Click here to skip to content

Advert for the International Tea Company

Advert for the International Tea Company

Printer: HW & JH Peall

Medium: Print on paper

Date: 1884

Shelfmark: Evan.6693

Item number: 6693

Genre: Letter

Until the mid-1800s, cargo ships carrying tea usually took 12 to 15 months to travel from India to London. Then, the Americans designed a more streamlined vessel, capable of carrying more cargo at a greater speed. It was based on the old Baltimore clipper, so-called because it was designed to 'clip' - get the last ounce of speed from the wind. In the 1860s, these ships raced acrossed the ocean to be the first to reach England with their cargo. In doing so they transformed the shipping industry, completing a previously long journey in just 95 days on average.

Perhaps the most famous, and fastest, clipper ever built was the Cutty Sark. Built in 1868, it carried tea on only eight occasions, and is now on permanent exhibition at the dockside in Greenwich, London.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: