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Encyclopedia > Clipper
A model of a vessel of the clipper type, the four-masted barque named Belle Étoile
A model of a vessel of the clipper type, the four-masted barque named Belle Étoile

A clipper was a very fast multiple-masted sailing ship of the 19th century. Generally narrow for their length, limited in their bulk freight carrying capacities, and small by later 19th century standards, the clippers had a large relative sail area. "Clipper ships" were mostly products of British and American shipyards, though France, the Netherlands (the Dutch-built "Telanak", built in 1859 for the tea and passenger trade to Java) and other nations also produced a number of them. Clippers sailed all over the world, primarily on the trade routes between the United Kingdom and its colonies in the east, in the trans-Atlantic trade, and in the New York-to-San Francisco route round Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 1100 KB) French clipper Photograph by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Clipper ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 1100 KB) French clipper Photograph by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Clipper ... Traditional wooden cutter under sail. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... A sail is any type of surface intended to generate thrust by being placed in a wind — in essence a vertically-oriented wing. ... Small shipyard in Klaksvík (Faroe Islands), reparing fishing vessels Dockyards and shipyards are places which repair and build ships. ... In the Clipper article it is noticed that clipper ships were almost entirely products of American and British shipyards, with the exception of the Dutch built Telenak (1859). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Cape Horn from the South. ... The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began in January 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill. ...

Contents

Origins

"The Forteviot," 1896, by Antonio Jacobsen

The often quoted derivation of the word, that the vessels "clipped" time off a voyage, is probably incorrect. However, the example of the other class of vessel built for speed, the cutter, reminds us that the cutting notion may have been seen as relevant. Clipper bows were distinctively narrow and heavily raked forward which allowed them to rapidly cut or clip through the waves. One of the meanings of clip, from the seventeenth century onward, possibly from the sound of wings, is to fly or move quickly. The term clipper was originally applied to a fast horse and most likely derives from the term clip, meaning speed, as in "going at a good clip". The term clipper seems to be much the same as flier. The Oxford English Dictionary gives its earliest English quotation as from 1830. Cutler reports that the first newspaper appearance was in 1835, but that by then the term was apparently familiar. Image File history File links The Forteviot, 1896, painted by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921). ... Image File history File links The Forteviot, 1896, painted by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921). ... Year 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar). ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... | Come and take it, slogan of the Texas Revolution 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


In the United States the term "clipper," described the Baltimore Clipper, a topsail schooner that was developed in Chesapeake Bay before the American Revolution and was lightly armed in the War of 1812, sailing under Letters of Marque and Reprisal, when the type—exemplified by the Chasseur, launched at Fells Point, Baltimore, 1814— became known for its incredible speed; a deep draft enabled the Baltimore clipper to sail close to the wind (Villiers 1973). Clippers, outrunning the British blockade of Baltimore, came to be recognized as ships built for speed rather than cargo space; while traditional merchant ships were accustomed to average speeds of under 5 knots (9 km/h), clippers aimed at 9 knots (17 km/h) or better. Sometimes these ships could reach 20 knots (37 km/h). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Two-masted fishing schooner A schooner (IPA: ) is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress The American Revolution refers to the period during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen Colonies that... Combatants United States Native Americans Great Britain, Canadian provincial forces First Nations Peoples Commanders James Madison Henry Dearborn George Prevost Isaac Brock† Tecumseh† Strength •U.S. Regular Army: 35,800 •Rangers: 3,049 •Militia: 458,463* •US Navy & US Marines: (at start of war): •Frigates:6 •Other vessels: 14 •Indigenous... Letter of marque of the First French Empire given to captain Antoine Bollo, via the ship owner Dominique Malfino from Gena, owner of the Furet, 15-tonne privateer. ... Fells Point is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, home to a variety of shops, restaurants, coffee bars, music stores, and over 120 pubs. ...

"The Prinz Albert," 1897, by Antonio Jacobsen

Clippers were built for seasonal trades such as tea, where an early cargo was more valuable, or for passenger routes. The small, fast ships were ideally suited to low-volume, high-profit goods, such as spices, tea, people, and mail. The values could be spectacular. The "Challenger" returned from Shanghai with "the most valuable cargo of tea and silk ($2) ever to be laden in one bottom." The competition among the clippers was public and fierce, with their times recorded in the newspapers. The ships had low expected lifetimes and rarely outlasted two decades of use before they were broken up for salvage. Given their speed and maneuverability, clippers frequently mounted cannon or carronade and were often employed as pirate vessels, privateers, smuggling vessels, and in interdiction service. Image File history File links The Prinz Albert, 1897, painted by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921). ... Image File history File links The Prinz Albert, 1897, painted by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921). ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Screen shot of Spice OPUS, a fork of Berkeley SPICE SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is a general purpose analog circuit simulator. ... Tea leaves in a Chinese gaiwan. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A small cannon on a carriage, Bucharest. ... The carronade was a short smoothbore, cast iron cannon, similar to a mortar, developed for the Royal Navy by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland. ...

