Notes from the Past

"Sailing Cards," Early Clippers

Very popular with collectors interested in postal history, Californiana, etc., are the colorful advertising cards circulated long ago by shipping firms competing for business to the Pacific coast.  The cards named the ship, master, sailing dates and other pertinent details regarding their departure from eastern ports and ports of call.  These were the early "Clippers" making the trip around Cape Horn.  One reads. "Shippers' Line for San Francisco.  The Clipper Ship, FLYING CLOUD, J. P. Creesy, Commander, will have quick dispatch for the above port.  This ship having repeatedly made the passage within 90 days, as well as the shortest on record, shippers will have the opportunity of placing their goods in San Francisco, with the chance of early spring trade.  For freight or passage, apply to the captain on board, pier 10 East River, or to John I. Earle, 106 Wall-St."  This is accompanied by a buxom female figure blithely floating over the waves.  The largest collection, more than 700 varieties, is owned by The Seaman's Bank for Savings, New York.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
December 17, 1949

Posted August 26, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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