Clipper ship at center behind small icebergs floating at front. Ship sailing right. American flag flying off left end ship.
Currier & Ives often published “portraits” of sailing vessels upon their launch or shortly after they made record voyages. The American-built Red Jacket, named after a famous Seneca Indian chief, was constructed in 1853. The vessel, built during the golden age of clipper ships, carried both passengers and cargo and was designed for speed. Red Jacket is one of only 10 ships to sail more than 400 nautical miles in 24 hours. On its maiden voyage in 1854, the ship set a record for commercial sailing vessels still in place today—traveling from New York to Liverpool, England through rain, snow and hail in 13 days, one hour and 25 minutes. In its first year the ship, under English charter, established another record as it traveled from Liverpool to Melbourne in 69 days. On the return, it reached Liverpool in 73 days while carrying 45,000 ounces of gold, despite time lost near Cape Horn because of ice and icebergs.