The Garfield was managed by Messrs. Ismay, Imrie & Co., of the famous White Star Line. She was built by Messrs. Harland & Wolff at Belfast, who never built an ugly ship. Their ships always had a look of power along with natural beauty. Their masting and rigging was unique in that their masts were alwasy well raked aft, they never crossed skysail yards and usually always carried signal topgallant yards.
The Garfield was launched in January, 1882 and was the first steel ship Harland and Wolff had built. She had the added honor of being the first ship to fit the short spike bowsprit, which soon led to the removal of the old bowsprit and jib-boom from all other ships.At her launch she was the largest full-rigger in the world. Her dimensions were: tonnage; 2,290 tons net, 2,347 tons gross, length; 299 feet 8 inches, breadth; 41 feet 2 inches, depth of hold; 24 feet 8 inches. Her poop was 72 feet long, her fo’c’sle 33 feet. Here yards were large, they being: main yard; 97 feet, lower topsail yard; 84 feet, Upper topsail yard; 76 feet, Topgallant yard; 59 feet and Royal; 43 feet
During the 1880’s the Garfield was the proud flagship of the North Western Shipping Company, Ltd. She sailed chiefly in the San Francisco grain trade, but made half a dozen voyages to Calcutta and one to Melbourne. From the first she had a great reputation as a smart ship and throughout her career she never made a slow passage, although it is also true that she never broke any record.One her maiden voyage she raced the clipper Bolton Abbey out to India, the latter reaching Karachi eight days before the Garfield arrived in the Hooghly. One her second voyage she sailed round the Horn to San Francisco. The clipper Micronesia met up with her near the Golden Gate when there was a strong breeze blowing, and the Garfield sailed majestically past her with all her great topgallant sails set. They could not race her due to the strong breeze, but were impressed with the sight of this mighty ship sailing past leaving a mile of white water in her wake.The most impressive opponent of the Garfield was Carmichael’s iron clipper Thessalus, considered by many to be one of the fastest iron ships ever launched. They had a great race across the Pacific from Australia to San Francisco, in which the Thessalus just had the best of it. Captain T.P. Thompson commanded the Garfield until the end of 1889, when Captain Conby succeeded Thompson. Captain Conby commanded the Garfield for the rest of her existence.The Garfield had many excellent passages during her career some of which were:
• San Francisco to Liverpool - 1883 - 121 days
• San Francisco to Liverpool - 1884 - 105 days
• Liverpool to San Francisco - 1885 - 106 days
• Liverpool to Calcutta - 1888 - 95 days
• New York to Calcutta - 1889 - 109 days
• London to Melbourne - 1890 - 89 days
She had many rivals, one of which was the four-master Lord Downshire. This ship was also in the San Francisco grain trade and had a equally great reputation for fast and steady passages as did the Garfield. Both in 1883 and in 1884 the Garfield got the better of her rival, the Lord Downshire leaving San Francisco a week ahead of Garfield, but the latter arriving first in 1883 as an example.The Garfield’s passage in 1892 between Calcutta and San Francisco, being 113 days, was easily the best of that year, the nearest to that time being 137 days sailed by the Frank Pendleton. The Garfield’s active service came to an abrupt end in 1895. On October 5th of that year while bound from Liverpool to Valparaiso with coal, she was abandoned. on fire. She was afterwards picked up and towed to port. She laid for many years in port on the West Coast, lying at moorings in Coquimbo, burnt out, with only bowsprit and fore lower mast standing.
The design stamp is made after painting of Jack Spurling.
Liberia 2020;(4x100) $.
Sources: http://shipmodelersassociation.org/research/fam9711.htm. http://www.spurlingandrouxwatercolours.com/mpgt2.html.
The full index of our ship stamp archive
1 post • Page 1 of 1