How to invest in sunken treasure; Salvage stocks offer high returns, but big RISK

March 2, 2008

How to invest in sunken treasure; Salvage stocks offer high returns, but big
risk
National Post
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Page: FP8
Section: Financial Post Investing
Byline: Peter Hodson
Column: View from the Street
Source: Financial Post
One of the side effects of being a portfolio manager is that you are constantly on the lookout for new investment
opportunities. At the mall, I look at which stores have the most customers; in crowds, I look for signs the new
Blackberry is being adopted; in restaurants, I watch for signs of creeping inflation due to labour costs and raw
materials shortages; at the movies, I wonder about sunken treasure.
As Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End steamrolled across North America last week, I found myself
considering the investment opportunities that might be connected to the movie.
The obvious link is the Walt Disney Co., the owner of the flick. Or perhaps Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, which
stood to profit from my overpriced popcorn. Disney (DIS/NYSE) is up 5% year-to-date; Cineplex (CGXu/TSX) is up
31% in 2007 — not bad returns, but not quite close to finding a treasure chest of gold.
Turns out that 2007 has been a pretty decent year for sunken treasure seekers, both stock market and otherwise.
Case in point, Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (OMR/AMEX), a $312.8-million company. OMR specializes in
shipwreck search, recovery and marketing. The stock has surged 135% this year.
On May 18, OMR announced it had recovered the biggest collection of silver and gold coins ever salvaged from a
shipwreck. Code-named “Black Swan,” the company has not disclosed the identity of the shipwreck, nor divulged
its exact location. Believed to be a colonial-era shipwreck near the English Channel, Odyssey says it discovered
the wreck in conformity with salvage law and the Law of the Sea Convention, beyond the territorial waters or legal
jurisdiction of any country.
OMR says it has recovered more than 500,000 coins from the shipwreck, and some media speculation has put the
value of the discovery at more than $500- million. Considering the smaller size of the company in relation to that
figure, it is no wonder why the stock has soared.
But there are a few cautionary notes: First, while OMR acknowledges the number of coins, their value cannot be
accurately determined yet. In addition, a discovery of that many coins would likely drive coin prices down if all
were offered for sale.
Clearly, though, the discovery is significant, and massive. Like any significant resource discovery, I would expect
now that all sorts of players will come out of the woodwork claiming the discovery is theirs and not Odyssey’s.
Of course, no analyst bothers to follow the company, but Fortress Investment Group owns 10% of the company.
There is even a Pirates of the Caribbean connection: OMR has confirmed it is in discussions with Disney on a
number of projects.
Another shipwreck company whose shares, at least, have struck gold this year is Sovereign Exploration
Associates International Inc. (SVXA/OTC). This company, with a $15-million market cap), is in my opinion a lot
riskier. Still, Sovereign’s stock has soared 104% this year, despite the company still being unprofitable. SVXA is
searching for the Fantome Fleet — specifically the HMS Fantome, a British Navy brig sunk off the coast of Nova
Scotia in 1814.
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The HMS Fantome is believed to have been carrying coins and artifacts looted from what later became the White
House and the U.S. Treasury when the British burned the U.S. capitol in 1814.
It sunk 30 km southwest of Halifax. As might be expected from such an historic wreck, the salvage operation is in
dispute from numerous parties, with England claiming ownership. As such, Sovereign Exploration in 2007 plans to
explore for two different ships. The company claims one, which sunk in the 1700s, carried $100-million worth of
silver.
Canada, too, has had some companies searching for underwater treasure. However, from a stock-market
perspective, your investment would have, effectively, walked the plank.
Visa Gold Exploration was the most notable Canadian shipwreck exploration company. It was salvaging a
brigantine vessel called the Palemon, which ran aground off Cuba in 1839. Visa enjoyed some stock-market
success, and in its exploration efforts was successful in bringing up artifacts from the Palemon. However, unlike
Odyssey, its treasure wasn’t all that exciting. The company, in one press release in June, 2001, praised the finding
of an “ancient olive oil jar, completely intact” — not exactly the stuff of pirate legends. Visa collapsed amid an
insider trading scandal in 2005 and has delisted.
Perhaps the most successful and stable salvage company is Premier Exhibitions Inc. (PRXI/ NASDAQ), formerly
RMS Titanic Inc. A U.S. federal Court granted Premier salvor-in-possession rights to the wreck of the Titanic in
1994. After conducting numerous expeditions recovering 6,000 artifacts from the ship, it went on city tours to
display them to the public. It then parlayed this success into other exhibitions, most notably the BODIES
exhibition, featuring whole and partial human body displays.
Premier, a US$408.4-million company, is profitable, with forecasted earnings of US68¢ per share this year. Its
stock is up 117% in 2007 year and up close to 150% over the past 52 weeks. Still, it’s unlikely to do much future
shipwreck salvage work, seemingly preferring above-water cash-paying customers to chasing high risk dreams of
underwater riches.
peter@sprott.com
– – -
– Peter Hodson is a senior portfolio manager at Sprott Asset Management. He, his firm or its clients may hold
positions in the securities mentioned.
Illustration:
• Black & White Photo: Neil Dobson, AFP, Getty Images / Odyssey Marine Exploration’s remotely operated vehicle is hoisted from the
seabed after recovering coins from a Colonial period shipwreck. Odyssey says it has recovered more than 500,000 coins from the wreck,
but columnist Peter Hodson says their value can’t yet be determined, and he expects all sorts of players will come out of the woodwork
and claim the discovery is theirs.
• Chart/Graph: FPInfomart, National Post / ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION.
Idnumber: 200705310044
Edition: National
Story Type: Business; Column
Length: 886 words
Keywords: HISTORIC SHIPS; SALVAGE; STOCKS
Illustration Type: P C
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THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN: A PLAN OF MANAGENT

February 3, 2008

ISSN 1444-8939 PRINT
ISSN 1447-1981 ONLINE
MAGNT RESEARCH REPORT No. 9
March, 2001
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN:
A PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
DAVID STEINBERG
Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory

MAGNT RESEARCH REPORT No. 9, April 2001
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK
AUSTRALIAN: A PLAN OF
MANAGEMENT
DAVID STEINBERG
No part of this unpublished report may be reproduced without the written
permission of the Director, Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory
DAVID STEINBERG
2
The Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Research Report
series is a medium for the dissemination of the results of research undertaken
by MAGNT staff in the fields of Natural Sciences, History and Culture. All
contributions are reviewed internally by staff of the MAGNT.
First printed 20 April, 2001
ISSN 1444-8939 Print
ISSN 1447-1981 Online
© 2001 Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory. No part of this unpublished
report may be reproduced without the written permission of the Director, Museums and Art
Galleries of the Northern Territory.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
3
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN:
A PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
DAVID STEINBERG
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
PO Box 4646, Darwin NT 0801, AUSTRALIA
PREFACE
This report is the culmination of an extensive review process in which a series of three
draft reports were produced. A first draft of this report was circulated to government
agencies and colleagues for review in June 1998. In May and August, 1999, second and
third drafts were released for public comment.
Feedback received from government agencies and public groups focused on
recommendations relating to site protection and public access. Each successive draft was
produced with a consideration of those comments. This was done whilst maintaining an
adherence to fundamental heritage management principles.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The history of the shipwreck (including salvage and site visitation)
The Australian was a two masted steel steamship built in 1896 by Robert Napier and Sons
of Glasgow, Scotland. It was owned and operated by the Eastern and Australian Steamship
Company (E&A) as a passenger and cargo vessel. The Australian was worked by
Australian officers and a Chinese crew.
The Australian continuously traversed an extensive circular route which included
Adelaide, ports along the east coast of Australia, Palmerston (referred to as Darwin
following the Commonwealth takeover in 1911) and finally ports in the Indonesian
archipelago and the China Sea. The general route was established, individual ports
changing due to shifting management policies and work relating to each individual voyage.
On 17 November 1906, whilst making way to Palmerston from eastern ports, the
Australian struck Vashon Head reef. An official inquiry concluded that the accident
occurred due to a combination of unusual tidal flow and the lack of navigational beacons in
the region.
For two years following the accident there was a series of salvage operations and
unsuccessful refloating attempts. A public auction of the ship’s internal fittings took place
in August 1908. In the 1970s, the site was visited by a number of salvors, who, amongst
other activities, were responsible for using explosives on the site to remove the condenser
of the engine. In 1990 Operation Raleigh, a British-based volunteer organisation, visited
the site. In 1996 the MAGNT visited the site as part of a regional maritime archaeology
DAVID STEINBERG
4
survey. In this season the museum staff completed a site plan. In 1997, as part of this
project, the site was again visited and a more extensive survey conducted.
Design of the Australian
The Australian had a gross tonnage of 2838 tons; length of 341.7 feet (104.15 m) and a
breadth of 42.2 feet (12.86 m).
The steel body of the Australian was an advance on iron made hulls, steel being a lighter
and stronger material The triple expansion engine became the dominant steam engine
favoured for its fuel efficiency and performance. The coal burning steel boilers allowed
higher levels of pressure, which translated into a higher power output. The simple schooner
rig of the steamer more likely served as a stabilising feature and emergency propulsion in
times of engine failure. The refrigeration engines were ‘compressed air’ in design, a style
that preceded the ‘ammonia’ and ‘carbonic anhydride’ types. Though without accurate
temperature regulation, the ‘compressed air’ design was less toxic than later systems.
The Catterthun and the Brisbane steamship wrecks are useful as a technical comparison
with the Australian, in order to illustrate various options in design, and indicate evolution
in design. For example, the power output of the Australian far exceeded that of the
Catterthun and the Brisbane due to the advent of steel boilers.
Site description
The remains of the ship are best understood as consisting of three main sections. These are
the bow, the midship-section which rests on the remains of the ship floor and the upright
stern counter. Small amounts of debris are located at short distances from this main body
of material, however in general these three sections constitute the shipwreck. The
wreckage is approximately 110 metres in length and lies in 5-8 metres of water depending
on tidal variation.
The superstructure of the vessel has been removed by natural forces. The most noticeable
features of the site are the bow, stern section, the boilers and machinery. The machinery
includes a windlass, winches, a triple expansion engine, a dynamo and twin refrigeration
units. In addition to machinery lower deck construction features are visible, for example
remains of the cellular double bottom. Other visible site features include a clipper bow,
bowsprit and anchor.
The description of the shipwreck site within this document includes a review of the ship
break-up sequence which documents the major changes the ship underwent from its
stranding to the present. This includes the refloating in 1907 and the eventual separation of
the bow and stern from the midship section.
Site location
The Australian is located approximately 220 km NE from Darwin, off the coast of the
Cobourg Peninsula. Cobourg Peninsula is a large peninsula of land, approximately 2207
km², and is the most northern region of Arnhem Land. The shipwreck site is located on
Vashon Head reef, Vashon Head being a small point of land marking the western entrance
to Port Essington.
The Northern Territory experiences two major seasons, a Wet and a Dry season, each
following a brief equinoctial episode. The Wet season (November-April) is associated with
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
5
high rainfall and cyclonic winds. During this time the winds can change from calm
conditions to squalls and cyclonic depressions. Considering these weather conditions the
most appropriate time for fieldwork is at the end of the Dry season (May-October), when
the conditions are calmest. The sea and swell at Cobourg Peninsula is low to moderate
throughout the year, but the area experiences a large tidal range.
Statement of the shipwreck’s significance
The Australian is historically significant because of its role in facilitating coastal trade
between Palmerston and other ports in Australia and in facilitating early international trade
between Australia and Asia.
The Australian is also historically significant because it was used as a vessel for Chinese
immigration and was worked by a Chinese crew. Therefore the history of this steamer
contributes to our understanding of the history of Australian immigration and Chinese
labour at a time of national debate over non-European immigration and non-European
labour.
The Australian is the most intact wreck of a steamer located in the Northern Territory and
can offer a great deal of archaeological information regarding ship construction and
machinery as found on late 19th century steamers. The variety of machinery and ship
construction remains, which are in good condition, deem this shipwreck as representative
of a class of steamer. Evidence of early salvage and refloating will offer a further level of
archaeological data.
The remains of the refrigeration machinery (used in cold cargo storage) demonstrates a
technology that markedly changed Australia’s export market and most noticeably changed
Australia’s economic relationship with Britain.
The Australian is protected under the Commonwealth’s Historic Shipwrecks Act.
Management plan – the recommendations
Though the superstructure and a large portion of the hull is absent, what does remain
constitutes a shipwreck of technical and archaeological significance. This determined that a
management plan with a strong focus on protection and conservation was needed.
Funds to manage the site are limited. Therefore realistic recommendations have been
developed with this limitation in mind.
Recommendation 1: that an environmental assessment of the Australian be conducted in
the near future. This should include an in situ corrosion study. From these results it will
then be possible to develop a conservation program that takes a range of variables into
account. The CMPPM should stipulate the need for a conservation program and offer
partial logistic and/or financial support.
Recommendation 2: that following an environmental assessment a conservation strategy
be designed and implemented. The CMPPM should stipulate the need for a conservation
program and offer partial logistic and/or financial support.
Recommendation 3: that MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission instigate an
ongoing site monitoring program to monitor changes in the site over time. The CMPPM
should stipulate the need for this program as part of its commitment towards a conservation
program.
DAVID STEINBERG
6
Recommendation 4: that select rangers from the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission who
work at Gurig National Park, be trained as inspectors under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The CMPPM should indicate approval of this proposal.
Recommendation 5: that the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission
establish a visitor registration system to collect information on site visitation as part of the
visitor monitoring program for the CMP. This should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 6: that anchoring directly onto the shipwreck be prohibited as a
provision of the CMPPM . This restriction should include using the bow or stern as a
mooring fixture, when these features are exposed at low tide.
Recommendation 7: that certain items be recovered as they may be stolen. These are the
ceramic tiles, the remains of the bone cargo and the brass padlock.
Recommendation 8: that fishing that does not involve anchoring on the site be permitted.
Therefore trolling and drifting should continue to be permitted.
Recommendation 9: that an education package be made available at the Black Point ranger
station.
Recommendation 10: that information be placed at the boat launch and jetty at Black
Point. This will indicate that it is illegal to interfere with, damage or remove an historic
shipwreck or related items. This should also include information regarding the prohibition
of anchoring on the site. This recommendation should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 11: that the brochure on the shipwreck be widely distributed, and in
particular made avaliable to visitors at the Black Point Ranger Station. This should be
reflected in the CMPPM
Recommendation 12: that there be a consistent inclusion of information about the
shipwreck in publicity and publications dealing with the recreational and historic resources
of Gurig National Park and the CMP. This should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 13: that further non-disturbance survey work be conducted to increase
overall knowledge of the site. Particular attention may focus on the midship area.
Recommendation 14: that the machinery and important aspects of ship construction be
recorded in greater detail. Aspects of ship construction include the propeller housing,
cellular double bottom and the clipper bow.
Recommendation 15: that further survey work include the search for evidence of salvage
and refloating repairs.
Recommendation 16: that a small excavation in the stern section be conducted to reveal
how the propeller was removed during salvage.
Recommendation 17: that a probe survey east of the exposed material be conducted to
indicate the extent of buried material.
Recommendation 18: that a detailed comparison between the technology and archaeology
of the Australian to similar steamer wrecks be conducted.
Recommendation 19: that records relating to the Australian, whilst it was at ports other
than Darwin, be collected. This may include customs and port authority documentation
from outside of Australia.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
7
Recommendation 20: that the experiences of ethnic or foreign crews on early Australian
steamers be investigated, using the Australian as one example. The Australian had a
Chinese crew, visited Asian ports and brought Chinese immigrants to Australia, all during
a time of national debate over non-European immigration and non-European labour.
