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Sailing Ship Card Collection

Sailing Ship Card Collection

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Open Finding Aid

SAILING SHIP CARD COLLECTION, 1852-1894, 1918, 1990


Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Title:Sailing Ship Card Collection
Dates:1852/1894, 1918, 1990
Quantity:5.5 linear feet (11 boxes)
Abstract:Sailing ship cards were printed to announce the departure of commercial ship sailings for both passengers and freight companies. The ephemeral nature of these cards makes them very rare. Scholars consider the collection in the Phillips Library to be the largest in the world, housing 1,295 cards printed between 1852 and 1894. The collection is international in scope, including cards advertising journeys to San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sidney, Melbourne and Sidney, Australia. Most of the cards are unique in design and demonstrate a broad range of printing techniques. Most of the cards printed were for different ships; however several shipping companies created different cards for the same ship for different voyages. Examples of such cards are included in this collection.
Identification:MSS 470

Series List

SERIES I. Sailing Ship Cards
SERIES II. Steam Ship Cards
SERIES III. Shipping Lines
SERIES IV. Ephemera

Scope and Content Note

Sailing ship cards have been identified as the earliest form of multi-color advertising in the United States. Printed to announce the departure of commercial ship sailings for both passengers and freight companies, the ephemeral nature of these cards makes them very rare. Scholars consider the collection in the Phillips Library to be the largest in the world, housing 1,290 cards, 1,192 of which are unique, and 98 of which are duplicates. The collection is international in scope, including cards advertising journeys to San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sidney, Melbourne and Sidney, Australia. Most of the cards are unique in design and demonstrate a broad range of printing techniques. The collection is organized into four series. Each folder contains one card, unless otherwise specified.

Series I. Sailing Ship Cards is the largest series in the collection. It consists of 10 boxes of cards, with one folder for each ship represented in the collection. The date printed on the finding aid identifies, if known, the date the card was printed. Series II. Steamship Cards includes cards printed to advertise steamship sailings. Series III. Shipping Lines includes cards designed to advertise a specific shipping company rather than a specific ship. Series IV. Ephemera includes card base mockups; fragments of graphic images found on the cards in Series I; an illustrated lecture on clipper ship cards; a news article; photographs of sailing cards; and other items of ephemera.

Historical Sketch

In the late 19th century, between 1850 and 1890, ship owners and shipping lines announced the departure of their ships by means of printed cards instead of advertising in newspapers or via broadsides, as they had previously done. These sailing cards were typically 4-5 inches by 5 to 7 inches in size and were distributed to shippers and potential passengers to announce impending journeys. As mentioned by Bruce Roberts, in his book, Clipper Ship Sailing Cards, the "cards announced that Ship A would leave Departure Point B for Destination C on or before Date D and you should contact Agent E if you had goods and/or yourself to transport." Roberts also indicates that use of these cards was "the most substantial of any class of American advertising cards" during the mid-to-late 19th century. Aimed for a specific audience, very few of these cards were printed for a specific voyage. While some cards were printed in black and white, the majority of them were printed in color, representing "the first pronounced use of color in American advertising art."

Typically the cards were printed on coated stock, also known as enameled stock, utilizing letterpress techniques to print the cards and wood engraving for the images. Additional techniques included woodcut and lithography. As chromolithography techniques progressed with accompanying changes in machinery and ink, the need for coated stock was removed and the options for design and color advanced providing options to overprint as many as 7 colors. Some of the cards in the collection used embossing techniques to create the images. George F. Nesbitt from New York printed many of the sailing cards; other printers included A. E. Ivers, Stationer and Printer; Carr, Dunn & Newhoff Printers; Rand, Avery & Co., Printers; Blair & Hallet, Printers; Fred Rogers, Steam Job Printer; and Watson's Press. The Phillips Library collection includes cards printed by each of these organizations.

Typically, the ships were referred to as clipper ships, which designated the speed at which the journeys were made. At the height of the California Gold Rush, ships were built to travel faster and faster to reach the West Coast; the clipper ships' sharp hull lines and heavy sparring enabled increased speeds of passage. Prior to this change in boat design, a trip from Boston or New York to San Francisco could take as long as 300 days; the increased speed of the ships shortened these journeys to between 100 and 120 days.

