860. The vessel was owned by Wright & Co of Liverpool and used for transporting cargo and passengers from Liverpool to Melbourne between 1861 and 1864. The ship wrecked off the coast of Burma on 14 July 1865 while it was carrying a cargo of rice bound for Liverpool.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The Gigantic Clipper Ship GREAT AUSTRALIA, recently built for Messrs Baines and Co. of Liverpool

    Web title: The gigantic clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA

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