Recommendation 21: that research into the natural significance of this site be encouraged
by both the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission. One example of this
kind of work is a marine biological survey of the site. This recommendation should be
reflected in the CMPPM.
Administrative strategy
This report contains an administrative strategy. In brief the administrative strategy repeats
established policies and suggests objectives. An example of a policy relates to the authority
of the delegate of the Historic Shipwrecks Act in the management of the site. An example
of an objective is the inclusion of key site management recommendations in the CMPPM.
Cobourg Marine Park and Gurig National Park
This report contains a brief explanation of the history and present status of these parks. It
highlights some key areas in possible research in maritime archaeology within the
geography of the parks. The report also explains the reasoning behind the close
involvement of the Parks and Wildlife Commission in site management recommendations.
A guide for those departments participating in the management of the site
This report contains a practical guide for those government departments which may
become involved in the management of the Australian. It gives a practical review of the
Historic Shipwrecks Act. This report also includes a discussion on the Historic Shipwrecks
Program and a review of other relevant Territory and Commonwealth legislation.
Historic shipwrecks located in marine protected reserves
As the Australian is located within a marine park this chapter cites examples of other
historic shipwrecks protected under various marine park or marine reserve legislation.
The Yongala (1903-1911) is located in Queensland and is protected under both the Historic
Shipwrecks Act and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cwlth). Situated within
a Marine Park B zone it is illegal to damage or remove any cultural or natural material
from the site under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act. The Clan Ranald (1900-1909)
is located in South Australia within the Troubridge Hill Aquatic Reserve which was
established under the Fisheries Act 1982 (SA.). The reserve was established to protect
benthic organisms. The removal of shell, sand or plant life is illegal, resulting in the
prohibition of dredging.
1997 fieldwork details
This section explains the aims and methodology of the fieldwork. The aim of the fieldwork
was to conduct a non-disturbance survey of the visible remains of the shipwreck. An
understanding of site formation and site deterioration was to be developed and key
environmental factors that effect material remains identified. Due to restrictions in time
and personnel the methodology of survey was simple and aimed for a broad impression of
the site with a limited degree of accuracy. The result therefore serves as a good beginning
to further more detailed survey work.
DAVID STEINBERG
8
This section also lists the dive team and details the boat and diving policies. It also lists
fish species observed on the site.
Historical and technical details of the Australian steamship
This section lists basic information on the ship’s history and design.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank those people who have contributed to this report.
Alan Withers, Libby Stirling, Rowan Marshall and Mark Ingram, from the NT Department
of Parks and Wildlife, who participated in the 1997 fieldwork. The ongoing support of the
rangers based at Black Point ranger station greatly contributed to the success of the
fieldwork. I would also like to thank the Department of Parks and Wildlife specifically for
their contribution of personnel, equipment and accommodation during the fieldwork.
Thanks also go to John Riley who participated in the fieldwork and contributed
significantly to the site survey and the development of a site plan; once again his expertise
in steam and iron shipwrecks proved invaluable.
Thanks also to Silvano Jung for his ongoing advice and for his assistance in graphic
design. Also thanks to Nova Graphics for its contribution to graphic design, and Barbara
Bowden, Lorna Gravener and Dirk Megirian for proof reading and assistance in
production.
I would also like to thank various individuals or organisations who contributed to this
project by providing valuable information or equipment: David Nutley and Tim Smith
from the NSW Heritage Office, Terry Arnott and Bill Jeffery from Heritage SA, Vivienne
Moran from the Queensland Museum, Mike Lawton from Power and Water (NT), Kirean
Hosty from the National Maritime Museum, the State Library of NSW and the National
Maritime Museum in Greenwich England.
Finally thanks to Paul Clark for his continuous support and advice, and to the staff of the
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory for their assistance and encouragement.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
9
CONTENTS
List of abbreviations………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Glossary of terms ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Chapter 1: The role And scope of this plan ………………………………………………………….. 15
The history of the shipwreck; design of the Australian; site
description; site location; statement of the shipwreck’s significance;
the recommendations; administrative strategy; a guide for those
departments participating in the management of the site; historic
shipwrecks in marine protected areas; 1997 fieldwork details.
Chapter 2: The Australian – related histories ………………………………………………………… 16
Napier shipbuilders; the Eastern and Australian Steamship Company;
the working life of the Australian; stranding of the vessel and
consequent events; the Australian steamship in relation to the
developing maritime economy of Australia; a review of previous site
visitations.
Chapter 3: The design of the Australian steamship………………………………………………… 37
Introduction; overview; sails and rigging; the steamer’s structural
design; machinery and systems.
Chapter 4: The significance of design: a review of design features in relation to technical
invention of the period ………………………………………………………………………………………. 46
The significance of design; the Australian steamship, a technical
comparison with the Brisbane and the Catterthun.
Chapter 5: Site description and archaeological Information…………………………………….. 53
Site location and description of the area; site formation sequence; site
description; site deterioration; environmental conditions.
Chapter 6: Assessment of the site’s significance ……………………………………………………. 69
Preamble; historic significance; technical significance; social significance;
archaeological significance; scientific significance; interpretative
significance; rarity significance; representative significance; statement of
significance.
Chapter 7: Management policies and relevant issues……………………………………………… 73
Preamble; management of the Australian through provisions stipulated in the
marine park plan of management; the preservation of material remains;
DAVID STEINBERG
10
protective legislation; the impact of development; site identification for passing
traffic; visitation to the Australian; interpretation material on the Australian;
artefacts and records; research.
Chapter 8: Management recommendations – implementing policy …………………………….82
Preamble; the preservation of material remains from natural forces; the
preservation of material remains from human threats; interpretation; research.
Chapter 9: Administrative Strategy………………………………………………………………………85
Established policies; Objectives.
Chapter 10: Cobourg Marine Park and Gurig National Park …………………………………….86
Establishment of the parks; the archaeological resource of Cobourg Peninsula;
the reasoning behind the involvement of the Parks and Wildlife Commission in
site management.
References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….88
Appendix 1: A Guide for departments participating in the management of the Australian
site………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….91
Appendix 2: A discussion on the Yongala and the Clan Ranald shipwrecks ………………..97
Appendix 3: 1997 field work details……………………………………………………………………..99
Appendix 4: Historical and technical details of the Australian…………………………………101
List of Figures
Fig. 1. Robert Napier ………………………………………………………………………………………….16
Fig. 2. David Napier …………………………………………………………………………………………..16
Fig. 3. The Persia at Napier shipyard, Govan, 1855…………………………………………………17
Fig. 4. The E&A flag. …………………………………………………………………………………………18
Fig. 5. The route of the Australian ……………………………………………………………………….23
Fig. 6. Operational Raleigh site sketch…………………………………………………………………..35
Fig. 7. MAGNT site sketch, 1995. ………………………………………………………………………..36
Fig. 8. The Australian…………………………………………………………………………………………37
Fig. 9. Sail plan of the Australian …………………………………………………………………………38
Fig. 10. Plan view of the Australian………………………………………………………………………39
Fig. 11.An example of cellular double bottom design……………………………………………….40
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
11
Fig. 12. An example of a compound engine…………………………………………………………… 40
Fig. 13. An example of a double ended boiler ……………………………………………………….. 42
Fig. 14. The stern section of a similarly designed single screw steamship…………………… 42
Fig. 15. Diagram of a closed air refrigeration system………………………………………………. 43
Fig. 16. A steam driven winch…………………………………………………………………………….. 44
Fig. 17. A steam driven windlass…………………………………………………………………………. 44
Fig. 18. Bow of a steamship with davit structure to hold anchor……………………………….. 45
Fig. 19. The Black Prince…………………………………………………………………………………… 47
Fig. 20. The Great Britain………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
Fig. 23. Location of the site………………………………………………………………………………… 53
Fig. 22. Site formation sequence …………………………………………………………………………. 55
Fig. 23. Site plan of the Australian., 1997. ……………………………………………………………. 58
Fig. 24. The remains of the bow………………………………………………………………………….. 59
Fig. 25. The anchor in-situ …………………………………………………………………………………. 59
Fig. 26. The capstan and anchor crane in-situ, located at the bow. …………………………….. 60
Fig. 27. The forward winch in-situ ………………………………………………………………………. 61
Fig. 28. The port bilge keel in-situ……………………………………………………………………….. 62
Fig. 29. Frontal view of similar boilers, a general guide ………………………………………….. 63
Fig. 30. The low pressure cylinder section of the propulsion engine in-situ. ……………….. 64
Fig. 31. The high and intermediate pressure cylinders section of the propulsion engine in
situ ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 64
Fig. 32. The dynamo in-situ ……………………………………………………………………………….. 65
Fig. 33. A refrigeration unit in-situ………………………………………………………………………. 65
Fig. 34. Aerial photograph of the Australian; the bow, boilers and stern are visible ……… 78
Fig. 35. Visitors to the site, 1997…………………………………………………………………………. 78
Fig. 36. Seasonal visitation to Gurig National Park ………………………………………………… 79
Fig. 37. Annual visitation to Gurig National Park…………………………………………………… 79
List of Tables
Table 1. Wrecked E&A ships……………………………………………………………………………… 21
Table 2. Technical comparison: Australian, Catterthun and Brisbane steamships ……….. 51
DAVID STEINBERG
12
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AIMA Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology
A.S.N Australasian Steam Navigation Company
B.I. British India Steam Navigation Company. Some authors refer to this
company as the British India Company.
CMP Cobourg Marine Park
CMPPM Cobourg Marine Park Plan of Management (draft). The CMPPM may
eventually be amalgamated with the Gurig National Park Plan of
Management (GNPPM). If this occurs recommendations in this report that
refer to the CMPPM would refer to the amalgamated version.
E&A Eastern and Australian Mail Steamship Company. In various references that
I used, this company was also referred to as the Eastern and Australian Mail
Steam Company. I have referred to the company by the name used during
the operational period of the Australian.
GBRMP Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
GNPPM Gurig National Park Plan of Management (draft).
HP High pressure (cylinder)
IHP Indicated horse power
IP Intermediate pressure (cylinder)
Knts Knots
LP Low pressure (cylinder)
MAGNT Museums and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
nhp Nominal horse power
NTT&G Northern Territory Times and Gazette
N.T. Northern Territory of Australia
P&O Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
PWCNT Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory
psi Pounds per square inch
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
aft peak tank A water storage tank located at the extreme stern end of
the hold of a vessel.
anchor chain locker A trunk which stores the anchor chain or cable.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
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anchor crane A crane positioned on the fore-deck and used to raise and
lower the anchor between the deck and the hawse pipe.
bilge keel Fitted in pairs they sit on the outside of the bilge and
lessen the rolling of the ship.
boiler bearers The supportive rests that a boiler sits on.
bollard A deck fixture used for securing the boat to jetties etc. It is
a supportive frame with vertical spools.
Bowsprit The spar projecting from the bow of the ship.
bulkhead A partition between below-deck sections.
capstan A cylindrical barrel located in the fore-deck area. It is
driven mechanically and directs the chain of the anchor.
cellular double bottom A water ballast reservoir, positioned on top of the ship’s
floor, whose cannels are cellular in design.
compressed air refrigeration The air refrigeration system most likely used on the
Australian to transport chilled food.
condenser The section of the steam engine that condenses steam to
water.
derrick A mechanism for hauling cargo, in which a crane- like
system is secured on deck, in some cases supported by a
mast.
double-ended boiler A boiler with a separate furnace at each end. The design
was to increase power with an attempt to keep size
increase to a minimum.
dynamo A machine that converts energy to electricity.
fairleads A board with holes in it to allow rigging or line to run
through.
feed water filters The machinery that filters oil and other impurities from
the water that leaves the condenser to return to the boilers.
fore-deck The forward section of the deck.
forepeak tank A water storage tank located at the extreme fore-end of the
hold of the vessel.
gross tonnage The tonnage measurement which includes both the cargo
capcity and the ship’s dead weight (own weight).
gunwale The side of the hull which rises above the upper-deck.
hawse pipe and hawse hole The hawse hole is located in the bow area near the stem.
The anchor chain feeds into the ship through the hole. The
hawse pipe leads from the hole and supports the chain
from chaffing the internal fittings.
DAVID STEINBERG
14
life boat davits A life boat storage and access system where vertical poles
support a pulley system. The lifeboats are stored in a
upright position on the deck.
moulding lines- Distinctive structural lines that run horizontally yet follow
the curvature of the hull.
mizzen mast The rear mast
port Left side
propeller hub The hub or nut which holds the propeller blades in place.
sheerstrake plating Uppermost hull plating
stanchion A fixed upright support.
starboard Right side
stringer internal Supportive frames that are positioned horizontally along
the hull.
supportive stays Bars placed to give support and fix feature in position.
triple expansion engine A steam engine in which the steam is expanded in three
consecutive stages.
warping ends (winch) The round spools on a winch that feed the chain.
water-line theory John Riley’s theory that an iron ship that sinks upright on
sand will become buried in that sand to about the level of
its waterline.
winch Steam driven pulley machine used to haul cargo and deck
features
windlass A large winch used for heaving the anchors.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
15
CHAPTER 1: THE ROLE AND SCOPE OF THIS PLAN
The Australian is a shipwreck protected under the Commonwealth’s Historic Shipwrecks
Act 1976. It is located along the northern coastline of Cobourg Peninsula within the
Northern Territory.
The aim of this plan of management is to assess the significance of the shipwreck, to
investigate what the relevant issues are in relation to the management of the site and to put
forward a series of recommendations regarding its future management.
These recommendations have been reached via the following process:
(i) the collection of data
(ii) an assessment of the site and the development of a statement of significance
which codifies the position of MAGNT
(iii) a discussion of policies and issues relevant to the management of the site
(iv) development of the recommendations, based on the previous three stages.
It is important to note that each phase builds on information and reasoning gathered and
developed in previous phases.
Archaeological fieldwork and historical research was conducted to produce this
management plan. During this process the author became aware of further directions that
research could take. It was beyond the role and scope of this project to conduct this further
research, however these proposals are briefly discussed.
This plan includes additional chapters which will serve as a resource for government
departments that may be involved in the management program. This includes, for example,
a discussion of the Historic Shipwrecks Act. Therefore a secondary role of this plan is to
serve as an ongoing resource in the management of historic shipwrecks.
The implementation of a management program is subject to the resources available.
Management recommendations have been developed with these financial restrictions in
mind. In response, one strategy has been to support the ongoing participation of the NT
Parks and Wildlife Commission in the management of the shipwreck.
This management plan has been funded through a grant from the Commonwealth
Department of Communications and the Arts. The Historic Shipwrecks Program was
administrated by this Department until November 1998. Following this the program was
transferred to the Commonwealth Department for the Environment and Heritage.
The delegated authority of the Historic Shipwrecks Act in the Northern Territory is the
Director of the MAGNT.
DAVID STEINBERG
16
CHAPTER 2: THE AUSTRALIAN – RELATED HISTORIES
2.1. Napier Shipbuilders
The Australian was built by Robert Napier and Sons which was based in Glasgow,
Scotland. Robert Napier was referred to by many contemporaries as the ‘father’ of Scottish
engineering (Shields 1947: 42). Such praise was justified, as many important figures in the
development of marine steam engine technology in Britain had at some point worked and
trained under Napier.
Napier Engineers, eventually renamed Robert Napier and Sons, was founded by cousins
Robert and David Napier (Figs 1, 2). These men were born into a family legacy of iron
engineering. The fathers of both David and Robert were blacksmiths, David’s father also
being an iron founder. Robert’s brother James and his cousin William were engineers and
boiler makers. Thus David and Robert were, early in their lives, exposed to skills related to
steam and iron technologies.