Examples of American, British, German, and Norwegian barks (barques) are included in this collection. The American clipper ship was considered to be faster than its British and European counterparts. Ports of origin included Boston, New York, and San Francisco, with destinations to San Francisco, New York, London, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Christchurch, Dunedin, Lyttleton, and Wellington in New Zealand, and Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Many of the cards announced the duration of previous journeys as an enticement to attract passengers and/or indicated the number of times the ship had made the voyage. The ship master's name was printed on most cards; many cards identified where the ship had been built, sometimes including the name of the builder. Several cards use the phrase Succeeding the (name of ship) to indicate the current vessel was traveling the same journey as the ship mentioned. Most cards do not include the exact date of sail because ship owners did not want to sail until the ship had a full cargo; others used the phrase To Sail positively on or before the advertised day. Rarely was the year of the voyage printed on the card so that the card could be used to advertise several voyages. However, many of the cards include the actual date the card was created by the printer. Allan Forbes and Ralph Eastman note in their book, Yankee Ship Sailing Cards, that Henry W. Peabody of Boston was one of the first ship owners to experiment with sailing his ships on a specific date to avoid the problems of a ship remaining in dock for weeks or months "to sail when laden." Other shipping companies represented in the collection include: Neal & Crowninshield Australasian Packet Line; Australian Commercial Line; Coleman's California Line; Henry C. Brooks and Co.; Brooks Australian Line; Vernon Brown & Son; Glidden & Williams; Merchants' Express Line; Samuel Stevens & Co. Australian Line; Sutton & Co.; Sutton's Dispatch Line; and Winsor's Regular Line.

The clipper ship trade started to decline with the introduction of the steamship. Although the sailing ships were typically faster than the steamships, the latter was not at the mercy of the wind and weather to complete their journeys. The Phillips Library collection also includes advertising cards for steamships in Series II.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

