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Ethel delivers the mail
Title : Ethel delivers the mail Ethel delivers the mail
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Source : B 25723
Date of creation : 1906
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

The steamboat Ethel delivers the English mail at Largs Bay jetty. At this time before the construction of Outer Harbor in 1908, the large overseas steamships were moored off Largs Bay, and the mail and passengers were brought ashore by small steam boats or sailing boats, commonly called beach-boats. The mail and any official passengers were collected by the government boat, and other passengers and their luggage by privately owned boats.

The large steamships of the overseas shipping companies, Orient Line and P&O, were too large to navigate the route down the Port River to the Inner Harbor, as well their tight sailing schedules made the tortuous passage out of the question. The companies opted instead to moor in Holdfast Bay, and the beach-boats provided the service of getting passengers ashore.
This was not always a smooth or comfortable operation for the passengers: descending from the large ships to the small boats particularly during winter, or windy weather was not easy, and there were occasions when accidents occurred. The opening of the new facilities at Outer Harbor in January 1908 where the ships could moor directly alongside the wharf was a much overdue and eagerly awaited development of port facilities in South Australia.
Period : 1884-1913
Place : Largs Bay
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Parsons, Ronald, Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986 Chapter 12: Steam tugs and beach boats

Searcy, Arthur, The Outer Harbor (Light's Passage), Port Adelaide, South Australia: a short description of the new harbor, ... Adelaide: Government Printer, 1908

Ritter, Ron. Triumph, tragedy and Port Adelaide [Para Vista, S. Aust.]: Ronald C. Ritter, 2005 Chapter 8: (Schemes of) the Outer Harbor

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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