Fig. 1. Robert Napier (Shields1947: 53) Fig. 2. David Napier (Shields 1947: 53)
David was the founding engineer of the company, whereas Robert was the more business
minded man. David built his first steamship, the Marion (57 tons), in 1816 (Shields 1947:
35). David left the company in 1836 to work in London (Shields 1947: 40). The notion of
Robert Napier being more the businessman than the engineer is supported by Shields, who
states that the capabilities of Robert as an engineer depended heavily on those who worked
for him (Shield 1947: 43).
Until 1843 Napier built only steam engines, working in conjunction with a ship builder.
But in this year, under the guidance of Napier’s chief engineer William Deny, Napier built
the Vanguard with a gross tonnage of 700 tons (Shields 1947: 47). The vessel was praised
by the critics, and orders for more vessels came in. Napier Engineers expanded. Napier’s
expansion included shipyards at Govan and Middleton. Interestingly the company also
purchased the Parkhead Forge giving Napier control over iron production. This was the
peak for Napier Engineering with orders coming from Russia, Turkey, France, India and
elsewhere (Shields 1947: 51). In 1853 Robert Napier’s sons joined the company, and the
title was changed to Napier and Sons (Shields 1947: 51).
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
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The distinctive clipper bow of the Persia was a trademark of Napier shipbuilding, an
aesthetic feature also found on the Australian (Fig. 3). Ironically the E&A became
remembered for operating a number of steamers with this feature. It is interesting to note
that, despite a consensus that a clipper bow on these steamer was an aesthetic feature only, a
clipper bow did save the Persia, allowing it to ride over an ice barrier (Hume 1975: 24-26).
Fig. 3. The Persia at Napier shipyard, Govan, 1855 (Hume 1975: 25)
Robert Napier died in June 1876, aged 86 years, and the management of the company was
handed to engineer A.C.Kirk. Kirk was the engineer to whom was attributed the design of
the first deep sea commercial steamer with a triple expansion engine, the Propontis, built
by Randolph Elder and Co. (Gardiner 1993: 107). Kirk was also an early pioneer in using
steel in ship construction, engineering the Paristian, the first steel steamer to cross the
Atlantic Ocean (Shields 1947: 51). The ability of steel boilers to produce higher levels of
pressure and so, in turn, capable of fully utilising compound steam engine technology was
an advantage early appreciated by Kirk and Elder.
However Kirk’s greatest success was the Aberdeen which was powered by a triple
expansion engine and was built in 1881 by Napier and Sons. The Aberdeen could produce
over 2600 IHP with steam at 125 psi (Gardiner 1993: 107). The true value behind the
design was the ability of the engine to utilise the available high pressure steam and
available exhausted steam efficiently, translating to ‘if the ship travelled at 13 knots in the
open ocean it would burn less than 40 tons of coal a day'(Gardiner 1993: 108).
The success of the Aberdeen helped convince other ship owners that this kind of engine
design was the next step from two stage compound steam engines. In 1883 Napier built
two Kirk designed engines for the steamers Oaxaca and the Tamaulipas, the largest
steamers of their time, each with a 60 inch stroke and a working pressure of 135 psi
(Gardiner 1993: 109).
The Australian, being built in 1896, came after the peak of Napier and Sons. However, the
role of Napier in early steam ship innovation should not be undervalued. Napier was an
early steam ship engineering company that favoured innovation and creativity and so
contributed significantly to a dynamic period of technological development and ship
construction.
DAVID STEINBERG
18
2.2. The Eastern and Australian Steamship Company
Introduction. E&A was a small British-owned shipping company that contributed to the
development of international trade between Australia and Asia and coastal trade between
Palmerston (Darwin) and other Australian ports. Based in Sydney, the small fleet of
steamers travelled extensively, operating in new territories and working in unestablished
trade. The E&A fleet transported passengers and cargo across a route that spanned along
the southern, eastern and northern coasts of Australia and through Asia. The fleet also
brought Chinese immigrants to Australia.
Fig. 4. The E&A flag. (Olson 1976: 110)
The E&A was created in 1873 to service a contract advertised by the Queensland
Government. The contract involved short cutting the standing mail service from Britain to
Australia, ensuring that Queenslanders received their mail more regularly. This contract
was short lived however the company managed to always subsidise its costs by gaining
mail carrier government subsidies throughout its existence. The company went through
three liquidated forms, eventually becoming absorbed into the B.I. a subsidiary of P&O,
immediately following the first World War (Laxon 1963: 8).
The Queensland mail contract, the Torres Strait route and trade with Asia. The P & O held
a long standing contract to work the mail service from Britain and Europe to Australia.
From Ceylon (Sri Lanka) the service reached Albany, Port Adelaide, Melbourne and
Sydney (Olson 1976: 3). The company first offered this service in 1853, failed a year later
but reinstated a service in 1858 (Bach 1967: 110, 147). The earlier route required overland
passage at the Suez, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. The creation of
the Suez Canal in 1869 eliminated the need for an overland route however P&O were only
permitted to transport mail through this canal in 1874 (Bach 1976: 148).
These steamers would sail from Britain, through the Suez Canal, and hug the coast of India
to Ceylon. From Ceylon the steamers continued down the west coast of Australia, along
the southern coast, and then north travelling up the east coast. Queensland would
experience delays from up to a month from when the mail steamers reached Albany to
when they finally reached Queensland (Olson 1976: 3). The colony of Queensland decided
to establish a more regular mail service for itself. Its government had also recognised the
trade opportunities inherent with a short route to Asia, this recognition shown in the 1860s
when the colony entered into a short-lived funding venture with the Netherlands
government to offer subsidies to Dutch shipping companies (Campo 1991: 1). Thus the
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Queensland government offered a subsidy for a service to pick up mail at Singapore, from
P&O steamers, make way through the Indonesian archipelago and the Torres Strait,
reaching the north coast of Queensland. The ‘Torres Strait route’ to north-east Australia had
been a discussion point amongst politicians and businessmen of the colony since the 1840s
(Nicholson 1996: 225).
The itinerary for this route was assigned as part of the terms of the mail contract. The
designated ports of call were: Singapore, Batavia, Sourabya, Somerset (a British post in the
Torres Strait), then the Queensland regional ports Cardwell, Bowen and Gladstone,
reaching Brisbane and finally Sydney. Shortly after the commencement of the contract
Hong Kong was added as a port of call (Hardwick 1983: 2). Other conditions of the
contract were schedule requirements and the ability to maintain each steamer at an
acceptable safety and performance standard. Eventually ports in mainland China and Japan
were added to the itinerary. The E&A service offered Queensland a fortnightly mail
service with Britain (Olson 1976: 7).
This contract provided Brisbane and regional Queensland ports with their own mail
service. The contract subsidised E&A whilst it developed a small but lucrative niche in
Australian coastal trade and the Asian trade. This was a remarkable opportunity when one
appreciates the variety of ports and opportunity for new markets. The ability for the
company’s directors to foresee the lucrative Asia trade through the Torres Strait route is
best shown in this excerpt from a shareholders meeting in 1874:
the progress of the trade between the East and Australia is realising the expectations
formed of it, the steamers having had on more than one occasion to shut out cargo, not
only in China but also Singapore ( Hardwick 1983: 4).
The foresight to appreciate the trade possibilities in Asia went hand in hand with the
ingenuity required to plot a regular route through the poorly charted waters of the Torres
Strait. Sail ships and steamers had of course travelled this route before the E&A was
established. The area experienced activity from the 1860s with the growth of the pearl
industry. In turn the British settlements of Somerset, established in 1864, and then replaced
by Thursday Island in 1877, indicated the intention of Queensland to provide assistance to
all traffic along the route. However the E&A service was one of the first fleets that
regularly made way through these waters as part of an established itinerary. Nicholson
reflects that the E&A service was the first with a structured ‘reef pilot’ program, an official
response to the unfamiliar waters (Nicholson 1996: 386). Foley also recognises that a
significant majority of pilots who were employed by other companies in these early days
were originally from E&A (Foley 1982: 34,29). In turn he reflects that it was the E&A ship
the Sun Foo which in 1874 completed the earliest known full-length pilotage of the Barrier
Reef from Brisbane to Torres Strait (Foley 1982: 27).
The slow development of the Torres Strait as a popular route was due, partially, to the lack
of coal and wood to fuel the inefficient early steamers (Nicholson 1996: 234). Thus a
regular use of the channel awaited developments in engine efficiency and performance.
In 1880, when the contract came up for renewal, E&A lost it to the larger B.I. This rival
offered a direct link between Queensland and Britain (Laxon 1963: 4). In turn this larger
company would eventually develop a more popular cargo trade through the Torres route
(Lewis 1973: 45). The loss of the contract was steeped in controversy. Olson argues that
the loss occurred because of disputes regarding ports of call and the size of the subsidy
(Olson 1976: 18). Lewis suggests there was more involved, arguing that B.I. had close
DAVID STEINBERG
20
political and commercial ties in Queensland (Lewis 1973: 45). He states that one year
before the contract came up for renewal, McIlwraith, the premier of Queensland, was
already deliberating details with B.I. (Lewis 1973: 45). The Liberal Opposition challenged
this move, fearing a shipping monopoly, the kind a large conglomerate company like BI
could create (Lewis 1973: 45). The loss of this contract sent E&A into its first voluntary
liquidation (Olson 1976: 18).
The South Australian mail contract. In 1880 the second company was formed. With this
came the delivery of two new vessels, the Catterthun and the Tannadice. The following
year saw the E&A awarded a mail contract from the South Australian government, to run a
service between Adelaide and Palmerston. In this same year (1881), the Brisbane was
wrecked, stranding at Fish Reef near Palmerston, inward bound from Hong Kong (Laxon
1963: 5). The E&A had, by this time, extended its service to Melbourne and Adelaide;
Palmerston officially becoming a part of the South Australian colony considerably earlier
in 1865 (Powell 1982: 77). In 1911, when the Commonwealth took control of the
Northern Territory, Palmerston become known as Darwin. This contract continued until
World War 1 when the E &A ships were commissioned for active duty (Olson 1976: 23).
By 1884 all of the steamers from the original company had been replaced with faster, more
efficient and therefore more financially lucrative ships. In addition to the Catterthun and
the Tannadice, the Airlie and the Guthrie were purchased and placed into service. The
ports of call for this fleet were: Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Thursday Island,
Townsville, Bowen, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The port of Singapore
had been removed from the route to make way for the more lucrative Chinese passenger
and trade market (Olson 1976: 22). It was also removed as now the company no longer
serviced international mail. The E&A company was developing a strong trade service with
Asian ports and did lucrative business servicing Chinese immigration to the colonies. In
June 1894 for reasons that are unclear, the second company was liquidated, but by July the
third company was formed (Olson 1976: 23).
The third company and the purchase of the Australian. The 1890s saw the development
of strong competition in the trade through the Torres Strait to Asia, particularly from the
China Navigation Company which offered the east coast of Australia a similar passenger
and freight service (Laxon 1963: 6). By this time French and German services were also
connecting Asia to the colonies of Australia (Olson 1976: 26). Due to this period of
competition, and because of the loss of the Catterthun in 1895, the company reviewed its
fleet. Over the next few years E&A introduced the Australian, the Eastern and the Empire.
These new steamers returned the E&A to a competitive level.
The Australian, at 2838 tons, was the first steel steamer of the fleet and also the first with
400 nhp (Laxon 1963: 7) .The Eastern, built in 1899, was 3,586 tons with 469 nhp (Laxon
1963: 7). The Empire, built in 1902, was 4497 tons with 613 nhp (Laxon 1963: 7). These
ships demonstrated a return to the clipper bow trademark of the early E&A vessels
(previous examples being the Guthrie and Airlie). The Australian and the Eastern were
both built by Napier and Sons. The Empire was built by Beardmores, a company
associated with Napier. Following the wreck of the Australian the company purchased the
Aldenham originally built in 1894 for the Aberdeen Line. The Aldenham was also built by
Napier and Sons (Laxon 1963: 7).
Following the death of a major shareholder named Guthrie in 1900, there was dispute
amongst the shareholders as to the company’s future (Olson 1976: 28). The shipping
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
21
industry was becoming the domain of large conglomerate companies and the era of the
small shipping company was over. The E&A resisted an initial buy-out offer from the B.I.
(a subsidiary of P&O), but by the end of World War 1 they eventually sold to the P&O
group (Olson 1976: 28).
The use of Asian crews in the E&A company. The E&A steamers operated with
Australian officers and Asian crews, predominantly Chinese, whilst servicing Asian
immigration. This occurred during a period in Australia of restrictive regulations dealing
with non-European labour and non-European immigration. One clear example of this is the
regulations relating to the Commonwealth’s Immigration Restriction Act 1901.
Particularly relevant to maritime working conditions, in 1878 European seaman and dock
workers who worked for the Australian owned Australasian Steam Navigation Company
(A.S.N), staged a strike in Sydney and Brisbane, protesting the use of cheap Asian labour.
The strikers gained public support, and the protest ended only after violence was
threatened. The experiences of both the Chinese crew and passengers aboard these ships is
of social and historical importance.
Conclusion. E & A was a small shipping operator that contributed to the trade and
passenger service between coastal ports in Australia, and was a pioneer in the development
of trade with Asia. Laxon argues that when the company first worked its route, north
Queensland and the Torres Strait were poorly charted and at times treacherous waters
(Laxon 1963: 2). He commends the pioneering spirit of the company by arguing its route
was ‘poorly navigated, dealing in a trade that was mostly untried’. This was certainly true
on both counts. The first ocean-going vessel at Port Kennedy, an early British base on
Thursday Island, was the mail steamer the Brisbane in 1878 (Nicholson 1996: 260).
Perhaps reflecting the difficult route travelled over the course of the company’s history, six
ships had been lost (Table 1).
Table 1. Wrecked E&A ships (Olson 1976: 22-23)
Ship Year built, location of wreck and year
Queensland – built 1875, wrecked Wilson’s Prom. VIC. in 1876
Singapore – built 1874, wrecked off Keswick Island, QLD in 1877
Brisbane – built 1874, wrecked on Fish Reef, NT in 1881
Normanby – built 1874, wrecked, bound for Manila in 1893
Catterthun – built 1881, wrecked on Sea Rocks, N.S.W in 1895
Australian – built 1896, wrecked Vashon Head, N.T in 1906
2.3 The working life of the Australian
Introduction. The Australian joined the E&A fleet as the first of a new wave of steamers
and it was described at the time as the pride of the fleet. It was the company’s first steel
steamer, and the first with 400 nhp capacity, giving the vessel a tested speed of 15 knots.
The steamer was also given a warm welcome from the local Palmerston press, who
referred to the vessel as the ‘finest ship that has entered this port in many years’ (NTT&G
31 July 1896). This report also describes the steamer as being ‘beautifully furnished’ and
with ‘electric light throughout’. The Australian had accommodation facilities for 70 first
class passengers, 35 second class passengers and an unspecified number of places for
steerage class passengers (NTT&G 31 July 1896). The E&A fleet was serviced by
Australian officers and Asian crews.
DAVID STEINBERG
22
The Australian and the other steamers of the fleet travelled a long route, which began in
Adelaide and ended in Japan. Although the steamers generally ran the same route particular
ports may have differed depending on the work and contracts of each voyage. At any one
time the fleet would be dispersed across the east coast of Australia and the China Sea.
