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Letter of complaint regarding SS CHIMBORAZO

Date: 1882
Dimensions:
Display dimensions: 230 x 180 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0571[011]

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    Description
    A letter of complaint, signed by 23 passengers of the SS CHIMBORAZO to Captain J F Ruthven. Dated 22 April 1882, the passengers are complaining of the poor quaility of food on board and the failure of the refridgeration system.
    SignificanceTravelling by ship in 1882 was still a perilous affair and despite the best efforts and on board improvements, could also be an uncomfortable affair. The captain was responsible for all aspects of the ship from its safety to the staff and food.
    HistoryTestimonials extolling the seamanship, good manners, courage and confidence in the choice of Captain and ship were often prepared by passengers coming to Australia. After a lengthy sea voyage it was also not uncommon for some passengers to disagree with the running of the vessel or the personality of the Captain.
    Captain Ruthven however, was generally well liked and when he retired in 1911 it was noted in the papers of the day that he had been "one of the most popular commanders who have ever sailed to the Australian seas". (The Advertiser, 11 March, 1911).

    The CHIMBORAZO was an iron, auxiliary screw steamer that made at least two voyages a year to Australia between August 1877 and 1891 for the Orient Steam Navigation Line before being sold out of service in 1894 the vessel was placed on the northern hemisphere cruise circuit .

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