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Collection of 230 documents relating to McIlwraith McEacharn Limited

Date: 1948 - 1954
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0902

User Terms

    These 230 documents relate to negotiations for the purchase of Commonwealth ships by McIlwraith McEacharn Limited. The series consists of three financial statements; two agendas for the sale of government vessels; one list of surveyed ships; one set of meeting Minutes and eight sets of notes; two sale documents; three memorandums relating to sale and purchase of vessels; 18 newspaper clippings relating to the sale of the Commonwealth fleet; one journal extract; seven sets of notes; one telegram and 182 letters relating to shipbuilding projects, the sale and purchase of government ships and the Shipping Act 1949. The documents span the period 1948 - 1954.
    SignificanceThis collection is significant in recording a comprehensive history of an Australian shipping company from the 1870s to the 1990s.
    HistoryThe shipping firm of McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co was founded in London in February 1875 by Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm Donald McEacharn. McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co entered the Australian trade in 1887 bringing cargo and immigrants from Britain to Queensland. They also entered the coal trade. They entered into the fierce competition for passenger trade in the first decades of the twentieth century when competition for passengers required companies to provide more than converted cargo vessels. In 1909 their ship KAROOLA won a reputation for its salubrious accommodation and its size, and was the first Australian ship to exceed 7,000 tons. The company maintained the advantage in 1912 by commissioning KATOOMBA, which was larger and more luxurious than all its generation of passenger ships.

    With the growth of rail and road transport, Australian shipping declined during the twentieth century. McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co was a survivor and bought the fleets of James Paterson and Huddard Parker in 1961. In 1957 McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co together with Adelaide Steamship Company and Melbourne Steamship Company, set up Bulkships Pty Ltd to work the heavy ore trade and bought four ships. In 1964 it merged shipping interests with those of the Adelaide Steamship Company to form Associated Steamships. They had a combined fleet of 12 conventional cargo vessels, which they replaced with three container ships.

    McIlwraith McEacharn continued in the shipping trade until the 1990s when their ships were sold to a US company.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Collection of 230 documents relating to McIlwraith McEacharn Limited


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