The ports of call. The E&A fleet worked a common route that changed over time
reflecting changes in business interests and contracts. In addition the ports of call for each
voyage would differ depending on the available work. Therefore attempts to determine the
exact itinerary of the Australian are misguided, the problem exacerbated by secondary
references that are vague and contradictory. However it is a useful task to produce at least a
general view of the fleet’s route during the time that the Australian was operational.
By the time the Australian joined the fleet Singapore and Java had been excluded as ports
of call (Hardwick 1983: 5). He explains that the removal of Singapore was to allow the
company to focus on the ‘more profitable China trade’. Singapore and Java were first
introduced as ports during the earlier held Queensland mail contract.
In the early 1880s the E&A fleet called at: Japan (no specific port given in this reference),
Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Thursday Island, Townsville, Bowen, Brisbane, Sydney
and Melbourne (Olson 1976: 22). The continuing inclusion of small regional Queensland
ports like Bowen and Townsville, after the loss of the Queensland mail contract, is an
interesting aspect of the itinerary (Olson 1976: 22). This must indicate that following the
period of the contract the company continued to make profitable trade through these ports.
Bach refers to regional Queensland ports as being profitable and highly competitive (Bach
1976: 251). These ports were kept in business from the rich hinterland industries. For
example, the Australian transported chilled foods to Asia from producers in Australia, and
Bach states that Queensland produced a great deal of meat for this industry (Bach 1976:
195).
Olson lists another itinerary, which seems more likely to have been that used during the
operational period of the Australian (Olson 1976: 22). This association is based on other
references and links Olson makes between the route and the period in question. These ports
include: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Cooktown, Darwin,
Timor, Manila, Hong Kong, Foochow, Shanghai, Moji, Kobe and Yokohama. These ports
make up the itinerary mapped in Figure 5.
A difference in this itinerary (Fig. 5.) to what occurred in practice would relate to whether
smaller ports were visited during individual voyages and when Foochow (Fuzhou) was
introduced as a port of call. In general, any attempt to reveal a set route is misguided,
because the Australian may have called at different regional ports depending on work
specific to that voyage.
The duration of the route. From the newspaper reports of the Australian’s incoming and
outgoings at various ports it is possible to piece together an understanding of the time it
took to complete legs of the route. These estimates are extremely broad. They do not
account for weather conditions affecting speed or delays at each port. Nevertheless, to
complete the journey from Hong Kong to Palmerston, with stops at Manila and Thursday
Island, the Australian took approximately 10 days (NTT&G 14 December 1900). This
voyage can be broken down to finer estimates with references indicating that Palmerston to
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
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Fig. 5. The route of the Australian (Nova Graphics 1997) .
DAVID STEINBERG
24
Thursday Island took 6 to 8 hours and Palmerston to Timor took 36 hours (NTT&G 31
July 1896). From Adelaide the Australian took approximately 5 days to reach Sydney and
then transferred passengers and cargo crew before leaving port (NTT&G 19 February
The voyage from Sydney to Palmerston took approximately 10 days (NTT&G 11
December 1896). From these references it can be stated that the Australian took
approximately 25 days to reach Hong Kong from Adelaide.
Visits to Asian ports. The recorded experiences of crews and passengers aboard these
steamships that travelled to Asia at the turn of the 19th century provide fascinating
insights. This extract from the local Palmerston newspaper tells the story of Mr Tully,
manager of the Palmerston Commercial Bank, who went for a holiday on the E&A vessel
Eastern, travelling to Japan and stopping at intermediate Asian ports:
Manila would appear to be almost as difficult a place to gain access to as the North Pole
or Thibet (sic), the obstructions in this case; however, being of a purely artificial and
official nature. The proud Caucasian traveller finds himself placed in somewhat the
same situation as the Asianic seeking to gain admission to Australia. If he wishes to stay
there he has first to show that he possesses the where withdrawn to pay his way; if he
wishes to take a change of linen and go ashore for the night only, much ponderous
official machinery has first to be set in motion; and he cannot even land for an hour or
two without obtaining a pass from the Customs officials. In fact a visit to Manila would
seem calculated to provide food for some serious reflection by the most bigoted of
protectionists. Mr Tully saw much interest in Hong Kong and Canton, but the tortuous
crowded streets and the overpowering odours of the quaint metropolis of southern China
were not provocative of any very strong desire for a too prolonged acquaintance. The
foetid (sic) atmosphere is calculated to promote unpleasant reflections respecting
plague, cholera and other germs which blunts the keen interest in the novel
surroundings. Like myriads of other travellers, Mr Tully found the scenery and the
climate of Japan delightful, and was much impressed by the efficiency and cheapness of
the railway service. At one point on the route a 300 mile journey can be taken at a cost
of 12s, the best meals being provided for about 1s, whilst waiters are detailed for each
carriage, who watch over the comfort of the passengers with a tender solicitude, even to
fanning away the obtrusive fly which may have settled momentarily upon your nose
(NTT&G 9 October 1903).
This excerpt gives us a limited insight into the opinions of one European traveller to the
region. Mr Tully’s reference to there being differences in tolerance and acceptance for
foreign visitors is interesting, as is his mention of the anti-Asian ‘protectionist’ climate
permeating Australia during that time.
The cargo. From newspaper accounts, it is possible to determine the kinds of cargo that the
Australian had shipped within Australia and the cargo coming in and out of Australia. The
cargo is significant in determing the economic role of the steamer. It also reflects examples
of trade between Palmerston and coastal ports in Australia, and between Australia and
Asia. A limitation to this review is the absence of information regarding shipments
between Asian ports.
Regardless of the role of the Australian in freighting a variety of goods the mail had
always been the most precious of items. The mail service contract aided E&A to subsidise
the long route from Adelaide to Palmerston. The significance of the mail cargo was
illustrated when the passengers of the stranded Australian were rescued by the passing
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25
Waihoi. The Waihoi brought aboard 56 bags of mail, in preference to much of the
passenger luggage and much of the other goods (NTT&G 23 November 1906).
The Australian steamer shipped both exotic and bulk cargo. From Australia to Manila, and
other Asian ports, the ship carried export goods such as pearl shell, trepang, tortoise shell,
whisky and racehorses (NTT&G 18 May 1900). Thus the Australian contributed to
servicing small niche markets between Australia and Asia, as well as carrying exotic ‘once
only’ cargo. An extreme example of exotic cargo was the transport of two lions from the
Sydney zoo to a zoo in Japan in 1903 (NTT&G 11 December 1903). The export of trepang
demonstrates the continuation of a export tradition that had been in progress before
European settlement.
The Australian also exported exotic and bulk goods from Palmerston markets to southern
ports. In August 1903 the Australian exported: 153 cattle hides, 225 bags of tin ore, 11
cases of pearl shell, 61 bags of salted fish, 19 bags beef and 40 packages (size unknown) of
sundries to southern ports (NTT&G 14 August 1903). This varying and seemingly
impressive trade was in fact small and Palmerston struggled at this time to develop a
substantial export market (Powell 1982: 85-108). The steamer also provided basic
materials to Palmerston from the south, such as coal, flour and building materials (NTT&G
18 May 1900 & NTT&G 30 November 1906) .
The Australian, with a net tonnage of 1784 tons, would have been considered a medium
sized steamer of its time with regard to the transport of bulk commodities. Nevertheless the
ship had a contributory role to play in the development of the minerals export market of
northern Australia. Tin, copper and other minerals from mines north of Katherine were
shipped from Palmerston to both southern ports and buyers in Asia. In the year 1900 tin
ore would go for 70 pounds per ton in the Singapore markets (NTT&G 24 August 1900).
The discovery of gold, tin and other mineral deposits in the north restored peoples’ hopes
that not all of the great mineral deposits of Australia had been discovered and exploited
(Harlow 1997: 1).
The hopes for a thriving Northern Territory mineral industry were eventually dashed,
problems including poor ore deposits, high costs of labour increased by isolation and
fluctuating international prices (Powell 1982: 95). Despite eventual disappointment in the
results, the history of mining in the north had a significant impact on development, for
example the construction of the Pine Creek to Darwin railway, and on the history of this
part of Australia, for example the history of the mining settlement of Southport. Therefore
the Australian was involved in what was a limited but historically and socially significant
industry of northern Australia.
Of all the goods the Australian freighted, the industry that was most significant in regard to
the developing export economy of the time was the frozen foods market. The Australian
shipped frozen meats, dairy products and chilled fruit to Asia, eventually reaching markets
in Britain. The Torres Strait route was the popular route for this export market, therefore
the knowledge and experience of E&A in this passage assisted its expansion into the
industry. When the Australian was wrecked, the vessel was carrying 2000 tonnes of cargo
and an account of the event indicates that a large percentage of this was frozen meat and
butter (NTT&G 30 November 1906).
The Australian as a passenger service. The Australian serviced passengers travelling
between ports along the south, east and north coasts of Australia, those that travelled to
DAVID STEINBERG
26
ports in Asia, some international travellers continuing to Europe on connected services.
Passengers also included visitors and immigrants to Australia from Asia.
The steamer was advertised as having accommodation for 70 first class passengers and 35
second class passengers. There was also accommodation for steerage class passengers, but
the number of places, and the quality of the berths, was less openly advertised. Olson
indicates that steerage accommodation was once advertised by E&A as ‘extensive coolie
accommodation’ (Olson 1976: 26). This certainly indicates that management was aware of
the lucrative cheap labour passenger trade. To be fair, perhaps this style of marketing lower
class berths is more indicative of the time than specifically this company.
Select passengers travelling to Palmerston from southern ports were often mentioned by
name in the shipping news section of the Northern Territory Times and Gazette. In some
cases a short paragraph was written regarding a visitor, the arrival of influential business
Figures or socialites being important local news. In contrast the steerage passengers were
listed based on ethnic affiliation. For example the voyage to Palmerston, cut short by the
stranding of the steamer in November 1906, included: 60 Chinese passengers, 2 Japanese,
and 2 Hindu, in addition to the 13 European passengers (NTT&G 23 November 1906). The
number of passengers aboard this luckless voyage is a broad guide to the number of
passengers travelling on earlier voyages of the steamship.
The experiences of passengers aboard the Australian would certainly have differed
depending on the quality of their berths and their reason for travel. For the more privileged
first and second class passengers the voyage was perhaps rough at times but an adventure
to be had, particularly for those travelling from southern ports to the exotic and distant
north.
There was a social life aboard for the wealthier European passengers, consisting of dances,
organised group activities and shared drinks in the saloon (Olson 1976: 47-49). An
example of a prevailing sense of adventure for some passengers aboard the Australian is
that in April 1899 a cricket team made up of passengers from the steamer took on the
Palmerston team, a match that would have attracted a number of local spectators (NTT&G
14 April 1899). The same passengers were audience to a cultural performance by local
Aborigines (NTT&G 14 April 1899). The organised activities show that for some
passengers the voyage was a holiday of sorts, regardless of later intentions when one
reached their port of destination.
2.4. Stranding of the vessel and consequent events
The stranding. The Australian ran aground on the reef protruding from Vashon Head, a
point of land located along the northern coastline of Cobourg Peninsula, a peninsula that
marks the most northern point of Arnhem Land. The site is located approximately 220
kilometres from Darwin. Whilst steaming westward to Palmerston, through the Arafura
Sea, an unexpectedly strong tide brought the ship over the shallow reef. The officers and
crew were attempting to complete a leg of the ship’s circular route. This route included
Adelaide, intermediate ports along the east coast of Australia, Palmerston and ports in the
Indonesian archipelago and the China Sea. This route had been a travelled a number of
times by the ship and was the standard itinerary of the E&A company.
The Australian left Sydney on the 7 November 1906. Whilst in port the ship’s compass was
realigned, suggesting that it was unlikely that a navigational error due to an inaccurate
compass was to blame for the accident. Reflecting on the voyage up to this incident
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27
Captain John George remarked that ‘nothing of importance took place on the voyage’
(Inquiry 1907).
The ship passed Croker Island at approximately 8:45pm on Saturday the 17th of
November, reaching the northern shore of Cobourg Peninsula. The Chief Engineer
Douglas Young stated that at the time that the ship ran aground it was travelling at 11.3
knots (Inquiry 1907).
The Captain, who was in charge of the bridge at the time of the incident, describes the
accident and his orders following. ‘At 8:50 pm the ship took the ground, the engines were
immediately stopped and the holds sounded and found 8 feet ( 2.4 metres) of water in
number one hold. At 8:53 the engines were put full speed ahead…’ (Inquiry 1907). The
water in the hold indicated to the Captain that the bilge of the hull had been breached in the
accident. He ordered the engines full speed ahead so that the ship could settle on the
shallow reef, avoiding the possibility of it sinking if in deeper water. The impact between
the ship and the reef was described by the NTT&G as a ‘bump’ which startled and alerted
the passengers and crew (NTT&G 23 November 1906), a description that suggests the
collision itself was not dramatic.
A number of testimonies at the inquiry claimed that the area was experiencing an unusually
strong tidal current. A number of expert witnesses also suggested that because there were
no navigational markers or signals along this particular coastline the area was inherently
dangerous to navigate (Inquiry 1907).
The Captain explained his error in navigation with ‘I have been running to and from Port
Darwin during the last 20 years. I do not know of any safe anchorage between Croker
Island and Cape Don. It is usual to run on when you get your departure from New Year
Island. When the vessel struck I was fully impressed that I was at least 8 miles from the
land and I was very much deceived…I had no knowledge of a phenomenal tide during this
time until I received the letter from Mr A Brown, who is a resident at Port Essington…’
(Inquiry 1907)
The Chief Officer Andrew Shaw supports this explanation with ‘…I thought we were off
the land by about 10 miles. I did not notice the ship being set in. The course steered was a
correct one and our departure from Cape Croker was made with the usual observations as
to the bearings. I have been told since the stranding of the ship that on the evening of the
17 of November she struck, there was an abnormally high tide on the north coast, and this
in my opinion would account for the accident’ (Inquiry 1907).
The explanation of an abnormally high tide that night was supported by Captain Mugg of
the Waihoi, the vessel that first reached the stranded Australian. Captain Mugg argued that
‘I consider that there was an exceptionally strong set of tides to the southward, and from
the choppy nature of the sea I consider that the current was unusually strong, this would be
the following tide after the stranding of the Australian…there is nothing to guide one in the
directory as to these exceptionally high tides…On my return to Port McArthur this trip I
found an unusually strong set towards the land, and between Cape Wessel and the
Goulbourne islands I was 30 miles out…’ (Inquiry 1907).
The explanation of an extraordinary strong tide that pulled the ship towards land was
accepted by the marine board inquiry and the Captain was not found at fault for the
stranding of the steamer (Inquiry 1907).
DAVID STEINBERG
28
Following the collision all the passengers rushed to the deck. The newspaper account
claims that the Chinese passengers ‘seized their life belts and strapped them on, yelling
wildly the while’ (NTT&G 23 November 1906). The same account states that the boats
were lowered in preparation for an escape if necessary. When order was restored and the
hull investigated it was determined that the ship was resting ‘amidships’ on the reef. A
breach in the bilge was confirmed with a reading of 16 feet of water in the fore-hold. ‘The
passengers were all removed to the first saloon and the donkey engine was set to work in a
vain attempt to pump out the water from the holds’ (NTT&G 23 November 1906). Over the
course of the night the lowering tide exposed the hull, and the prospect of floating the
steamer, with the pumps working the flooding holds, was discounted.
Over the course of the night the low tide made the ship more unstable, the ship realigned
its orientation on the reef and developed a significant list to starboard. The flooding
worsened and the boilers and engine room were affected, forcing the crew to shut down
auxiliary engines (NTT&G 23 November 1906).