A. W. Stevens (Clipper Barque)
Abbie Carver (Clipper Bark)
Abiel Abbott (Bark)
Acadia (Ship)
Addie E. Sleeper (Ship)
Adelaide (Clipper)
Agate (Clipper Bark)
Agnes (Ship)
Agra (Clipper)
Akbar (Clipper)
Alameda (Clipper)
Alarm (Clipper)
Alaska (Clipper)
Albermarle (Side Wheel Steamer)
Alexander (Clipper)
Alfchild (Barkentine)
Alice (Bark)
Alice Ball (Clipper)
Alice Reed (Barque)
Allan Line (Mail Steamer)
Alleghahean (Clipper)
Almatia (Clipper Bark)
Almena (Clipper Bark)
Alonzo Child (Steamer)
Amos Lawrence (Clipper)
Anahuac (Clipper)
Andrew Jackson (Clipper)
Anglo Saxon (Clipper)
Anna F. Schmidt (Clipper)
Anna Walsh (Clipper Bark)
Annie W. Weston (Clipper Bark)
Antelope (Clipper)
Arabia (Clipper)
Arcadia (Clipper)
Archer (Clipper)
Arey (Clipper)
Argonaut (Clipper)
Argosy (Clipper)
Arkwright (Clipper)
Arracan (Clipper)
Asa Eldridge (Clipper)
Asia (Clipper)
Asia (Steamer)
Asphodel (Clipper Barque)
Asterion (Clipper)
Atalanta (Packet)
Atlanta (Clipper Bark)
Atlantic (Clipper Bark)
Atlantic (Steamship)
Atmosphere (Clipper)
Audubon (Clipper)
August Smith (Barque)
Aureola (Clipper)
Aurora (Clipper)
Autocrat (Packet)
Avanti (Clipper Barque)
B. F. Hoxie (Clipper)
B. Webster (Bark)
Baldur (Bark)
Baltic (Clipper)
Baltic (Steamship)
Bavaria (Clipper)
Belle of the Sea (Clipper)
Belle of the West (Clipper)
Belvedere (Clipper)
Bengal (Clipper)
Benj. F. Hunt, Jr. (Barque)
Bertha (Clipper)
Birmah (Iron Barque)
Black Hawk (Clipper)
Black Prince (Clipper)
Blair Drummond (Iron Clipper)
Blandina Dudley (Clipper)
Blue Jacket (Clipper)
Bold Hunter (Packet)
Boston Light (Clipper)
Bostonian (Clipper)
Brewster (Clipper)
Bridgewater (Clipper)
Brothers (Clipper Barque)
Brown Brothers (Clipper)
Bryn-Ivor (Clipper Barque)
Buena Vista (Clipper)
Bunker Hill (Clipper)
C. A. Farwell (Clipper)
C. S. Pennell (Clipper)
Caledonia (Steamship)
California (Clipper)
Calypso (Clipper)
Carlyle (Clipper)
Caroline (Clipper)
Carolus Magnus (Clipper)
Carrie Heckle (Clipper Bark)
Carrie L. Tyler (Bark)
Carrie Winslow (Bark)
Carrier Dove (Clipper)
Cashmere (Clipper)
Cathaya (Clipper)
Cathedral (Ship)
Catherine (Bark)
Catherine Jane (Bark)
Celeste Clark (Clipper Bark)
Celestia (Clipper Barque)
Celestial Empire (Clipper)
Centurion (Clipper)
Challenge (Clipper Barque)
Challenger (Clipper)
Chalmette (Bark)
Champion (Clipper)
Chapin (Clipper)
Charger (Clipper)
Chariot of Fame (Clipper)
Charles Stewart (Clipper Bark)
Charlotte A. Littlefield (Clipper Barque)
Charmer (Clipper)
Chas. [Charles] Cooper (Clipper)
Chas. [Charles] G. Rice (Bark)
Chas. [Charles] Luling (Clipper)
Chasca (Clipper Bark)
Chatsworth (Clipper)
Cheshire (Bark)
Chestina Redman (Clipper Bark)
Chieftain (Clipper)
China (Clipper)
Chocorua (Clipper)
Chr. [Christian] Knudsen (Bark)
Christine (Clipper Bark)
Christopher Hall (Clipper)
Circassian (Iron Screw Steamship)
City of Boston (Clipper)
City of Boston Packet)
City of New York (Clipper)
Clara (Clipper Bark)
Clara Morse (Clipper)
Cochituate (Bark)
Cold Stream (Clipper)
Comet (Clipper)
Commodore (Clipper)
Commonwealth (Clipper)
Compeer (Clipper)
Concordia (Steamship)
Connaught (Iron Side-Wheel Steamship)
Conquest (Clipper)
Contest (Clipper Bark)
Contest (Clipper)
Cora (Clipper Bark)
Corinna (Barque)
Courier (Clipper)
Courser (Clipper Barque)
Cremona (Clipper Barque)
Cremorne (Clipper)
Creole (Steamship)
Crescent (Clipper Bark)
Crescent City (Steamship)
Criterion (Clipper)
