Re: [TSL] "Electric" Hamburg to Melbourne 1856
Susan Swiggum via <> on 01/19/2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *Ted Finch* < 
Date: Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: [TSL] "Electric" Hamburg to Melbourne 1856
To: Brett Weinberg < 
<>>, TSL < 

Hi Brett,

There is a picture of the ELECTRIC at which states that she was bought 
by Sloman in 1856

See also


The ELECTRIC was a "medium clipper", built by Irons & Grinnell, at
Stonington/Mystic, CT, launched on 5 September 1853, and registered at
New York on 10 November 1853. 1046 tons (1273 tons in the New York
certificate of registry); 185' 1" x 38' 7" x 21' 5" (length x beam x
depth of hold). She was owned first by G. Adams, and later by the Gerry
family of New York. She made a single voyage around Cape Horn to
California, sailing from New York on 15 November 1854, and arriving at San
Francisco on 4 March 1855, a passage of 116 days. She sailed from San
Francisco on 24 March 1855, and crossed the Pacific to Hong Kong in 48
days. From Hong Kong she proceeded to Shanghai, from where she sailed to
New York in 106 days.

Aside from this single round the world voyage, the ELECTRIC served in the
North Atlantic trade, in particular between New York, Havre, and Antwerp.
On 30 July 1856, she was purchased from Brower, of New York, for $62,250,
by the Hamburg shipowner Robert Miles Sloman, who continued to employ her
primarily in the North Atlantic trade. On 2 November 1868, she sailed
from Hamburg with 350 passengers and a general cargo, and on 21 December
1868, went ashore at Great Egg harbor, New Jersey. Her passengers were
landed on the beach, her cargo was lightered, and she was towed to New
York, where extensive repairs were made. On 7 November 1872, while bound
from Hamburg to New York, she was abandoned, leaky and nearly full of
water, in lat. 40 North, lon. 55 West. Her crew, together with the crew
of the British bark CHASE--which the ELECTRIC had earlier come upon in a
sinking condition--were picked up by the HELMESBRAND, Kjaer, master, and
landed at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland.

1856-1859 - J. C. Wienholtz
1859-1863 - H. C. Johannsen
1863-1869 - J. Junge
1869-1872 - C. J. N. Peyn

1856-1861 - Melbourne/intermediate ports/Bremerhaven
1861 - New York
1861-1862 - New York
1862 - New York/London
1862-1863 - New York/London
1863-1864 - La Plata/Callao
1864 - New York/London
1864-1865 - New York/Newcastle on Tyne
1865 - New York/London
1865-1866 - New York/London
1866 - New York
1866 - New York/Bremerhaven
1866-1867 - New York/London
1867 - New York/Philadelphia
1867-1868 - New York/Philadelphia/Bremerhaven
1868 - New York
1868-1869 - New York/Bremerhaven
1869-1871 - Dona Francisca/Batavia/Semarang/Nieuwediep/Amsterdam
1871-1872 - New York/Bremerhaven
1872 - New York (twice)

Sources: Octavius T. Howe and Frederick C. Matthews, _American clipper
ships, 1833-1858_, Marine Research Society (Salem, Mass.) Publication No.
13 (Salem, MA: Marine Research Society, 1926-27), vol. 1, pp. 153-154;
Carl C. Cutler, _Greyhounds of the sea : the story of the American
clipper ship_ (New York: Halcyon House, c1930), pp. 426 and 497; William
Armstrong Fairburn, _Merchant Sail_ (Center Lovell, ME: Fairburn Marine
Educational Foundation, [1945-1955]), II.1272,; III.1662, 1964, 2021,
2023, 2029, 2037, 2040, 2059, 2069, 2097; IV.2267, 2648; V.2856, 2858,
2859; VI.3649; Hieke, _op. cit._, p. 374; Forrest R. Holdcamper, _List
of American-flag Merchant Vessels that received Certificates of Enrollment
or Registry at the Port of New York, 1789-1867 (Record Groups 41 and 36)_,
National Archives Publication No. 68-10, Special Lists No. 22
(Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1968), p. 196;
Walter Kresse, _op. cit._, vol. 2, p. 212.

I am sending you, by separate post, a black-and-white scan of a
lithograph, by Wilhelm Heuer, of the ELECTRIC. For a good-quality
reproduction, contact the Museum f"ur Hamburgische Geschichte or the
Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (see above for addresses).

Because the ELECTRIC was built in the Mystic, CT, area, you might wish to
contact the Mystic Seaport Museum, 50 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT
06355-0990, <>, and inquire 
whether the museum's
collections contain additional information on, or possibly even a
pictorial representation of, her.

The Melbourne voyage(s) were probably made before Sloman purchased the 
ship. Hence the change of routes.

Hope this is of interest

On 19/01/2015 04:25, Brett Weinberg via wrote:
> Hi,
> Thank you everybody for helping out with my queries.
> > From the information you given to me, especially the Hamburg records, it would seem that the ship was the Sloman Line vessel which was bought in July 1856. It also seems that it was the “Electric” ( Italian physicist Alessandro Volta discovered that particular chemical reactions could produce electricity, and in 1800 he constructed the voltaic pile (an early electric battery) that produced a steady electric current, and so he was the first person to create a steady flow of electrical charge.) It would seem that “Electric” would have been a term that would have existed at the time.
> Strange that it would have done what seems a one-off trip to Melbourne, when she operated in the North Atlantic. ?  Prior to being purchased by Sloman, the vessel did a round world trip, but all the rest seems to be shuttles across the North Atlantic.
> The “Electric” out of Batavia can’t be the same Solman ship which left Hamburg 30 Aug. 1856, as it would have had to make the trip there from Hamburg  in 24 days !
> > From the departure and arrival dates, the voyage was 117 days. Does that seem reasonable for the times ?
> Thanks for the advice regarding Trove, as I hadn’t thought to look there.
> Cheers,
> Brett Weinberg
> Buninyong, Victoria, Australia
>> On 19 Jan 2015, at 9:45 am, Ainslie via<>  <>  wrote:
>> Far m0re likely that the ship w0uld be called "Electra" than
>> 'electric'!!   (when was electricity disc0vered?!!)
>> The fl0wing c0pperplate handwriting 0f that era c0uld easily be mistaken
>> by transcribers in this day and age as reading 'Electric' and it's easy
>> t0 see why the m0dern w0rd electric 0riginated - my dicti0nary states
>> the name Electra means sparkling!!!
>> Cheers
>> Ainslie
>> -------------------------------
>> visit TheShipsList Website
>> -------------------------------
>> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email  <>  with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

visit TheShipsList Website
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

Easy citation: highlight, copy, and paste the following into your wordprocessor:
Re: [TSL] "Electric" Hamburg to Melbourne 1856 01/19/2015: [Posted by]


back to The ShipsList