By early Sunday morning Captain George had decided to transport the passengers to the
nearby shore of Cobourg Peninsula. Three boatloads of Chinese passengers were deposited
on land. Another passenger, Captain Strachan, volunteered to master a boat the 130 miles
to Palmerston and return with assistance. Just prior to his departure the Waihoi, making its
way to Palmerston along the same route, was spotted. She responded to the distress calls
and approached the reef cautiously, anchoring 1/2 mile from the stranded Australian. The
passengers, a few of their personal belongings and the 56 mail bags were transported
across and taken to Palmerston (NTT&G 23 November 1906).
The officers and crew remained on board the vessel, staying on the port side which was
elevated because of the ship’s list to starboard. By this time below-decks was flooded, and
at high tide the starboard section of the ship was submerged. Reports indicate that the
stanchions and other deck supports appeared twisted and bent indicating the hull itself was
being manipulated. On Friday the 30 November, 6 days after the initial accident, the
officers and crew abandoned the steamer, and boarded the SS Pretoria, transferring stores
and personal belongings (NTT&G 23 November 1906).
Further correspondence dealing with a beacon at Cape Don. A beacon at Cape Don was
recommended by the inquiry board in conclusion to its investigation of the stranding. This
sentiment was echoed in government correspondence to South Australia, with the
Australian being cited as the example in argument (Government Resident 1907). A
committee was formed to discuss the options for making the passage across this stretch
safer. Despite the committee’s findings that Cape Don was the most appropriate site for a
lighthouse or beacon, a beacon was first established at Cape Hotham instead. It is ironic
that the SS Aldenham, the vessel purchased by E&A to replace the Australian, was the
vessel contracted to service the construction of this beacon.
Initial salvage operations on the stranded steamer. Following the stranding there were a
number of attempts to refloat the vessel. After these failed the vessel was salvaged, and
internal fittings sold at auction. The local newspaper, the Northern Territory Times and
Gazette, recorded these events in detail. The paper also recorded observations on the
condition of the wreck as made by the officers of passing ships. These accounts add a
further element to the story of this ship. Furthermore this information gives an insight into
the strategies taken by a group of early salvors in working the stranded ship. Searching for
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signs of these salvage operations has been one way that the archaeology and the history of
this vessel have come together.
The first objective following the stranding was to remove the cargo not damaged by the
partial flooding of the holds. As stated earlier both the Waihoi and the Pretoria took cargo
aboard when they collected the stranded passengers and crew. The Pretoria returned to the
site a number of times in the first few days following the accident. The objective of these
visits was to take aboard the remaining cargo worth salvaging. In the first two trips she
took on board approximately 210 tons of cargo, mostly goods consigned to merchants in
Palmerston, and saved from disaster by being originally stored in the no. 2 hold, the drier
of the cargo holds. Mr Brown, the representative of E&A in Palmerston, restricted the
Pretoria from issuing salvaged cargo to these merchants, until conditions with the
underwriters had been settled. A further 1800 tons of cargo remained on the vessel at this
time, being perished goods, mostly butter and meats (NTT&G 23 November 1906).
Returning for a third salvage venture, 5 days after the stranding event, the Pretoria brought
a diver, who inspected the damaged hull of the Australian. The diver discovered that there
were large boulders lying along the reef floor. In particular there were boulders located
against the hull walls of hold no. 1 and 2 and the stern section. Also by this time, all the
holds were full of water except the aft hold. The engine room was ‘swamped’ and all
engines, including that powered by the ‘donkey’ boiler, were out (NTT&G 30 November
1906).
Further salvage and attempts to refloat the steamer. Captain Strachan, a passenger aboard
the steamer when she struck the reef, took a keen interest in the salvage of the ship. There
were few vessels available to be contracted for salvage work. Although the pearling fleets
were in harbour, with the season recently finished, the crew had been paid off. All of the
‘good’ sailors had been secured for the forthcoming season of the Arru Island fleet.
Strachan took this opportunity to participate in the investigation of the condition of the
steamer and the salvage of its cargo, using his own tug the Maggie and his small schooner
Envy, the latter being towed by the tug (NTT&G, 14 June 1907).
The exact agreement made between the underwriters of the steamer and Strachan over the
salvage rights is unclear. It is evident that he worked as the principal salvor for a period of
time, and between November 1906 and June 1907 outright ownership of the steamer
passed into his hands (NTT&G, 21 and 28 June 1907).
Strachan initially carried out only minimal salvage work, such as the removal of internal
fittings, because he was convinced that he would eventually refloat the vessel, tow it to
safe anchorage, and fix her breached hull and twisted carriage. He was told after three
diving inspections that the hull was not breached by large unmanageable breaks, but rather
there was a long ‘crack’ in the vessel’s plates. This was plugged by means of wooden
wedges and oakum. The effectiveness of this seal was said to be good, and proven by the
fact that the changing tide did not affect the level of water in the holds. Following this
success Strachan ordered additional pumps and other equipment, from Sydney, to assist
him in the process of refloating the steamer. The plan was to float the vessel and, under
assistance from the ship’s own steam, move it into deeper water and tow it away (NTT&G
28 June 1907).
The pump that arrived proved insufficient and it was feared that when directed into deeper
water the vessel would fill and sink beneath the surface. The project awaited the arrival of
DAVID STEINBERG
30
further equipment from Sydney. In the meantime the plugs were removed and the vessel
allowed to resettle itself on the reef bed. The vessel was not floated again.
Over the following months, until mid-September 1908, Strachan made further attempts to
refloat the steamer (NTT&G 18 September 1908). His team ran into obstacles again and
again, however Strachan remained persistent. There is a suggestion that, as late as February
1908, Strachan received financial backing for his endeavour from the Commercial Bank of
NSW (NTT&G 28 February 1908). However he did not succeed and over time the vessel
deteriorated till mending the hull was no longer an option. Ownership of the vessel was
eventually handed to Messrs A.E.Jolly and Company due to an overdue bill of sale given
as security to fund the salvage work (NTT&G 18 September 1908). This company held an
auction of all salvaged material in August 1908.
Messrs A.E Jolly and Company had the officers of the steamer Waihoi complete an
assessment of the vessel to finally determine the potential for further salvage and the
viability of refloating the vessel. The crew of the Waihoi reported that the Australian had a
fair list to the starboard side, with its bow facing NW. From ‘about half flood tide’ the sea
was breaking across the number 3 and 4 hatchways. Under the saloon the main deck had
been forced up into a ridge over a few feet. The funnel was canted at an acute angle and the
main mast was also out of position. The engine room was flooded yet the machinery
remained in good condition. In turn there were a number of indications that the hull was
extensively damaged and breached. Further salvage was conducted on this visit. Material
taken included polished satin wood panelling, teak mouldings and other interior fittings.
There was also mention that the anchors, winches and chain were worthy of salvage
(NTT&G 25 September 1908). The Australian was later sold to another salvor named A.H.
Albert, in February 1911, who had developed a reputation for working wrecks off the
Queensland coast (NTT&G 24 February 1911).
Through the course of the salvage work the remaining rotting cargo, most probably the
meat in particular, emitted a foul odour from the cargo holds. There is a reference in a later
newspaper account that during the initial salvage work by Strachan, a worker was killed
from inhaling toxic fumes emitting from rotting cargo (NTT&G 2 October 1908).
The auction of salvaged material. On Saturday 29 August 1908 Messrs A.E. Jolly and
Company held an auction of salvaged items. The auctioneer, W.C.P. Bell, staged the event
in the Henrie and Bell’s rooms (NTT&G 21 August 1908).
It appears from the newspaper account that the auction attracted a large crowd and was
very successful. The advertisement for the auction details that the following items were for
sale: Teak safes, Ice chest, Tables, Filters, Settee cushions, Telegraphs and Stands,
Compass stand, Binnacles, Binnacle stands, Lamps life belts, Life buoys, Charts etc. There
was no mention of the sale of other items for example the bell and salvaged machinery.
Material such as this may have changed hands in equally profitable but less public ways
(NTT&G 21 August 1908).
2.5. The Australian steamship in relation to the developing maritime economy of
Australia
Introduction. To appreciate the historical significance of the Australian it is necessary to
understand its significance in the context of the larger maritime economy of Australia. This
chapter contains a brief history of relevant aspects of Australia’s maritime history prior to
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this steamer’s appearance and discusses the working life of the steamer in the context of the
maritime economy at that time.
Prior to the 1850s. From the outset both social planning and economic hardship dictated
that the Australian colonies remained, at least initially, economically dependant on Britain.
There was a serious need for an export commodity that would reduce financial
dependency. This search was not aided by ideological positions such as that of
Commissioner Brigge who stated that the natural pattern of trade for the colonies will be
between itself and the mother country. Resources would be shipped to Britain in return for
its own manufactured goods (Bach 1976: 65). Such attitudes would have Australia as a
sole resource of Britain, a market for its goods and a source of cheap commodities.
The whale industry failed the NSW colony, because it did not bring in sufficient capital,
and the returns primarily went to British investors. It was wool that developed Australia’s
export market. Wool export grew to considerable proportions in a short period of time. In
1821 the colony exported 175,400 pounds, by 1850 this expanded to 41,426,655 pounds
(Bach 1976: 20). However, much of this export industry was controlled by British owned
and operated ships, continuing a damaging tradition of the removal of capital returns from
the colonies.
In addition to losing capital to a British controlled shipping industry the colony imported
much of its manufactured goods from Britain. Bach reflects that between 1821-1850
Australian international trade was ‘predominantly a British affair’ (Bach 1976: 55). In the
era following this domination, Britain remained a significant force in the competitive
coastal and international Australian markets. The E&A company, which owned and
operated the Australian, was owned by British investors. British influence was also felt by
the enforcement of British maritime law, and its impending restrictions on free trade.
At this time the Asian/Australia trade, which became the hallmark of the E&A company,
was in its infancy. Small but symbolic trade with the Indonesian archipelago and other
Asian ports, specifically China, had begun early in colonial history. As early as 1830 an
annual average of 1000 tons of shipping trade occurred between Australia and Java. By
1842 Java was exporting 16 million pounds of sugar to NSW (Bach 1976: 63). By 1846
Manila was exporting 10,000 tons of cargo to Australia. This included sugar, coffee and
cigars. In return Australia exported flour, cheese, butter and coal (Bach 1976: 63).
Additionally McCarthy refers to various pearling companies that were operating between
Batavia (Java), other parts of the archipelago and the West Australian coast (McCarthy
1996: 145). The E&A company began shipping operations in the area by 1873. Though
this is considerably later, the company was responsible for the development of new
markets at a considerably early period.
Restrictive British maritime law and practice. Bach explains that there were two major
British obstacles in international trade with the Australian colonies. First was the
dominance of the British East India Company that used influence and gained special
concessions to create a trade monopoly that restricted the business of other British ship
owners and trade companies (Bach 1976: 45-46). The second restrictive force was the
regulations of the British Navigation Act 1651 which banned non-British registered vessels
from trading with colonial ports. Blainey argues that this Act had a crippling effect on both
foreign ships and ports in need of supplies (Blainey 1966: 174). Bach acknowledges the
nature of these obstacles but suggests that in practice these was ignored, particularly by
American traders (Bach 1976: 46). Eventually the dominance of the British East India
DAVID STEINBERG
32
Company dissipated, and the Act was repealed in 1849. This finally opened the door for
foreign companies and non-aligned British traders.
Rapid growth in the 1850s. The discovery of gold along the east of Australia in the 1860s
significantly changed the very nature of the colonies’ economic and social life. Bach
reflects that one of the first increases was that of population as new immigrants attempted
to make it rich on the goldfields (Bach 1976: 94). Agriculture also greatly increased with
the need to feed this growing population (Bach 1976: 94). Beyond indirect advantages the
very nature of coastal and international shipping changed dramatically. Parsons reflects
that with the discovery of gold in NSW and Victoria, the coastal and international shipping
activity of the Australian colonies greatly increased (Parsons 1981: 4). There was the
development of an extensive passenger service to accommodate the massive increase in
immigration and the constant movement of workers and families. Foreign imports
shipments were increasing, responding to the demands of a growing population. Freight
costs for back loading with export goods were low as shipping companies were desperate
for return cargo. Exports included wool, gold, coal and whale products, however these
never matched the import trade (Bach 1976: 95). Blainey argues that, nevertheless, the
high value of wool and gold made this imbalance an acceptable limitation to investors
(Blainey 1966: 144). Additionally, perhaps of more interest to the romantic than the
economic minded, this demand in efficient and reliable sea services saw the introduction of
the American clippers to Australian shores (Bach 1976: 96).
The development of the Suez Canal route. The traditional sea route between Britain and
Australia was what has been described as the ‘Great Circle Route’ (Blainey 1966: 180).
This consisted of vessels making their way from Britain south along the west coast of
Africa. Utilising the westerlies in low latitudes, ships made their way across the Indian
Ocean to southern Australia. The ships returned to Britain via the westerlies again,
remaining in low latitudes, passing Cape Horn. When one considers the geometry of the
planet, the route, in addition to utilising favourable winds, was shorter than a route along
higher latitudes.
The Suez is a narrow strip of land linking Egypt with the Sinai Peninsular. It was first used
in 1837 by a British captain, Thomas Waghorn, as a shortcut between the Mediterranean
Sea and the Indian Ocean, an alternative to the traditional route which passed the Cape of
Good Hope (Blainey 1966: 215). The P&O company was particularly dominant in utilising
this route, developing the overland pass and ensuring reliable steamship links on each side
of the land passage (Blainey 1966: 215). The canal was built in 1869 and remains a vital
sea passage today.
The creation of the canal introduced new services between the west and the east thus
increasing competition. The route favoured the steamship trade, being less about wind and
able to provide reliable coaling ports (Blainey 1966: 216). In turn this route allowed
companies to take advantage of the train services between the English Channel and the
Mediterranean, cutting days off the transport time (Blainey 1966: 216). By 1860 the Suez
route was the fastest mail service between Britain and Australia, this feat heavily
dependent on the contribution of the rail service link (Blainey 1966: 217).
The Suez Canal eventually became the dominant mail route between Britain and Australia
however it remained considerably limited until the development of vastly more efficient
compounding engines and the ability to create higher pressures of steam. This would alter
the extent of dependency on numerous coaling ports along the way. An increase in coastal
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33
trade in Australia during the 1880s consisted of mostly traffic between the larger ports of
the colonies, for example Melbourne and Sydney, where the route was short and the
coaling ports numerous. International trade was still dominated by sail ships and would not
be challenged until the introduction of new steam related technologies (Blainey 1966: 221-
217).
The mail roues to Australia; an increase in Asian trade as a consequence. The mail route
between Britain and Australia through the Suez Canal had a number of shaky starts and as
a consequence alternative routes were suggested. One such route was a trans-Pacific route.
By 1880 the mail route between Britain and Australia, through the Suez Canal, took 48
days whereas via the Pacific Ocean it took 45 days (Bach 1976: 148). Companies were
formed to service this route however they failed and the permanent domination of the Suez
route was established.
The trade between Asia and Australia has been discussed earlier in this chapter and it can
be stated that the mail service between Europe and Australia through Asia greatly
increased trade opportunities. On a very practical level mail subsidies allowed companies
to spread into new areas and maintain trade services.
The Australian steam trade in the 1890s and the Eastern and Australian Steamship
Company. By the 1890s, the period in which the Australian came into service, steam was
controlling much of the inter-state freight and a substantial degree of the international
freight. In 1890 the world shipping market controlled by steam was a significant 60.7%.
However this was a peak year for steam (Bach 1976: 142). Bach also notes that in the
colonies by this time there was a general expansion and diversification of export goods,
such as the introduction of metal exports (for example tin, silver and lead), which joined
the already established gold export market (Bach 1976: 136).
This period also saw a greater degree of competition between rival steam companies.
Parsons describes the 1890s as a period of ‘hectic expansion’ (Parsons 1981: 6). A
passenger freight war had developed between companies over the more popular routes, for
example Melbourne to Sydney. There was also the emergence of a number of competitive
shipping companies, some formed by the amalgamation of originally independent smaller
companies. The major players in Australian costal shipping at this time were the Adelaide
Steamship Company, the Melbourne Steamship Company and the Australian United Steam
Navigation (Bach 1976: 189). Competition from foreign companies was also developing,
with German and French companies taking portions of the market (Bach 1976: 146).
The sheer number of steamships working the rivers and coastlines indicates that, in some
respects, this was a boom period for steamship trade both in Australia and the world.
However, there were a number of problems, not the least being conflict with attempts to
create overseeing bodies and committees. For example the issue of subsidies for mail
services led to a heated debate. Some parties argued that mail subsidies, of the kind
awarded to E&A by Queensland and then South Australia, supported inefficient
companies, and consequently took work from better performing competitors (Bach 1976:
145).
In addition to regulation concerns, there were economic concerns. There was an overall
slump in international trade volumes between 1873-1898 (Bach 1976: 142). In turn there
was an imbalance between available tonnage and goods that needed to be transported. In
addition despite the diversity of goods being exported from the colonies, there remained a
significant imbalance between the export market compared to the larger import market
DAVID STEINBERG
34
(Lewis 1973: 390). With regard to this latter problem the colonies needed high value
export goods to balance the market and reduce the cost of shipping generally. One such
market was frozen meat and dairy products.
The frozen food market included mutton, lamb, fruit and dairy products (Bach 1976: 177).
These goods reached Britain from the east coast of Australia, through the Torres Strait to
connecting services in Asia (Lewis 1973: 93). By 1896 more than 100 ships, including the
Australian, were equipped to deal with the frozen food trade (Bach 1976: 177). The E&A
had been established in trade with Asia since 1873 and so had the advantage of experience
and established connections. By 1910 Australia was earning 11% of its export income from
shipping frozen and chilled foods (Blainey 1966: 276). This market increased the
importance of these mail steamers as their ability to move cargo quickly and efficiently
was paramount.
2.6 A review of previous site visitation
Salvage and other activity (1906-1908). Following the initial stranding event a series of
salvage operations were conducted (see Section 2.4). In summary the salvage consisted of
the eventual removal of most of the internal fittings and non-perished cargo and the
removal of some heavier machinery (unspecified) prior to a failed refloating procedure.
The wreck no longer retains any substantial portion of its superstructure. The engine and
much of the other secondary machinery remains on the site, suggesting that the initial
salvors either decided against its removal or could not remove it. The winch located in the
stern, once used for the rear cargo hatchway, was used during these salvage operations. It
was repositioned on the deck and used to haul rescued goods. With the collapse of the aft
deck following this salvage, the winch now lies on the seafloor. It is unclear what
happened to the white lady Figurehead. It may have been removed with other fittings
during this initial salvage work, removed later, or perished over time.
In an attempt to refloat the vessel the breaches in the hull were corked and pumps worked
the bilge and cargo holds. The refloating attempts brought about a shift of the ship from its
original stranded position to lying with the bow facing in a N-NW direction. The
remaining wreck still retains this alignment. Buried sections of the lower hull may contain
evidence of the breaches and repairs that followed. In 1911 the wreck changed ownership
to a A.H. Albert (NTT&G 24 February 1911). It is unknown what work this new owner
conducted nor who were following owners over the years.
Salvage during the 1970s. Salvage operations on the wreck of the Australian were
conducted on a number of occasions during the 1970s. This was recalled by George Tyres
in an interview with the author in April 1998. Whilst George Tyres did not work the site
personally, he is familiar with the site and is a prominent Figure in marine salvage within
the Northern Territory. John Chadderton, now living in Western Australia, was contacted
in April 1998, by the author, and shared his experiences on working the site. It should be
understood that there is no reason to conclude that this account constitutes the complete
history of salvage since the initial 1906-8 work.
Mr Chadderton explained that he and Harry Baxter, now deceased, worked the site a
number of times to remove the copper alloy material for scrap metal sale. Mr Chadderton
claimed that at the time he was under the presumption that the ship was carrying a cargo of
copper and lead. Despite this mistake the wreck was still rich in copper alloy material.
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The salvors decided to remove the condenser of the engine, a section of machinery made of
copper. A section of the port hull wall had collapsed to starboard over the engine, covering
it. The salvors used explosives to destroy the collapsed hull and separate the condenser
from the engine. In the process the engine was split, the low pressure cylinder breaking
away. The salvors tied the copper piping of the condenser into a bundle with the intention
of raising it. However due to poor weather conditions the bundle was not raised, and
remains on the site to this day. Mr Chadderton did sell the condenser itself for scrap metal,
according to him receiving $3.83 a kilo (1975). Mr Chadderton also claims that at the time
of his visit brass lanterns were visible across the site. These are no longer visible on the site
and their present location can only be speculated upon.
It is not known who removed the bronze propeller.
Operation Raleigh (1990). Operation Raleigh is a British-based organisation that runs
volunteer work projects around the world. In 1990 Operation Raleigh, in conjunction with
the then Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, visited the Australian. (The
Conservation Commission is currently titled the Parks and Wildlife Commission.)
The aim of this visit was to conduct a survey of the remains (Fig. 6.). The group was made
up of 14 divers and 4 additional support staff. The team visited the site for approximately
10 days. The original survey strategy was to lay out a grid system over the site. Due to time
constraints and the strong current this approach was abandoned. The revised strategy
involved focusing on three sections, the bow, mid-section and the stern, conducting a
survey using tape measures.
Fig. 6. Operational Raleigh site sketch. 1990
The cross section view accurately indicates the list to starboard of the bow and stern
section. Accompanying the survey results was a description of the biology of the site by
participant Steve Congreve. Mr Congreve’s report is filed at the MAGNT.
DAVID STEINBERG
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Following the survey work the team attached a buoy to the site. The buoy was inscribed
‘Op Raleigh, SS Australian, CCNT’ (Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory).
The buoy is no longer on the wreck, likely removed from its mooring by natural forces.
Regional survey of northern Cobourg Peninsula – MAGNT (1995). In 1995 the MAGNT
conducted an archaeological survey at Cobourg Peninsula. The survey involved the further
investigation of known submerged and land sites and the search for unlocated sites. The
search was conducted within designated areas, based on historical information and local
knowledge.
The team consisted of MAGNT archaeologists Paul Clark and Cos Coroneos, and
volunteers including archaeologists Silvano Jung and Mark Staniforth and magnetometer
expert Bob Ramsey.
The team conducted a brief survey of the Australian (Fig. 7). The site sketch records the
distinctive clipper bow. The capstan and bollards located at the bow are also indicated. The
site plan shows that there was a stack of cut timbers forward of the stern section. This is no
longer visible. The survey report is filed at the MAGNT and titled ‘Survey of the Maritime
Cultural Resource of the Northern Cobourg Peninsula’ (Coroneos 1996).
Fig. 7. MAGNT site sketch, 1995.
Site inspection MAGNT (1997). In November 1997 the MAGNT, in conjunction with the
NT Parks and Wildlife Commission, visited the site for a period of 10 days. The team
consisted of archaeologist David Steinberg, steamship expert John Riley and the rangers of
Black Point ranger station, Cobourg Peninsula. The aim of the visit was to conduct a nondisturbance
survey and develop sufficient understanding of the site to create a management
plan.
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CHAPTER 3: THE DESIGN OF THE AUSTRALIAN STEAMSHIP
3.1 Introduction
In order to understand the archaeology of this site and appreciate its significance, it is
necessary to understand the Australian within the context of its design. This chapter is an
overview of the ship’s design, highlighting features which are indicative of the ships
function and of the period in which it was built.
3.2 Overview
The Australian was designed as a seagoing passenger and cargo steamship (Fig. 8). Its
gross tonnage of 2838 tons signifies that, in comparison to other seagoing steamships of
this period, it was a middle sized ocean-going steamship. Its cargo facilities included
chilled compartments for frozen goods. The hull was constructed of steel, a material lighter
and stronger than iron. Powered by a triple expansion engine and coal burning steel twin
double-ended boilers the steamship had a registered speed of 15 knots. The single screw
steamer could also be rigged as a schooner, the Captain taking advantage of sail assistance
propulsion in favourable conditions. The design of the ship was not altered over the course
of its working life.
The Australian could accommodate 100 first and second class passengers, with further
unspecified accommodation for steerage class. The local Palmerston press described the
ship as being ‘beautifully furnished’, equipped with electric lighting throughout, as opposed
to only the essential areas being provided for (NTT&G 31 July 1896). The Australian was
also designed with a distinctive clipper bow, a Figurehead of a white lady and a prominent
bowsprit. When fully rigged the Australian would have certainly appeared more the
graceful clipper than the steamer workhorse.
Fig. 8. The Australian. (Nichols Collection, State Library of NSW)
3.3 Sails and rigging
The Australian was a two masted fore and aft schooner. Fore and aft sails run with the line
of the ship, yet can be adjusted to respond to wind direction. Photographic evidence (Fig.
8) and ship plans (Fig. 9) show that the Australian did not have a square topsail, an
additional sail which gave further power by increasing the overall area of sail. This feature
may have been decided against because of the necessary extra rigging. Rather, the
DAVID STEINBERG
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Australian had one triangular sail on each mast, supported by a jib sail and two stay sails.
The shrouds and stays of the rigging were made of iron.
The sail plan of the Australian encourages questions as to the role of the sails on this vessel
and what concerns where taken into account when incorporating a sail plan.
Figure 9 suggests that the sails were not large in proportion to the vessel. The reason for
this may be related to the design of the vessel, it being unable to support the forces
associated with taller masts and larger sails. If this is the case then it indicates the limited
importance of the sail plan in the context of the vessel’s overall design.
Fig. 9. Sail plan of the Australian (adapted from plans: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich).
The choice of simple triangular sails on the main masts, as opposed to the more popular
and effective gaff sail, may have been based on ease of handling. A gaff sail required a
second boom to be attached to the masts. In contrast triangular main sails may be rigged
more easily, and could be stored around the throat of the mast or single boom. The
importance of ease of handling is most likely a correct explanation, also explaining the
absence of a topsail, as discussed earlier. However, following this explanation it should be
noted that the jib sail and stay sails would have supplied substantial force with the right
wind direction. Therefore the limitations of the small main sails were partially
compensated by the additional sails, which were effective and also simple to hoist.
Another role of the sails may have been to assist in stabilisation. The vessel was long and
narrow and drew a shallow draught. Its flat keel was compensated with bilge keels to
reduce rolling. The sails may have been hoisted to promote stability in rough sea
conditions. The sails would direct the momentum of the ship, and the vessel could rest on
the full sails, reducing the rolling from side to side. The masts may also have had a second
role, apart from supporting sails, that of supporting derrick structures, which were used as
cranes to haul cargo in and out of the holds.
3.4. The steamship’s structural design
The Australian had a length of 341.7 feet (104.15 metres) and had a gross tonnage of 2838
tons (Fig. 10). The deck design followed a standard pattern of a forward cabin, a saloon
and a rear raised deckhouse. The saloon was three stories high and contained the bridge
and accommodation for passengers. The ship contained four cargo holds, a fore-peak tank
and an aft peak tank. These tanks were used for storing fresh water; the forepeak tank, the
larger of the two, could store up to 62 tonnes. The hull was divided by 6 bulkheads, each
lined with cement to increase its watertight capability and to protect it from deteriorative
forces. The bulkheads rested on a cellular double bottom.
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DAVID STEINBERG
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Fig. 11.An example of cellular double bottom design (Passach 1977: 30)
The Australian was designed with a flat keel and twin bilge keels. The bilge keels were
fixed at the level of the bilge and ran the length of the ship on both the port and starboard
sides. They were directed at a 45° angle and were approximately 1.5 feet out from the hull.
The role of the bilge keels was to support the balance of the ship and reduce rolling. This
was particularly necessary for the Australian’s flat keel would have offered minimal
stability.
3.5. Machinery and systems
The triple expansion engine. The Australian was powered by a 3 cylinder triple expansion
engine capable of producing 400 nhp. To power this engine the ship contained two doubleended
boilers which could produce 175 psi of steam pressure. Figure 12 shows the profile
of a compound engine with condenser and crank.
Fig. 12. An example of a compound engine (Paasch 1977: plate 53)
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The logic behind the triple expansion engine is that the steam is expanded in three
consecutive stages. In this case exhausted steam from a cylinder is used twice more,
creating a more efficient and powerful engine.
The boilers of the Australian fed steam to the engine. The steam would first enter the high
pressure cylinder and work the piston. Through the release of energy the steam would
expand and cool. This steam would then be channelled into the intermediate cylinder, built
with a larger diameter to accommodate this expansion in gas volume. The steam worked
the intermediate cylinder piston, would again expand and cool, and be fed to the low
pressure cylinder. The low pressure cylinder was larger again to accommodate the
increased gas volume. It is interesting to note that though the consecutive cylinders
differed in size the stroke remained 48 inches. This illustrates the need for the pistons to
produce the same force, keeping the movement of the crank regular and fluid. The engine
sat as one unit above the crank shaft. The piston rods from each cylinder would connect via
a connecting rod and work the single crankshaft.
From the engine the steam was channelled to the condenser, the role of which was to
condense the steam to water, to eventually be returned to the boilers. The surface
condenser could have functioned in two ways. Brass tubes may have run cool water
through a chamber containing the gas. The gas would then condense to liquid. The second
option was for the steam to be pumped through the brass pipes which would lie around a
water reservoir. Which of these surface condensers existed on the Australian is unknown
as the condenser has been removed from the site by salvors. Further investigation of the
remaining pipes may answer this design question. On-site investigation has concluded that
the exhausted steam reached the condenser through the hollow portside support column.
Following the condenser the water collected in a chamber located adjacent to the condenser
called the ‘hot well’. The rapid condensation of the steam created a vacuum in the
condenser which lead to the engine itself. This vacuum allowed the cylinders to work more
efficiently and saved fuel costs. A pump system, most likely powered off the main engine,
was used to remove the water from the condenser, to support the continuation of this
vacuum. The pump fed the water through a feed water filter before returning it to the
boilers. The role of the filter was to distil impurities, such as lubricating oils used in the
engine. From the filter the water was returned to the boilers.
The boilers. The Australian was equipped with a pair of coal burning double-ended boilers
and a horizontal cylindrical auxiliary boiler (Fig. 13). The auxiliary boiler, also coal
burning burning, most likely ran the winches, windlass and other secondary machinery. It
produced 55 psi of steam pressure, a substantial output for an auxiliary boiler of this
period. The double-ended boiler was a boiler with furnaces on each end. The advantage
was an increase in steam production whilst minimising the necessary use of space. The
double-ended boilers of the Australian could produce 175 psi of steam pressure.
The double-ended boilers rested on ‘knee plates’ shaped to accommodate the boilers. The
main boilers of the Australian were taller than the lower deck, therefore this deck was
absent in the boiler room. To compensate the boilers were secured to the inner hull wall
with stays. In some cases double-ended boilers shared combustion chambers. Further
investigation of the site may indicate if this is the case. It is also unknown if these boilers
were fitted with additional equipment, for example forced draught or superheating, which
increases engine power output by increasing steam production.
