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Date: 1878
Overall: 165 x 100 mm, 0.006 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00003108

User Terms

    This multi-coloured card was used to publicise the voyage of the clipper ship ABBIE CARVER between Boston and Melbourne in November-December 1878. The pocket sized card depicts the American Coat of Arms, the Australian Coat of Arms and the logo of the Australian shipping company Henry W Peabody & Co. This company was a dominant shipping line involved in transporting freight to Australia during the mid-19th century.
    SignificanceThis is a rare surviving example of a clipper ship card. Often these small items were discarded when the ship's advertised voyage passed. This card highlights the movement of passengers and cargo between America and Australia during the 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 ABBIE CARVER was a clipper ship that could carry 985 tons. It was owned by Henry W Peabody & Co and commanded by Captain Nathan P Carver in 1878. The ship carried freight and passengers between Boston, Massachusetts and Melbourne, Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Clipper ship card from ABBIE CARVER

    Assigned title: ABBIE CARVER

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