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Two 12 inch guns on USS LOUISIANA

Date: 1908
Overall: 178 mm
Medium: Photographic image on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Stereoscope card
Object No: 00004664
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This stereoscope card depicts the two 12 inch guns, named 'Ben' and 'Jim', on the USS LOUISIANA. This is one of 35 stereoscope cards which commemorate the visit of the United States Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908. Stereoscope cards were a popular memento of the Great White Fleet's world tour as they enabled the viewer to see a photograph as a three-dimensional image. They were produced in sets with images of the ships, parades and civic decorations.
    SignificanceThis stereoscope card represents the memorabilia created to celebrate the peace time world tour of the Great White Fleet in 1908 to countries including Australia.
    HistoryThe Rose Stereograph Company was based in Melbourne and was founded in 1880 by George Rose. It is estimated that the company produced at least 9000 stereo cards, offering a variety of images from a number of countries. The Great White Fleet's visit to Australia was a highly anticipated public event that generated many souvenirs including a set of stereoscope cards offering views of the fleet around Melbourne.

    In 1907 American President Roosevelt ordered the Atlantic Battle Fleet of the US Navy on an ambitious voyage around the world. In December 1907 led by the flagship CONNECTICUT, the Atlantic Fleet consisted of 16 battleships painted white as all US Navy ships were in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each and visited six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports. It carried 614 officers, 13,504 other crew and consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition. It was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades.

    The USS LOUISIANA was a Connecticut class battleship launched on 27 August 1904. It was involved in operations in Cuba and the Panama Canal before taking part in the 1907 to 1909 Great White Fleet tour. LOUISIANA's later career was spent in the North Atlantic and waters around Mexico. During World War I the battleship was active in the Atlantic between Canada and France. It was decommissioned on 20 October 1920 and sold for scrap.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The American Fleet in Australia. The two 12 inch Guns 'Ben' and 'Jim' on the U.S. Battleship LOUISIANA

    Web title: Two 12 inch guns on USS LOUISIANA

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