DAVID STEINBERG
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Fig. 13. An example of a double ended boiler (Patterson 1969: 240)
Figure 14 below gives a general impression of the stern section of a steamship similar to
that of the Australian. It indicates the location of the boilers, engine, propeller shaft, double
bottom and propeller. Above the engine and boiler room was the saloon house.
Fig. 14. The stern section of a similarly designed single screw steamship (Paasch 1977: plate 43)
The refrigeration system. There were three kinds of refrigeration systems being used by
the early 20th century: compressed air, ‘carbonic anhydride’ and ‘ammonia’. It is most
likely that the system used aboard the Australian was a compressed air system (Fig. 15).
Historical sources date the introduction of the ‘carbonic anhydride’ and ‘ammonia’ systems
later than the working life of the Australian (Guthrie 1971: 278 & Sothern 1923: 30).
The diagram shows the design of a closed air system, a particular compressed air system in
which the same air is recycled. It is possible that this system was in place.
The warmest air in the in the coldroom would rise. This air was drawn into the system
through a suction vent. The air entered the compressor unit where it was compressed to 50
pounds and thus its temperature rose to approximately 138°C. The air was then delivered
to the cooler unit. The air travelled through a series of pipes which were immersed in a
cool water chamber. The cool water, circulated seawater, lowered the temperature of the
air to near its own temperature, that of 25°-30°C if within Northern Territory waters.
Many closed air systems also had a drying unit. The drying unit would receive the air from
the cooling system, and dry it prior to expansion. This was done by passing it in tubes
close to the passage of air leaving the cool room. This further cooled the compressed air
and deposited moisture onto the surface of the piping. The moisture would be removed
through valves.
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Fig. 15. Diagram of a closed air refrigeration system (Sothern 1923: 81)
The air then entered the expansion unit. This worked the compressed air through a piston,
the worked air expanding and cooling. This working piston contributed to running the air
compressor unit. Following this final process the air had been cooled to -32°C. The air
was then delivered to the cool room, circulated, and then following circulation would again
be drawn into the air compressor (Sothern 1923: 29 and Guthrie 1971: 278).
Air was distributed into the storage chamber through louvres (pipes with holes along its
length). The chamber was lined with charcoal to provide insulation. The air-cooled system
was bulky, and inefficient but relatively simple to run, and when necessary easy to
dismantle. Another drawback however was that the temperature could not be regulated
(Guthrie 1971: 278).
It was common practice to have two units working side by side, resting on the upper deck
above the cargo chamber (Sothern 1923: 30). The Australian wreck site has the remains of
two units. In conclusion it was a reliable simple machine that, unlike later systems, did not
involve dangerous toxic gases.
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The windlass, winches and anchor machinery. The Australian was equipped with at least
four winches, one for each cargo hatchway. The winches were used to haul cargo, and may
have been utilised to raise and lower sails. Figure 16 below shows the design of a steam
driven winch, similar to those installed on the Australian.
Fig. 16. A steam driven winch (Paasch 1977: plate 61)
The steam driven windlass was larger than the winch, and used for larger lifting
requirements, for example driving the capstan and anchor crane. The capstan was used to
haul the anchors and control other heavy lifting tasks. The winches and windlass were
powered by the auxiliary boiler. Figure 17 shows the design of a windlass, similar to that
installed on the Australian.
Fig. 17. A steam driven windlass (Paasch 1977: plate 71)
The bower anchors were lifted onto the deck from the level of the hawse pipe by the
anchor crane. Photographic evidence shows davit supports were located on deck. These
were definitely used to control the unloading of boats, but may also have been used to
control placing the anchor on deck, as shown in Figure 18.
In regard to handling boats, davit structures were used aboard the Australian for both
transporting all boats and permanently securing some boats, the latter demonstrated in
Figure 8. There were 8 teak boats aboard the Australian some stored with davits and others
secured onto the deck and the roof of the saloon. Lloyds’ survey of the Australian in 1906
refers to 5 lifeboats and ‘three others’ suggesting that at that time these three were either not
up to standard or had an alternative designated function.
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Fig. 18. Bow of a steamship with davit structure to hold anchor. (Paasch 1977: plate 23)
DAVID STEINBERG
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CHAPTER 4: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DESIGN: A REVIEW OF DESIGN FEATURES
IN RELATION TO TECHNICAL INVENTION OF THE PERIOD
4.1. The significance of design
Introduction. This discussion attempts to place various technologies that were used on the
Australian within the context of the history of invention. It explores the technical
significance of the shipwreck and includes information regarding major changes in
steamship design. This chapter also includes a technical comparison of the Australian with
the Catterthun and the Brisbane steamship wrecks.
Technology is not born within a vacuum, but is influenced by economic, social and
political variables. For example McCarthy explains that the outdated technology that was
operational on the Xantho was present because of the inability of the owner to afford
improved design (McCarthy 1996: 79). Therefore the technology aboard was directly
related to the financial limitations on the business for which the vessel was used. This kind
of study, that draws together other themes of history, although warranted, is beyond the
scope of this document. Therefore this discussion stands as a brief review of relevant
technological change.
Sail propulsion. Many have described the transition from sail to steam as steam
superseding sail in an explosive revolution. However this was far from the case. The
eventual dominance of steam was a clumsy process marked by the eventual efficiency of
engines, the availability of coaling ports on the routes and the emergence of valuable
building materials such as steel.
The Australian was built late in this story, in a period when steamships controlled much of
the trade and transport market in the world, the remaining sail ships reduced to carrying
low value bulk commodities such as wheat. However the appearance of sail rigging on
board these steamships begs the questions: what was the role of sails on these vessels and
how were they adapted to accommodate their new restricted purpose? The adaptation of
sails for steamships, to reduce the limitations and maximise the benefits, was a creative
invention breaking free of the traditional role and design of sails (Gardiner 1993: 147).
The initial introduction of steam engines to sailing vessels, in the 1840s, has been
described as the development of the ‘auxiliary steamer’, using wind as the primary means
of propulsion (Gardiner 1993: 146). Its inefficient steam engine would be used only in
particular circumstances; for example making way in restricted waters, propelling through
waters that have unfavourable or weak winds, in battle or in poor weather when additional
power would be beneficial (Gardiner 1993: 146). In contrast the ‘fully powered steamer’
used steam as the primary means of propulsion, perhaps equipped with some sail
capability. With the improvement of engine efficiency and performance over time the latter
became the norm.
The value of Gardiner’s distinction, which heralds the introduction of a distinctly ‘fully
powered steamship’ era, wavers when one looks at later steamships, some of which had
powerful reliable engines, yet retained heavy cumbersome sail rigging. An example of this
is the Black Prince of 1861 which, although it came before the introduction of highly
efficient compounding engines, was clearly meant to be a fully powered steamship (Fig.
19).
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Fig. 19. The Black Prince (Webster 1995: 11)
Complicating any simple distinction between sail and steam even further are vessels such
as the Great Britain launched in 1843 (Fig. 20). Heralded as an early example of modern
screw propulsion engineering, it finished its days as a cargo sailing vessel (Corlett 1990:
154).
Fig. 20. The Great Britain (Corlett 1990:156)
From the beginning the advantage of a fully powered steamer carrying sails was a hotly
debated question (Gardiner 1993: 146). The arguments against the presence of rigging
were that the masts, spars and sails would produce wind resistance and contribute to dead
weight, and that working the rigging would require additional crew. These concerns were
not trivial in an aggressive cost driven industry. A popular judgement was that the
disadvantages of carrying sails outweighed the advantages of sails in case of engine failure
or as added propulsion (Gardiner 1993: 146).
Near the turn of the century, in the operational period of the Australian, the appearance of
sails on steamships could be seen as a holdover from an earlier period, when engines were
less reliable (Gardiner 1993: 118). However, the advantages of sails as a form of assistance
in poor weather, as a stabilising feature, or as an emergency precaution, could not be
ignored. It is also reasonable to argue that the appearance of sails on small passenger and
freight steamships, like the Australian, had a marketing value. The passengers would
expect the romantic appearance of masts and sails on a passenger ship. The clipper bow
and fanciful figurehead of the Australian was arguably for this purpose.
The use of schooner rigs on many small steamships, and brig and barque rigs on larger
steamships, was a practice that should be given close attention as an aspect of developing
steamship technology. These features were there for clear reasons; the expense and labour
DAVID STEINBERG
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associated with rigs and sails dispute anything less. McCarthy argues that the schooner rig
on the Xantho (1848-72) served to maximise the use of wind power whilst taking wind
resistance and other factors into consideration (McCarthy 1996: 141).
Expanding on the notion of the schooner sail plan as an important technological response,
the sail plan of a steamer may affect other aspects of design. For example advances in
propeller shaft design allowed the propeller to flow with the wake of the ship whilst under
sail, as opposed to creating a strong drag factor. Therefore the schooner rig on the early
fully powered steamer was not technology in isolation, but was related to other design
features.
The debate over including sails came to a head at the White Star Line which abandoned
sails altogether beginning with their ships the Teutonic and Majestic (1889-1890)
(Gardiner 1993: 118). In contrast the Germanic (1875), an earlier ship of the White Star
Line, illustrates the value of rigging on large steamships. It had compound engines that
gave the vessel 16 knots, yet it was regularly rigged as a four masted barque with a brailing
gaff at the mizzen mast. Here the captain utilised wind power to make time and save fuel
costs (Gardiner 1993: 149). The eventual loss of sail rigging on steamships is a separate
technological concern to the dominance of steam over sail. In conclusion the schooner rig
of the Australian played an important part in this saga, illustrating one variation of the
popular schooner rig found on many medium sized steamships of this era.
Triple expansion engines. It is not an overstatement to claim that the introduction and
popularity of the triple expansion engine significantly affected world shipping. It was less a
marked leap in invention, than the logical next step from the two stage compound engine.
Yet it became the accepted standard steam engine from the 1880s up to the introduction of
internal combustion engines. The continued popularity of these engines persisted after the
introduction of quadruple expansion engines and turbine steam engines. The introduction
of economical and efficient compound engines was one factor that allowed steam to finally
dominate the shipping market. Thus the engine on this shipwreck site is representative of
this popular engine type, a kind not highly represented in such good condition within the
Australian archaeological record.
The technology of the period was driven partly by the economic need to minimise engine
size and increase speed and efficiency. Gardiner reflects that the reasoning behind
compounding was that if temperature reduction could be minimised, there would be less
condensation which could be left behind in a single cylinder. This would increase the
efficiency of the next piston movement (Gardiner 1993: 106). In turn the lower pressure
cylinders utilised previously exhausted steam and so reduced energy wastage.
The first compound engines divided the process into two stages; a high pressure and low
pressure stage. Experiments included varying the number and location of the low pressure
cylinders. Advances in compounding technology lead to the development of the triple
expansion engine, where the steam is utilised in three consecutive stages. The clear
advantages of the triple expansion engine were: the reduction in size of the engine by the
introduction of an intermediate cylinder to reduce the work of the larger low pressure
cylinder/s, a more even fluid mechanical motion and the reduction of stress placed on the
low pressure cylinder/s by the introduction of an intermediate cylinder (Guthrie 1971:
122). Like most developments in steam technology, the triple expansion engine was
introduced firstly to the rail service, then to the river boat service and eventually to seagoing
steamers (Guthrie 1971: 123).
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The triple expansion engine became the accepted compounding engine amongst engineers
who appreciated the increase in speed and power, and reduction in fuel consumption. The
performance of an early steamer, the Aberdeen (1881), helped persuade ship owners of the
value of this engine type. The Aberdeen was built by Kirk at Napier and Sons, the builders
responsible for the Australian (Gardiner 1993: 107).
Triple expansion engines varied in design; examples being the sister ships the Arawa and
the Tainui built in 1884 by Denny of Dumbarton (Gardiner 1993: 109). These vessels had
triple expansion engines with four cylinders, having twin LP cylinders. In turn the IP
cylinder was located above the two LP cylinders, shortening the length of the engine.
Invention beyond this kind of adaptation did not threaten the standing of the triple
expansion engine. Guthrie reflects that, though quadruple expansion engines were
introduced by the 1890s, they remained a feature of larger and necessarily faster cargo
ships (Guthrie 1971: 133). In turn less dramatic inventions took precedent with innovations
such as forced draught, steam cylinder jackets and superheating steam systems being
tested. In conclusion the triple expansion engine was the popular engine, not just for its
efficiency, but because of its relative simplicity and ability to perform well with minimal
maintenance (Gardiner 1993: 123).
Steel (and high pressure boiler design). Once good quality steel was consistently available
on a commercial level it became the dominant ship building material. Steel is lighter and
stronger than iron, therefore builders could make stronger and lighter hulls. The reduction
in dead weight was 12-15% (Corlett 1990: 199). This saving would be used to increase the
cargo capacity. Steel as a building material also revolutionised boiler technology. Stronger
steel boilers facilitated the creation of substantially higher steam pressures. These higher
pressures were the stimulus for the compound engine technology, a technology that was a
direct response to a marked increase in available steam pressures. These compound
engines were 60% more efficient in fuel consumption than their predecessors (Gardiner
1993: 9). Gardiner argues that it was the introduction of commercial steel, which in turn
led to the development of efficient compound engines, that ultimately brought about the
dominance of steam over sail in world trade (Gardiner 1993: 9).
The introduction of steel is particularly relevant to the Australian because the ship was the
first steel steamer of the fleet, and the engine, a small triple expansion engine, was
indirectly a product of the introduction of steel to marine engineering.
The introduction of steel in ship engineering began in the 1870s, and Corlett argues that
consequently iron died as the principal building material by 1880 (Corlett 1990: 201). The
production of steel began with the invention of the air-blown converter in 1856 by
Bessemer (Corlett 1990: 199). This apparatus blew cold air through molten pig iron
removing carbon and other impurities. This method was improved by Siemans with his
regenerative process (Corlett 1990: 199). Using either process also increased the melting
temperature of the metal, making it easier to fashion, for example, in the production of
large hull plates.
Initially steel was expensive to manufacture, and the production of a consistent quality was
difficult for some time. In 1877 steel cost twice the price of iron. By 1880 however, steel
prices were reduced to being 50% more expensive, and by 1891 steel was only 10% more
expensive than iron (Corlett 1990: 200). Lloyds first set standards for steel ship design in
1888, which limited the reduction of scantling from iron standards to 20% and set
standards on acceptable steel quality.
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The advantages of steel as a material outweighed the disadvantages, primarily that steel
corrodes faster than iron, ultimately limiting the age of the vessel.
Refrigeration systems. The Australian had a compressed air refrigeration system a board.
The design of this kind of system is discussed in chapter 4. This was the earlier of the three
kinds of systems that dominated the frozen or chilled cargo trade which began in the
1880s.
The alternative ammonia and carbonic anhydride systems both worked in a similar fashion.
The ammonia system worked by firstly passing ammonia gas through the compressor
where it was liquefied under pressure. It was then cooled by passing through a sea-water
cooling unit. From a connected receiver the liquefied ammonia was released to evaporate
into a brine cooler expanding and boiling off at a temperature below 0°F. The gas was then
recycled back into the compressor and the brine was circulated into the chamber as the
cooling agent. This allowed a more specific control on temperature, serving different kinds
of goods housed in different compartments. The CO2 unit worked in a similar fashion
however this gas was worked at greater pressures. These later systems were more efficient,
the temperature could be controlled, however both used potentially lethal gases (Guthrie
1971: 278).