Cromwell (Clipper)
Crown Point (Clipper)
Crusader (Clipper)
Cultivator (Clipper)
Cutwater (Clipper)
Cyclone (Clipper)
Czarina (Schooner)
Daniel Marcy (Clipper)
Danube (Clipper)
Daring (Clipper)
Dashing Wave (Clipper)
David Brown (Clipper)
David Crockett (Clipper)
Daylight (Clipper)
Defender (Clipper)
Delft Haven (Clipper)
Derby (Clipper)
Devon (Clipper Barque)
Dexter (Clipper)
Diana (Packet)
Dictator (Clipper)
Dio Fili (Barque)
Dirigo (Clipper)
D'Israeli (Clipper)
Don Quixote (Clipper)
Donati (Clipper)
Dreadnought (Clipper)
Duart Bay (Clipper)
E. F. Willets (Clipper)
E. H. Taylor (Clipper)
E. Southard (Clipper)
Eagle Wing (Clipper)
East Indian (Clipper)
Eastward Ho! (Clipper)
Edinburg (Steamer)
Edith (Clipper)
Edith Rose (Clipper)
Edmund Phinney (Bark)
Edward James (Clipper Bark)
Edward Kidder (Clipper Bark)
Edward O'Brien (Clipper)
Edwin Forrest (Clipper)
El Capitan (Clipper)
Eldorado (Clipper)
Electric Spark (Clipper)
Eliphalet Greely (Ship)
Eliza Mallory (Ship)
Eliza McNeil (Clipper)
Ella Norton (Clipper)
Ellen Austin (Clipper)
Ellen Sears (Clipper)
Ellsworth (Clipper Bark)
Eloisa (Clipper)
Elvira Owen (Packet)
Emerald Isle (Clipper)
Emigrant (Bark)
Emilie (Clipper Barque)
Emily F. Whitney (Ship)
Emma C. Beal (Clipper)
Endeavour (Clipper)
Enrique (Bark)
Enterprise (Clipper)
Envoy (Clipper Bark)
Ericsson (Clipper)
Escort (Clipper Barque)
Essex (Bark)
Estella (Barque)
Eureka (Clipper)
Europa (Clipper)
Expounder (Clipper)
Express (Clipper)
Eyvor (Clipper Bark)
Fair Wind (Clipper)
Far Away (Clipper Barque)
Favorita (Clipper)
Fearless (Clipper)
Ferry B.B. (Stern Wheel Steamboat)
Fleetford (Clipper)
Flora Temple (Clipper)
Florence (Clipper)
Florence Nightingale (Clipper)
Florida (Packet)
Floris (Clipper Bark)
Flying Childers (Clipper)
Flying Cloud (Clipper)
Flying Dragon (Clipper)
Flying Eagle (Clipper)
Flying Fish (Clipper)
Flying Mist (Clipper)
Flying Scud (Clipper)
Forest Queen (Clipper)
Formosa (Clipper)
Franc Lambirth (Clipper Bark)
Frances Hilyard (Clipper)
Franklin (Clipper)
Fred Warren (Ship)
Free Trade (Clipper)
Freeman (Clipper Barque)
Freeman Clark (Clipper)
Fremont (Barkentine)
Fung Shuey (Steamship)
Galatea (Clipper)
Ganges (Clipper)
Gardner Colby (Clipper)
Garibaldi (Clipper)
Gaspee (Clipper)
Geertruida Strating (Barkentine)
Gem of the Ocean (Clipper)
General Grant (Packet)
General Grant (Steamship)
General McClellan (Clipper)
General Meade (Steamship)
Gentoo (Packet)
George B. Upton (Steamship)
George Griswold (Clipper)
George Peabody (Clipper)
George Raynes (Clipper)
Gleaner (Clipper)
Glenfalloch (Barque)
Goddess (Clipper)
Golconda (Clipper)
Golden Eagle (Clipper)
Golden Fleece (Clipper)
Golden Gate (Clipper Bark)
Golden Gate (Steamer)
Golden Hind (Clipper)
Golden Rule (Clipper)
Golden State (Clipper)
Golden West (Clipper)
Good Hope (Clipper)
Goodell (Clipper)
Governor Langdon (Clipper)
Governor Morton (Clipper)
Governor Robie (Clipper)
Governor Wilmot (Ship)
Grace Darling (Clipper)
Grace Deering (Clipper Barque)
Grace Hammond (Clipper Bark)
Grand Old Mississippi (Stern Wheel Steamboat)
Granite (Clipper)
Granite State (Clipper)
Great Republic (Clipper)
Guardian (Clipper)
Guiding Star (Clipper)
Gurli (Clipper Barque)
Gustav Metzler (Clipper Barque)
H.C. Sibley (Brig)
H.J. Libby (Clipper Barque)
Hamilton (Clipper)
Hamlet (Ship)
Harriet (Clipper)
Harry Bluff (Clipper)
Harry Hastings (Clipper)
Harry of the West (Clipper)
Harvest Queen (Clipper)
