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Collection of 48 documents relating to McIlwraith McEacharn Limited

Date: 1914 - 1917
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0707

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    Description
    These 48 documents from the McIlwraith McEacharn Limited collection relate to safe instructions for merchant ships during World War I. The documents include 10 documents from the Navy Office concerning trade routes from Australia; four Navy Office reports; one pamphlet of instructions concerning merchant vessels; six memorandums relating to advice from the Navy Office; one set of instructions concerning British ships; two cablegrams relating to the position of German ships; and 24 letters relating to outgoing vessels, wireless operators, and vessel instructions. The documents span the period 1914 - 1917.
    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

    Primary title: MATERIAL REGARDING SAFE INSTRUCTIONS FOR MERCHANT SHIPS DURING WORLD WAR ONE, FROM THE COLLECTION OF MCILWRAITH MCEACHARN

    Web title: Collection of 48 documents relating to McIlwraith McEacharn Limited

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