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Collection of 39 documents relating to the history of McIlwraith McEacharn Ltd

Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from McIlwraith McEacharn Limited
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0601

User Terms

    This series of 39 documents details the company history of McIlwraith McEacharn Limited. The collection consists of two Ayrshire town directories (1829-1830 and 1851-1852); five letters; two michrofich and microfilm featuring Victoria's representative men (1903); one leaflet; one McIlwraith McEacharn handbook cover; one diary; two photocopied records featuring Sir Thomas McIlwraith; two book extracts; one McIlwraith McEacharn booklet featuring Australian ports; 19 journal articles featuring shipping and trade in Australia and meat transportation and one production script for a corporate audiovisual video.
    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.
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    Web title: Collection of 39 documents relating to the history of McIlwraith McEacharn Ltd

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