Harvey Birch (Clipper)
Harvey Mills (Clipper)
Hattie G. Hall (Clipper Bark)
Hawkhope (Clipper Bark)
Haydn Brown (Clipper Barque)
Haze (Clipper)
Hector (Clipper Brig)
Heinrich Bauer (Barque)
Helen Angier (Clipper)
Helen Clinton (Clipper)
Helene (Ship)
Helvetica (Clipper)
Hengist (Clipper Bark)
Henry (Clipper Barque)
Henry Brigham (Clipper)
Herald of the Morning (Clipper)
Herbert (Packet)
Hermon (Ship)
Highlands (Barque)
Hiram Emery (Clipper Bark)
Hollander (Clipper Bark)
Hoogly (Clipper)
Horatio Harris (Clipper)
Horatio Sprague (Clipper)
Hornet (Clipper) [6]
Horsburgh (Clipper)
Hound (Clipper)
Humboldt (Clipper)
Hurricane (Clipper)
Illie (Clipper Barque)
Imperial (Clipper)
Indiaman (Clipper)
Industry (Clipper)
Inkermann (Clipper)
Intrepid (Clipper)
Invincible (Clipper)
Iroquois (Clipper)
Isaac Jeanes (Clipper)
Isaac Reed (Clipper)
Ivanhoe (Clipper)
J. Montgomery (Ship)
James G. Pendleton (Bark)
James Guthrie (Ship)
James L. Harway (Bark)
James R. Keeler (Clipper)
Jane Maria (Barque)
Janet Ferguson (Clipper)
Japan (Clipper)
Jason (Clipper Barque)
Jennie Harkness (Barque)
Jennie Parker (Bark)
Jenny Bertaux (Bark)
Jeremiah Thompson (Clipper)
John Adams (Steamer)
John Bryant (Clipper)
John Gilpin (Clipper)
John Haven (Packet)
John L. Dimmock (Clipper)
John Land (Clipper)
John S. Emery (Bark)
John Tucker (Clipper)
John Worster (Clipper Barque)
Jonathan Bourne (Clipper Bark)
Joseph Holmes (Packet)
Joseph Peabody (Clipper)
Josiah L. Hale (Clipper)
Julia (Clipper Barque)
Julia Ann (Clipper Bark)
Julia G. Tyler (Clipper)
Jumna (Clipper)
Kate Dyer (Clipper)
Kate Hooper (Clipper)
Kate Prince (Clipper)
Kearsarge (Clipper)
Kentuckian (Clipper)
Kepler (Barque)
Keying (Brig)
King Philip (Clipper)
Kingfisher (Clipper)
Kioto (Clipper Bark)
Kit Carson (Clipper)
Ladoga (Clipper)
Lady Bowen (Clipper)
Lady Dufferin (Packet)
Lady Washington (Clipper)
Lancaster (Packet)
Laurens (Clipper)
Lawrence (Clipper)
Lawrence Brown (Ship)
Leading Wind (Clipper)
Leo (Steamship)
Levanter (Clipper)
Levi Stevens (Clipper)
Liberty (Steamship)
Light of the Age (Clipper Bark)
Lightfoot (Clipper)
Linda (Clipper)
Live Oak (Clipper)
Liverpool Packet (Clipper)
Lizzie Oakford (Clipper)
Logan (Clipper)
Loining (Barque)
London Packet (Ship)
Lookout (Clipper)
Louis Montgomery (Clipper Brig)
Lovet Peacock (Clipper)
Lydia Skolfield (Clipper)
Ly-ee-Moon (Clipper Bark)
M. Nottebohm (Clipper)
Macassar (Clipper Bark)
Magnet (Clipper)
Majestic (Clipper)
Malay (Clipper)
Malta (Packet)
Mameluke (Clipper)
Manhattan (Side-Wheel Steamship)
Manitou (Clipper)
Marcellus (Clipper)
Maria J. Smith (Clipper Bark)
Mariner (Bark)
Marmion (Clipper)
Martha Cobb (Clipper)
Martha Rideout (Packet)
Mary (Clipper)
Mary Annah (Packet)
Mary Bangs (Clipper)
Mary Durkie (Clipper)
Mary E. Balch (Clipper)
Mary E. Packer (Clipper)
Mary Edson (Clipper Barque)
Mary Goodell (Clipper)
Mary L. Sutton (Clipper)
Mary Ogden (Clipper)
Mary Robinson (Clipper)
Mary Whitridge (Clipper)
Masonic (Barque)
Matanzas (Steamship)
Matchless (Clipper)
Mattapan (Clipper)
McGilvery (Clipper Bark)
Meg Merrilies (Clipper Barque)
Melita (Iron Screw Steamship)
Melrose (Clipper)
Memel (Bark)
Memnon (Clipper)
Merchant (Clipper)
Mercury (Clipper Barkentine)
Messenger (Clipper)
Messenger (Clipper)
Midnight (Clipper)
Mindoro (Clipper)
Minstrel (Ship)
Monsoon (Clipper)
Montana (Clipper Bark)
Montana (Steamship)
Moonbeam (Clipper Bark)