Clipper ship sailing card for the "Free Trade," printed by Nesbitt & Co., NY, early 1860s
Clipper ship sailing card for the "Free Trade," printed by Nesbitt & Co., NY, early 1860s

Departures of clipper ships, mostly from New York City and Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California, were advertised by clipper ship sailing cards. These cards, slightly larger than today’s postcards, were produced by letterpress and wood engraving on coated card stock. Most clipper cards were printed in the 1850s and 1860s, and represented the first pronounced use of color in American advertising art. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC, City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The City So Nice They Named It Twice Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1676 Government  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, Athens of America, The Hub (of the Universe)1 Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County  - Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D) Area    - City  89. ... Nickname: The City by the Bay; Fog City; The City Location of the City and County of San Francisco, California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California City-County San Francisco  - Mayor Gavin Newsom Area    - City  47 sq mi (122 km²)  - Land  46. ... // Events and Trends Technology Production of steel revolutionised by invention of the Bessemer process Benjamin Silliman fractionates petroleum by distillation for the first time First transatlantic telegraph cable laid First safety elevator installed by Elisha Otis Science Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, putting forward the theory of evolution... // The First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA is built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ...


Relatively few (perhaps 3,500) clipper cards survive today. With their stunning appearance, rarity, and importance as artifacts of nautical, Western, and printing history, clipper cards are highly prized by both private collectors and institutions. See the links below to learn more about clipper ship sailing cards.


The China Clippers and the Epitome of Sail

The Clipper Ship "Flying Cloud" off the Needles, Isle of Wight, by James E. Buttersworth, 1859-60.
The Clipper Ship "Flying Cloud" off the Needles, Isle of Wight, by James E. Buttersworth, 1859-60.

The most significant clippers were the so-called China Clippers, sometimes also known as Tea Clippers, designed to ply the trade routes between Europe and the East Indies. The last example of these still in reasonable condition is the Cutty Sark preserved in dry dock at Greenwich, United Kingdom. Image File history File links Buttersworth_-_flying_cloud. ... Image File history File links Buttersworth_-_flying_cloud. ... James E. Buttersworth (1817 – 1894) was a British-American painter who specialized in maritime art, and is considered among the foremost American ship portraitists of the nineteenth century. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... The Indies, on the display globe of the Field Museum, Chicago The Indies or East Indies (or East India) is a term used to describe lands of South and South-East Asia, occupying all of the former British India, the present Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Tam o Shanter (Burns poem). ... U.S. Navy submarine USS Greeneville in dry dock following collision with a fishing boat. ... Greenwich (pronounced grenn-itch or by some grinn-itch ) is a town, now part of the south eastern urban sprawl of London, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. ...


The last of the 1990s China Clippers were literally the epitome of sail. The most complex sail plans had a total of four main masts and two auxiliary masts, each main mast at full sail bearing six rectangular mainsails, and technically seven when bearing topgallants. These were trimmed with jibs and staysails, as many as three to four at the bowsprit, and an auxiliary stern, gaff rigged spanker. This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ...


One of these clippers, when fully rigged and riding before a tradewind were acknowledged to be the fastest of all sail vessels, with peak average velocities even exeeding 7 knots for endurances over 12 hours.


When the last China Clippers were retired, they ended the age of the fastest commercial sailing vessels made by man. Their velocities have been improved upon many times by modern ocean yachts, but never by any commercial sail vessel.


Decline

Decline in the use of clippers started with the economic slump following the Panic of 1857 and continued with the gradual introduction of the steamship. Although clippers could be much faster than the early steamships, clippers were ultimately dependent on the vagaries of the wind, while steamers could reliably keep to a schedule. The steam clipper was developed around this time, and had auxiliary steam engines which could be used in the absence of wind. An example of this type was the Royal Charter, built in 1857 and wrecked on the coast of Anglesey in 1859. The final blow came in the form of the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, which provided a huge shortcut for steamships between Europe and Asia, but which was difficult for sailing ships to use. The Panic of 1857 was a sudden downturn in the economy of the United States. ... Paddle steamers - Lucerne-Switzerland Left: original paddlewheel from a paddle steamer on the lake of Lucerne. ... The Royal Charter was a steam clipper which was wrecked on the east coast of Anglesey on 26 October 1859. ... Anglesey (Welsh: , pronounced (IPA)), is an island and county at the northwestern extremity of Wales. ... 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... Ships moored at El Ballah during transit Egypt: Site of Suez Canal (top). ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ...


