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Collection of 145 documents relating to the Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited

Date: 1881 - 1908
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0570

User Terms

    Description
    This collection of 145 documents relates to proposals and contracts relating to the establishment of Australian mail carriage services by the Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited. The series consists of six agreements and three draft agreements relating to the extension of English mail services to Queensland; five Australian mail contracts; six sets of notes relating to the carriage of mail; two draft deeds of covenant; two draft deeds of indemnity; two indenture documents; two insurance proposals; one special guarantee proposal; one tender document; and 112 letters and memorandums between the Orient Line and the Postmaster General and the Law Guarantee and Trust Society, London for the establishment of mail services in Australia. The documents span the period 1881 - 1908.
    HistoryThe Orient Steam Navigation Company, also known as the Orient Line, began as a British ship broking company founded by James Thompson in 1797. The company was joined by James Anderson in 1828, and his nephew in 1854, and operated sailing routes around the world under the name of Anderson, Anderson and Co. In 1878, the company bought a fleet of steam ships and formed the Orient Steam Navigation Company (shortened to the Orient Line). In 1879 the ORIENT, a ship purpose-built for the company, entered service on the Australia route.

    By the turn of the century, the Orient Line had a close association with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, with the two companies sharing the lucrative Australian Government mail contract. This was a time of rapid expansion for the Orient Line, with five 12,000 tonne ships - ORSOVA, OTWAY, OSTERLEY, OTRANTO and ORVIETO - entering the fleet in 1909.

    After World War I, the Orient Line sought to replenish its tonnage and commissioned the construction of five sleek new turbine-driven ships: ORAMA, ORONSAY, OTRANTO, ORFORD and ORONTES, completed between 1924 and 1929. The magnificent 20,000 tonners were designed to carry more than 1,200 migrants in modest third class accommodation and nearly 600 first class passengers in opulent surroundings. By the mid-1930s the third class capacity on these ships was reduced and renamed tourist class. In 1935, the ORION was launched, and its corn-coloured hull went on to become the Line's signature colour.

    In the 1950s three new ships, ORONSAY, ORCADES and ORSOVA, were built to replace vessels lost during World War II. With competition from air travel, the Line's ships were increasingly diverted to cruising. ORIANA was the last ship ordered for the Orient Line and the last one to fly the Orient Line flag. The Orient Line was eventually absorbed into the P&O Line in 1966.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Collection of 145 documents relating to the Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited

    Primary title: AGREEMENTS FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN MAILS, CORRESPONDANCE BETWEEN ORIENT LINE WITH THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND THE LAW GUARANTEE AND TRUST SOCIETY, ALSO CONTRACTS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN MAILS, TENDER FORM FOR THE CARRIAGE OF MAILS

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