Moonlight (Clipper)
Morning Light (Clipper)
Morning Star (Clipper)
Mount Lebanon (Clipper Barkentine)
Mystic Belle (Clipper)
N. Boynton (Clipper)
Nabob (Clipper)
Napier (Clipper)
National Eagle (Clipper)
Ne Plus Ultra (Clipper)
Nellie (Brig)
Nellie Chapin (Clipper Barque)
Nellie Hastings (Clipper Brig)
Nellie M. Slade (Clipper Barque)
Nellie May (Barque)
Neptune's Car (Clipper)
Neptune's Favorite (Clipper)
Nereid (Clipper)
Nestor (Clipper Bark)
Nesutan (Clipper)
Nevada (Clipper)
New Hampshire (Clipper)
Nicobar (Ship)
Nicoline (Barque)
Nonpareil (Clipper)
Noonday (Clipper)
Nor' Wester (Clipper)
Norseman (Clipper)
North Star (Clipper)
North Wind (Clipper)
Northern Crown (Clipper Packet)
Northern Light (Clipper)
Norway (Clipper)
Oak Hill (Clipper Barque)
Obed Baxter (Barque)
Ocean Eagle (Clipper)
Ocean Express (Clipper)
Ocean Rover (Clipper)
Ocean Telegraph (Clipper)
Old Colony (Clipper)
Old Dominion (Packet)
Oliver Cutts (Clipper Bark)
Olivia Davis (Clipper)
Omaha (Clipper Bark)
Oneco (Clipper Bark)
Ontario (Clipper)
Oriental (Iron Steamship)
Orion (Clipper)
Orpheus (Clipper)
Osberga (Barque)
Osborn Howes (Clipper)
Osceola (Clipper)
Otis Norcross (Clipper)
Otseonthe (Clipper)
Oxenbridge (Packet)
Pactolus (Clipper)
Panama (Clipper)
Panay (Clipper)
Panther (Clipper)
Paramatta (Clipper Barque)
Paramount (Clipper Bark)
Parsee (Clipper)
Parthenia (Packet)
Patrick Henry (Ship)
Paul (Bark)
Pauline (Clipper Bark)
Pearl (Bark)
Peerless (Clipper Brig)
Pekin (Clipper Bark)
Penobscot (Clipper Bark)
Perry Edward (Clipper)
Peruvian (Clipper)
Peruvian (Iron Steamship)
Phantom (Clipper)
Pharos (Clipper)
Pilgrim (Clipper)
Polynesia (Clipper)
Prima Donna (Clipper)
Princess (Clipper)
Propontis (Iron Screw Steamship)
Punjab (Clipper)
Puritan (Clipper)
Pursuit (Clipper Barque)
Queen of the East (Clipper)
Queen of the Pacific (Clipper)
Queen of the Seas (Clipper)
R. B. Forbes (Clipper)
R. Robinson (Clipper)
Racer (Clipper)
Radiant (Clipper)
Raduga (Clipper)
Ralph M. Hayward (Barque)
Rambler (Clipper)
Rangoon (Clipper)
Rattler (Clipper)
Red Rover (Clipper)
Redgauntlet (Clipper)
Renown (Clipper)
Reporter (Clipper)
Reunion (Clipper)
Reynard (Clipper)
Richard Busteed (Clipper)
Richard S. Ely (Clipper)
Ring Dove (Clipper)
Ringleader (Clipper)
Rising Sun (Clipper)
Rival (Clipper)
Robin Hood (Clipper)
Romance of the Sea (Clipper)
Roswell Sprague (Clipper)
Royal Saxon (Clipper)
Ruby (Ship)
Russell (Clipper)
S.C. Grant (Clipper)
S.R. Bearse (Clipper Barque)
S.R. Lyman (Clipper Bark)
Sachem (Clipper)
Sacramento (Clipper)
Sam G. Glover (Clipper)
Sampson (Clipper Bark)
Samuel Appleton (Clipper)
Samuel D. Carleton (Clipper Barque)
Samuel H. Nickerson (Bark)
Samuel Lawrence (Clipper)
San Salvador (Steamship)
Sancho Panza (Clipper)
Santa Claus (Clipper)
Santee (Steamship)
Sapphire (Clipper)
Saracen (Clipper)
Sarah (Barque)
Sarah Scott (Clipper)
Sattara (Clipper)
Saturn (Barque)
Sea King (Clipper)
Sea Lark (Clipper)
Sea Nymph (Clipper)
Sea Serpent (Clipper)
Seaman's Bride (Clipper)
Seminole (Clipper)
Semiramis (Clipper)
Shatemuc (Clipper)
Shenandoah (Clipper Schooner)
Shirley (Clipper)
Shooting Star (Clipper)
Sierra Nevada (Clipper)
Silas Fish (Clipper)
Simoda (Clipper)
Skylark (Clipper)
Smidt (Steamship)
Smiling Morn (Clipper)
Smyrniote (Clipper Bark)
Snow Squall
Solomon (Bark)
Sonoma (Clipper Bark)
Sooloo (Clipper)
Sophia (Clipper Bark)
South America (Clipper Packet)
South American (Ship)