Although many clipper ships were built during the middle of the 19th century, Cutty Sark is arguably the only survivor. Falls of Clyde is a well-preserved example of a more conservatively designed, slower contemporary of the clippers, which was built for general freight in 1878. Other surviving examples of clipper ships of the era are not as well preserved, for example the City of Adelaide (aka S.V. Carrick)[1]. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Tam o Shanter (Burns poem). ... Falls of Clyde is the only surviving iron-hulled, four-masted full rigged ship, and the only surviving sail-driven oil tanker, in the world. ... City of Adelaide, later known as HMS Carrick, is the oldest surviving clipper ship in the world, and one of only a few to exist. ...


Notable clipper ships

Main article: List of clipper ships

. ...

See also

Dr. William Jardine (1784-1843) was a ship surgeon who went into the opium trading business in China, where he became a powerful merchant and was instrumental in starting the First Opium War. ... Donald McKay (1810–1880) was a Canadian-born American designer and builder of sailing ships. ... A packet ship is a vessel employed to carry Post Office mail packets to and from British colonies and outposts. ... A sail-plan is a formal set of drawings, usually prepared by a marine architect. ... The Clipper Route followed by ships sailing between England and Australia/New Zealand. ...

External links

References

  • Carl C. Cutler, Greyhounds of the Sea (1930, 3rd ed. Naval Institute Press 1984)
  • Alexander Laing, Clipper Ship Men (1944)
  • David R. MacGregor, Fast Sailing Ships: Their Design and Construction, 1775-1875 Naval Institute Press, 1988 ISBN 0-87021-895-6 index
  • Oxford English Dictionary (1987) ISBN 0-19-861212-5.
  • Bruce D. Roberts, Clipper Ship Cards: The High-Water Mark in Early Trade Cards, The Advertising Trade Card Quarterly 1, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 20-22.
  • Bruce D. Roberts, Clipper Ship Cards: Graphic Themes and Images, The Advertising Trade Card Quarterly 1, no. 2 (Summer 1994): 22-24.
  • Bruce D. Roberts, Museum Collections of Clipper Ship Cards, The Advertising Trade Card Quarterly 2, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 22-24.
  • Bruce D. Roberts, Selling Sail with Clipper Ship Cards, Ephemera News 19, no. 2 (Winter 2001): 1, 11-14.
  • Villiers, Capt. Alan, 1973. Men, Ships and the Sea (National Geographic Society)


The United States Naval Institute is a non-profit, professional organization in the United States related to the Navy. ...

Clipper ships, designers & builders
British-built clippers
Ariel | Blackadder |Challenger | Cutty Sark | Flying Cloud | Hallowe'en | Lammermuir | Leander | Lothair | Norman Court | Sir Lancelot | Tayleur | Thermopylae | Taitsing
American-built clippers
Champion of the Seas | Flying Cloud | Great Republic | James Baines | Lightning
British designers and builders
Hercules Linton | William Lithgow | Scott & Linton
American designers and builders
Donald McKay | Nathaniel Palmer
Types of sailing vessels and rigs
Barque | Barquentine | Bermuda rig | Bilander | Brig | Brigantine | Caravel | Carrack | Catamaran | Catboat | Clipper | Dutch Clipper | Cog | Corvette | Cutter | Dhow | Fifie | Fluyt | Fore & Aft Rig | Frigate | Full Rigged Ship | Gaff Rig | Galleon | Gunter Rig | Hermaphrodite Brig | Jackass-barque | Junk | Ketch | Longship | Mersey Flat | Multihull | Nao | Norfolk Wherry | Pink | Pocket Cruiser | Polacca | Pram | Proa | Sailing hydrofoil | Schooner | Ship of the Line | Sloop | Smack | Snow | Square Rig | Tall Ship | Thames Sailing Barge | Trimaran | Vinta | Wherry | Windjammer | Windsurfer | Xebec | Yacht | Yawl

  Results from FactBites:
 
Clipper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (904 words)
Clippers sailed all over the world, primarily on the trade routes between Britain and its colonies in the east, in the trans-Atlantic trade, and in the New York-to-San Francisco route round The Horn during the Gold Rush.
Clippers, outrunning the British blockade of Baltimore, came to be recognized as ships built for speed rather than cargo space; while traditional merchant ships were accustomed to average speeds of under 5 knots (9 km/h), clippers aimed at 9 knots (17 km/h) or better.
Given their speed and maneuverability, clippers frequently mounted cannon or carronade and were often employed as pirate vessels, privateers, smuggling vessels, and in interdiction service.
Clipper - definition of Clipper in Encyclopedia (586 words)
Clippers came to be recognized as ships built for speed rather than cargo space; while traditional merchant ships were accustomed to average speeds of under 5 knots, clippers aimed at 9 knots or better.
Given their speed and maneuverability, clippers frequntly mounted cannon or caronade and were often employed as pirate vessels, privateers, smuggling vessels, and in interdiction service.
Decline in the use of clippers was a result of the steamship.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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