The ship 'John Bright'
A ship's portrait of the three-masted 'John Bright' shown broadside-on with the Chinese coastline in the distance. Built in 1847, she was a tea clipper trading with China. There is a Chinese junk in the background. The ship was named after the radical Quaker and celebrated orator John Bright. The years from 1850 to 1865 are regarded as the great age of the clipper ships. Clippers were square-rigged vessels with narrow, streamlined hulls which enabled them to travel at considerable speed. Fast ships were needed for premium freights, such as tea from China, because of the way such commodity markets operated.
- Image reference: BHC3313
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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