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Iron ship Hindostan
Title : Iron ship Hindostan Iron ship Hindostan
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Source : Edwardes Collection, volume 25, number 89
Date of creation : ca. 1875
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Iron ship Hindostan double-moored at unrecorded harbour in the early 1870s. The first iron ship was launched in 1838 appropriately called Ironsides. However it would be several decades before iron ships dominated the seas. Iron passenger ships reached perfection in the Australian and New Zealand passenger trades. Many of the ships returned to England carrying wool.

Hindostan was a popular name and there were at least two vessels of that name sailing at the same time, and several that had been built much earlier including the Royal Navy ship which was built in 1813. The Hindostan seen here was built in Glasgow in 1863 for the British and Eastern Shipping Company of Liverpool. In 1873 she was sold to the New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd.

For a while however wooden and iron clippers sailed the seas at the same time and in appearance they both had the graceful lines that were essential to the concept of a 'clipper ship'. Iron ships were stronger and could be built larger than wooden ships, and were thus able to carry more cargo.

Larger ships meant not only that owners could carry more passengers or cargo, but that passengers also had more room aboard ship. And the scourge of the wooden vessels, fire, was much less of a problem.

Period : 1852-1883
Further reading :
Lubbock, Basil. The colonial clippers Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, 1955
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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