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Clippers of the Port of Portsmouth

: $24.95
Publisher / Author: Portsmouth Marine Society
ISBN: 0915819066

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No. 5 - Clippers of the Port of Portsmouth
And the Men Who Built Them

By: Ray Brighton

Designed and built for speed, clipper ships have long excited the imagination of anyone interested in the sea. Built primarily in the decade prior to the Civil War, clippers were famous for their fast passages from East coast ports around Cape Horn, and north to San Francisco and the gold fields of California.

Port of Portsmouth shipyards turned out 28 clippers during this period. Builders such as Samuel Badger, Tobey and Littlefield, Fernald and Petigrew and the Raynes family produced vessels that were the envy of shipyards everywhere. Not only were Portsmouth vessels fast and well built, they were also elegantly outfitted with fancy carving and woodwork to rival that found in the finest houses of the period.

In this unusual volume, author Brighton tells the story of the shipbuilders as well as the history of the vessels they produced. Among the more famous ships were Typhoon, Nightingale, Witch of the Wave and Dashing Wave, the latter remaining in service from 1853 until 1920.

The average life of a Portsmouth  built clipper was twenty years and many of them were sold several times. For most of them, arrival in San Francisco was only the first stop on a round the world voyage. They often sped across the Pacific to China, the East Indies or India, picked up a cargo of tea, spices and other oriental goods, then left for England and finally back to Boston or New York

It is a fact also that most of these vessels were built in Portsmouth for Boston and New York businesses and once sent down the Piscataqua, none of the clippers ever returned. But each of these legendary ships returns in these pages, many of them illustrated with full-color reproductions of rare paintings.

Portsmouth Marine Society

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