Southern Cross (Clipper)
Southern Eagle (Ship)
Sovereign of the Seas (Clipper)
Sparkling Wave (Ship)
Spitfire (Clipper)
Sprite (Clipper Brig)
St. Charles (Clipper)
St. James (Clipper)
St. John Smith (Clipper)
St. Joseph (Clipper)
St. Louis (Clipper)
St. Nicholas (Clipper)
Star of Hope (Clipper)
Star of the East (Barque)
Star of the Union (Clipper)
Star of the West (Double Engine Steamship)
Starlight (Clipper)
Stars and Stripes (Clipper)
Statsminster Selmer (Barque)
Storm King (Clipper)
Success (Clipper)
Sumatra (Clipper)
Sunrise (Clipper)
Sunshine (Clipper)
Surprise (Clipper Barque)
Susan Fearing (Clipper)
Susan Howland (Clipper)
Sussex (Iron Bark)
Swallow (Clipper)
Sword Fish (Clipper)
Syren (Clipper)
T.L. Sweat (Clipper Barque)
Talisman (Clipper)
Tam O'Shanter (Clipper)
Tamana (Clipper)
Tanjore (Clipper)
Templar (Clipper)
Thalatta (Ship)
Thatcher Magoun (Clipper)
Themis (Brig)
Theodore D. Wagner (Steamship)
Theresa (Clipper Barque)
Tillie Baker (Bark)
Titan (Clipper)
Tsar (Clipper)
Tubalcain (Steamship)
Twilight (Clipper)
Tycoon (Clipper)
Undaunted (Clipper)
Union (Clipper)
Valley Forge (Clipper)
Valparaiso (Clipper)
Veritas (Ship)
Vesta (Brig)
Vesta Veazie (Clipper Barque)
Victoria (Ship)
Victorine (Clipper)
Vigilant (Clipper)
Vitula (Clipper)
Volunteer (Clipper)
Waimea (Bark)
Wakefield (Clipper)
Walter Lord (Clipper)
War Hawk (Clipper)
Warrior (Clipper Bark)
Washington (Clipper)
Washington Booth (Clipper)
Web Foot (Clipper)
Webster (Clipper)
Wellfleet (Clipper)
West Wind (Clipper)
Western Continent (Clipper)
Western Star (Clipper)
Whirlwind (Clipper)
Whistler (Clipper)
White Swallow (Clipper)
Wilbur Fisk (Clipper Packet)
Wild Hunter (Clipper)
Wild Pigeon (Clipper)
Wild Rover (Clipper)
William (Schooner)
William Chamberlain (Clipper)
William H. Prescott (Clipper)
William Hales (Clipper Barque)
William M. Peck (Clipper)
William Slater (Schooner)
William Sprague (Clipper)
William Tell (Clipper)
William Wilcox (Clipper)
Windward (Barque)
Winfield Scott (Clipper)
Winged Arrow (Clipper)
Winged Hunter (Clipper)
Winged Racer (Clipper)
Winifred (Clipper)
Witch of the Wave (Clipper)
Witchcraft (Clipper)
Wizard (Clipper)
Wizard King (Clipper)
Wylo (Clipper Barque)
Xulla (Clipper Bark)
Yarra Yarra (Ship)
Yosemite (Clipper)
Young America (Clipper)
Young Mechanic (Clipper)
Zephyr (Clipper)
Zouave (Clipper)
Boston and Southern Steamship Line
Boston Packets Emigration
Charles Brewer & Co.
Comstock's Clipper Line
Dominion Line
Henry W. Peabody and Co.
Inman Line
Mailler & Quereau Kangaroo Line
Merchants' Transportation Company
National Line Steam Ship Line
New York Mail Steamship Company
Pioneer Steamer Line
Star Line Steamship Company
Starin's Excursions
Sutton & Co's Dispatch Line
Advertising, Color in
Advertising--Shipping--United States--19th century
Cargo ships
Cargo ships--passenger traffic
Clipper ships
Clipper ships--History-19th century
Clipper ships--Pictorial works
Clipper ships--United States--History--19th century
Color in advertising
Color printing
Commercial art--19th century
Letterpress printing
Merchant ships
Sailing ships
Shipping--Advertising--United States--19th century
Shipping--California--San Francisco
Shipping--China--Hong Kong
Shipping--New York--New York
Shipping--New Zealand--Christchurch
Shipping--New Zealand--Dunedin
Shipping--New Zealand--Lyttleton
Shipping--New Zealand--Wellington
Wood engraving
Sailing cards


