Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Benjamin J. Packard


This is a picture of the ship Benjamin J. Packard as she looked in 1900. She continued in operation until 1932. I was surprised as to how late of dates these large sailing ships were still used commercially. Ships like this were still in use up until about 1957. One of the things that led to their ultimate demise was the relative complexity of sailing such a ship, and a shortage of trained officers to man a sailing ship.

7 comments:

  1. If this were a woman, I would be in love...

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  2. The total size of all that canvas is staggering.

    These ships are truly magnificent.

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  3. I lived for some time on the Aland Islands in the Baltic sea.
    Aland's Erikson Shipping company were one of the last, or possibly the last company to use commercial sailing ships, they were active up until the second world war, when many ships were unable to continue sailing for obvious reasons, after the war, the cost of preparing and refitting sailing ships which had laid idle for several years was too great for the Eriksons to justify. Two of their ships made one last voyage to Australia and back, but that was the end.
    The four masted steel barque, Pommern, is permanently moored at Mariehamn, as a museum ship, and a reminder to Alanders of the seagoing heritage of these islands.
    If you are truly interested in the reality of sailing ships in the 20th century, then I'd recommend seeking out "The Last Grain Race", by Eric Newby. (just checked, Amazon has it), Newby's a great writer, and he sailed as a crewman aboard Erikson's 'Moshulu', in 1938.
    More about Erikson: http://sailing-ships.oktett.net/erikson.html

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    1. The Moshulu now sits in the Delaware River, at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, and is a restaurant.

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  4. This photograph is a great end of an era picture that is very common here in Seattle. The picture shows the Monongohela exiting Lake Union before the new Aurora Bridge is finished, 1931. These ships do not have access any more.
    http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/imlsmaritime/id/310/rec/1

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  5. I've been out the past few days but back on Saturday you stated that the HMS Victory is still in service and is the oldest active commisioned ship in the world. Actually the HMS Victory is in dry dock, (not floating) and doesn't sail. It's basically a Museum. The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) floats and is turned every year in the Boston Harbor. It sails under it's own power. It is 30 years younger than the Victory. I believe The Constitution is the oldest commisioned "active" ship in the world. The key word being, "active".

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    1. The Constellation, sister ship to the Constitution, is in Baltimore Harbor, and was used as a radio center during WWII. It was towed from the Harbor to Ft. McHenry for a while, but in now back in port. I doubt it could move under its own power, though.

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