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Sailing Ship Card Collection, MSS 470, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This collection was created through purchase and gifts from several sources. Several cards were donated by Dr. Charles Goddard Weld on July 7, 1909 (Acc. 4942) as were cards donated by L. W. Jenkins on November 7, 1917. Mrs. Ellerton James made a donation on May 14, 1928 (Acc. 8104). Fourteen shipping cards for the Henry W. Peabody & Co. shipping line along with two cards from the Henry C. Brooks & Co. shipping line were donated by Henry H. Page on February 1, 1929 (Acc. 8209). Mrs. Clayton Welch donated cards on June 3, 1938 (Acc. 10345) and 104 cards were donated by Frank G. Speck on June 9, 1948 (Acc. 11942). Sixty-nine cards were donated by R. S. Spears on February 17, 1949 (Acc. 12063). Three donations were received in 1955: ten cards were donated by David S. Smith on April 20; additional cards were donated by Mrs. Clarkson A. Cramner on October 17; and sailing cards for Three Brothers and Logan were a gift from the estate of Horace Follansbee, on November 7. A sailing card for the Thatcher Magoun was purchased from the Mills Antique Shop on October 16, 1959. Two donations were received in 1960: one was a gift from Mrs. C. G. Hutcheson on February 29 (Acc. 15011); and three sailing cards for the Flying Cloud and Mary Whitridge were donated by Miss Zoulette Potter on September 1. Sailing cards for the John Land and Golden West were a gift from Mr. LaRue Brown in 1964 (Acc. 16517). A gift was received from Francis W. Dolloff on March 8, 1965 (Acc. 16888). Thirty-five cards were purchased from John Howell Books on September 4, 1973 (Acc. 20208). Two cards for the Eliza McNeil and one for the Harvey Mills were purchased from John Howell Books on June 7, 1976 (Acc. 20944). Three cards were purchased from Ryan M. Cooper Maritime Antiques on October 8, 2007 (Acc. 2007.024). An additional card was purchased from Ryan M. Cooper on August 29, 2011 (Acc. 2011.040). Five cards for the Messenger, Peruvian, Wizard King, Garibald, and White Swallow were a gift from Stephen D. Paine (Acc. 25334).

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Barbara Pero Kampas and Catherine Robinson, September 2013.

Related Material

Forbes, Allan and Ralph M. Eastman, Yankee Ship Sailing Cards, Volumes 1, 2, and 3. Boston, Massachusetts, State Street Trust Company, 1948, 1949, and 1952.

Kemble, John Haskel, ed. California "Clipper" Cards. San Francisco, California, The Book Club of California, 1949.

Roberts, Bruce D. Clipper Ship Sailing Cards. Bruce D. Roberts, 2007.

Henry Hastings & Company Records, MM 118

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