4.2. The Australian steamship: a technical comparison with the Brisbane and the
Catterthun steamers
Introduction. The aim of section is to analyse the technology of the Australian by a
comparison with two other steamships, both of which are now historic shipwrecks. The
comparison is brief and is only a glimpse of the variations and technological differences
possible between steamers built for a similar function, in relatively similar periods. An indepth
comparison would require more information on each vessel and a larger sample of
steamships. The information used derives solely from Lloyds survey data.
There is an historical element to this comparison, as these three steamships were owned
and operated by the E & A, working a similar route. In turn the engine of the Brisbane was
built by Napier and Sons, the company which built the Australian.
A brief history of the Catterthun and Brisbane shipwrecks. The Brisbane was built in
1874 in Glasgow, by A & J Inglis, and the engine was built by Napier and Sons. It was
owned and operated by the E & A. The steamer worked a similar route to that of the
Australian, servicing ports on the south and east coasts of Australia, Palmerston (Darwin),
and ports in Asia. In October 1881 it struck Fish Reef, approximately 48 kilometres from
Palmerston. It was returning from Hong Kong carrying 14 passengers and a cargo which
included tea, opium, and rice. No one was killed in the accident, however attempts to
refloat the vessel failed.
The Catterthun was built in 1881 by Meers Doxford and Sons, Sunderland, England. The
ship was run and operated by the E & A. The steamer worked a similar route to the
Australian servicing ports on the south and east coats of Australia, Palmerston, and ports in
Asia. In August 1895 the ship struck an outcrop near Seal Rocks north of Broughton
Island, NSW. The ship had left Sydney heading north. It struck and sank, taking with it the
lives of 54 people. Almost a year after the disaster a salvage operation was conducted,
raising 7000 gold sovereigns.
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Table 2. Technical comparison: Australian, Catterthun and Brisbane steamships
Feature Australian Catterthun Brisbane
Date Built 1896 1881 1874
Wrecked 1906 1895 1881
Material steel iron iron
Decks 2 decks 2 decks 1 deck and spar deck
Gross tonnage 2838 tons 2179 tons 1503 tons
Length 341.7 feet 302 feet 281 feet
Rigging fore and aft schooner f&a schooner & topsail f&a schooner & topsail
Propulsion triple expansion
engine: 26,43,70-48”
compound engine:
40,70,-48”
compound engine:
40,71-42”
nhp 400 nhp 250nhp 250nhp
Knots capability 15 knots 12 knots 13 knots
Main boilers 175 psi 75 psi 70 psi
Auxiliary b 80 psi (horizontal) 55 psi (vertical) no
Ballast bottom cellular double bottom older style older style
Refrigeration yes no no
electricity yes no no
Thickness of bulkheads (6)7/16 inches (7) 7/16 inches unknown
Thickness of frames 3 ½ inches 3 inches unknown
Thickness of main
sheerstrake plate 13/16 (40) 13/16 (40) unknown
Discussion. The most noticeable differences between the Australian, the Catterthun and
the Brisbane, based on Lloyds survey information, are in steam production and nhp. The
steel boilers facilitated the production of higher pressures and the triple expansion engine
produced the markedly different power output. Other explanations, for example the size
difference between the ships, cannot account for these marked differences in output
capabilities.
Interestingly the steam and nhp output differences do not translate into a matched increase
in capable speed (knots). This may indicate that the increase in power output of the
Australian was designed to respond to the increased net tonnage or weight. In addition to
these differences there would be a further difference in coal consumption efficiency of the
engines.
Table 2 shows an interesting detail regarding the response of the triple expansion engine to
higher levels of steam pressure. The intermediate and low pressure cylinders of the
Australian’s engine are similar in diameter to the cylinders of the Catterthun and the
Brisbane. In turn the stroke size is the same in the case of the Catterthun and similar in the
case of the Brisbane. Therefore, it is arguable, based on this evidence, that the role of the
high pressure cylinder of the triple expansion engine was to respond to the higher pressure
produced by the steel boilers. Steam leaving the high pressure cylinder was then treated in
a similar fashion, in regard to cylinder diameter and varying levels of expansion.
It is also an interesting fact that the Australian steamer had a horizontal auxiliary boiler
able to produce 80 pounds psi, whereas the Catterthun has a vertical auxiliary boiler
capable of only 55 pounds psi. One explanation for this difference maybe that the
Australian ran secondary machinery that required more power, for example the
refrigeration units. A comparative study of the different roles of these auxiliary boilers may
yield interesting answers as to the way avaliable energy was managed on these early
steamers.
Another difference in the design of these ships is that the Australian contained a cellular
double bottom ballast chamber. These chambers became the design norm, and therefore the
DAVID STEINBERG
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absence of this kind on the Catterthun and the Brisbane is an example of developing
technology.
Lastly, the Catterthun could be rigged as a top sail schooner whereas the ship plans suggest
the Australian could not. This difference demonstrates that within the tradition of schooner
rigs on steamers, there was further technological variation. The role of the square topsail,
as an accessory of fore and aft schooner rigs, was to increase the area of sail and thus
increase speed or power.
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CHAPTER 5: SITE DESCRIPTION AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION
5.1. Site location
Fig. 23. Location of the site
Key location details.
Vashon Head, Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory
Nautical Chart: Aus 18 Port Essington – Australia North Coast
Scale: 1:75 000 at Lat 11°15′
Latitude: 11° 06.667′ (GPS)
Longitude: 131° 58.533′ (GPS)
Overview. The Australian shipwreck is located on Vashon Head reef, which protrudes
away from Vashon Head to approximately 1.5 nautical miles. Vashon Head is the western
entrance point to Port Essington. The mouth of Port Essington stretches 8 nautical miles
marked by Vashon Head at the west and Smith Point as the eastern marker. Port Essington
is located along the northern coastline of Cobourg Peninsula.
Cobourg Peninsula is located approximately 220 kilometres NE of Darwin. It extends from
northern Arnhem Land and forms the eastern border of Van Diemens Gulf. The peninsula
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constitutes Gurig National Park and the surrounding water makes up the Cobourg Marine
Park.
At low tide Vashon Head reef is covered by approximately 5 metres of water therefore,
though a shallow reef, it remains submerged. At high tide the water is approximately 8
metres deep. Vashon Head is also the location for the remains of the wooden sailing barque
the Calcutta (1868-1894) (Coroneos 1996).
Vashon Head itself is a small peninsula approximately 3 kilometres wide. It is mostly
coastal swamp but also includes open forest and sand dune areas. There is a hill 48 metres
high 3.6 kilometres south from the tip of Vashon Head (Australian Pilot 1972:57).
Cobourg Peninsula also includes the remains of the failed British outposts; Victoria
Settlement, Port Essington (1838-1849) and Fort Wellington, Raffles Bay (1827-1829).
5.2. Site formation sequence
The vessel ran aground on Vashon Head reef on 17 November 1906. The ship passed over
the reef and first struck a series of large boulders lying on the reef floor. The bow passed
clear over the boulders and the vessel first struck at its midships, the ship coming to a
standstill. The ship teetered, balancing on its midships, accounts describing that the vessel
tended to dip forward with the stern slightly raised. Immediately following the impact
cargo hold one, located in the forward section, flooded with water. The initial impact
caused considerable damage to the forward section of the bilge, historical accounts
explaining that there were at least three large holes or tears in the hull. Over the course of
the first evening the ship swung on this axis, the bow coming to rest in a NW direction.
The ship was described as being very unstable, the hull continuously bumping against the
reef floor (Fig. 22-1).
Over the first few days the ship developed a considerable list to starboard. The lower deck
sections were flooded by breaches in the hull and from water washing over the starboard
deck and then through the hatchways. Reports also indicate that the ship had begun to
buckle, suggesting that the keel, arguably the backbone of the ship, was giving way. The
stress placed on the keel would have been excessive, considering the continued battering
against the reef and boulders, the weight of the flooded vessel and the awkward balancing
of the vessel on the damaged midship area (Fig. 22-2).
In August 1907, as part of a failed refloating attempt, salvors briefly raised the vessel from
its sunken position. Prior to this some machinery was removed from the steamer to lighten
its weight. A winch was set up on the stern deck, its role being to pump water out of the
hull once the ship was afloat. Divers also inspected the extent of damage to the hull.
As the pumps were insufficient for the task, the vessel was relowered. At this time, there
was no report of a loss of any superstructure, the vessel described as being relatively
undamaged except for the obvious tears in the hull. Though reports indicate that the ship
was lowered again in the same location there is a suggestion that it was not lowered back
onto the bed of boulders. The salvors described its new position as on a bed of sand, with
the bow facing in a NW direction. Recent inspections show that the wreck does not lie
amongst boulders but on a bed of coarse sand.
By September 1908 reports indicated that once again the vessel was lying with a
considerable list to starboard. The extent of the list to starboard is described by the fact
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that, at half flood tide, the sea would wash over the starboard deck and pour into the
hatchways. The level of water in the flooded lower deck would immediately respond to the
changing tide, indicating that the breaches in the hull were extensive. The saloon had been
described as appearing buckled with the midship area rising above the forward and aft
sections by a number of feet. This ‘hogged’ position suggests that, by this time, the main
keel had given way. Accounts also report that the stays and supports of the masts and
funnel were gone and that these features were also canting aft-ward at an acute angle.
Over time the masts and the funnel, the thinner and weaker of the deck structures,
collapsed to starboard, prompted in this direction by the lean of the vessel and the strong
NW winds. Today there is no evidence of the funnel however the masts are visible on the
site (Fig. 22-4).
Eventually the deck collapsed and material fell to the floor of the ship, retained in this area
by the hull walls. In his theory of iron ship disintegration Riley describes this process as
the ‘hull becoming a receptacle for fittings and artefacts as they fall’ (Riley n.d.: 1).
Following the loss of the deck structure, particularly the support of the bulkheads, the hull
walls eventually collapsed. Both sides of the hull collapsed to starboard, again influenced
by the vessels overall lean to starboard and the pervasive NW winds. The port side
collapsed onto the main body of material, covering amongst other areas a section of the
engine room. The starboard side collapsed further to starboard, to became deposited to the
right of the ship floor. Recent investigation has located examples of the starboard hull with
the inner frames still attached to the plates.
Without the support of the hull the bow and stern broke away from the keel. The bow fell
forward and to starboard. The stern is upright with a slight lean to starboard. The foredeck
has deteriorated and the bow, which rests on its starboard side, is a cavern attracting fish
life. Interestingly, the capstan and anchor crane remain partially positioned inside the bow
structure indicating that these features remained attached to the bow and collapsed with it,
as it broke away from the ship. Lying on the seabed aft of the raised stern section is a fan
pattern of deck plating. This indicates that, over time, sheets of the deck have broken away
and fallen to the sea floor.
Weakened by strong tidal current and the weight of the collapsed deck features, the lower
extremities of the hull flattened onto the sea floor. This returned the ship floor to a near
upright position as indicated by the upright position of the machinery. This hull is not
buried in the sand to its waterline, as would occur according to Riley theory, because the
ship rests on a hard reef that has only a minimal sand cover (Riley n.d.: 1).
Over time the lighter and thinner material that had collapsed onto the ship floor and
starboard of the site was swept away by prevailing conditions. This includes the remains of
the deck houses. During the process of structural collapse a portion of the ship floor and
ballast section has been pulled away from under the body of debris, making it visible for
inspection (Fig. 24-5).
Salvage in the 1970s contributed to changes to the site. Salvors used explosives to remove
the condenser. In doing so they demolished the port hull section that had collapsed and
covered the engine. The explosion or series of explosions also cracked the engine into two
pieces. The condenser was removed and the condenser pipes were collected into a bundle
but were not raised. This bundle of pipes remains on the site.
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5.3. Site description
Overview. The shipwreck lies on a reef which protrudes from the coastline. This reef floor
is covered with coarse sand and at the location of the shipwreck the reef is without gullies
or pits therefore relatively flat. Historical accounts describe large boulders present however
these were not sighted in the vicinity of the shipwreck. The site is a home for a variety of
fish, for example snapper species, and a variety of plant life, for example fanning corals.
The remains of the ship are best understood as consisting of three main sections. These are
the bow, the midship-section which rests on the remains of the ship floor and the upright
stern counter. Small amounts of debris are located at short distances from this main body
of material, however in general these three sections constitute the shipwreck. The
superstructure and deck of the ship is gone and the hull has broken away to the sand floor.
The bow and stern counter have broken away from the keel of the ship. The bow rests on
its starboard side and retains much of its hull integrity and shape. The midship section
comprises the ship’s keel and floor. Resting on the ship floor is material originally from the
lower deck or that which has fallen from the upper deck as the ship collapsed. This
material includes the three boilers, a selection of machinery and ship design features such
as the propeller housing. Located in the aft portion of the shipwreck site, close to the
vicinity of the stern counter, are ceramic tiles from the galley or bathrooms, a brass
padlock and a bone, the remains of meat cargo. The preservation of the bone suggests that
it has only recently been uncovered.
The full length of the site, from the remaining bow to stern, is approximately 110 metres in
length with an average width of 8 metres. At high tide the shipwreck lies at a depth of 7-8
metres, which can fall at low tide to 4 metres. At low tide an upturned section of the bow
breaks the waters surface. Visibility varies greatly, at best reaching 4-5 metres, yet can be
considerably poorer. The poor visibility is partly produced by organic particles in the water
stirred up by the strong current and from land run off.
The shipwreck site demonstrates aspects of Riley’s theory on iron ship disintegration (Riley
n.d.: 1). As predicted the deck and bulkheads collapsed. The upper ship features collapsed
onto the remaining ship floor, the remaining hull walls acting as a ‘repository’. Over time
the hull broke away. Also, as predicted, the bow and stern sections have broken away from
the keel, these no longer supported by the ship’s hull. The ship is not buried to its waterline,
as the theory predicts, because the sand layer above the hard reef floor is too shallow.
A thin, dull-coloured layer of concretion and small hard corals’ cover the exposed ferrous
remains of the wreck. The concretion layer may partially buffer the surface from physical
abrasion, caused by strong tidal current and seasonal monsoon conditions. The shipwreck
is located in shallow highly oxygenated water.
The bow section. The bow has broken away from the ship and has fallen forward and to
starboard (Fig. 24). The bow at present still retains its rounded three dimensional form.
The upturned port side of the bow maintains all of its hull plating and displays a hawse
pipe, distinctive mould lines and a set of fairleads, the latter was used to secure the
bowsprit to the foredeck. Also attached to the structure, alongside the port side, is the
remains of the sheerstrake frame for the raised deck. Except for a small, forward steel
portion, the deck of the bow is absent creating a cavernous region, which is highly
populated by fish life. At low tide the rear port portion of the bow breaks the surface of the
water.
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Fig. 24. The remains of the bow (photo: J. Riley)
The forward section of the bow is exposed and one may trace the distinctive clipper shaped
bow. The bowsprit remains intact measuring 7.6 metres long. The wood is considerably
degraded though there was not visible evidence of burrowing worm damage. The bowsprit
is made of a round section of wood, formed square at the base, where it is still attached to
the remaining bow structure with square staples. The figurehead, that of a white lady, is
gone.
Located 5 metres to the west of the bow is a Trotman’s anchor standing upright and half
buried (Fig. 25). This may be the port bower anchor. A length of the shank and the stock is
exposed. An anchor ring or shackle also remains attached to the anchor through its eye.
The height of the exposed portion of the shank is 1.5 metres and has a diameter of 0.7
metres. The anchor ring has a diameter of 0.3 metres.
Fig. 25. The anchor in-situ (photo: J.Riley)
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Much of the foredeck has collapsed leaving a swim-through into the interior of the bow.
All that remains of the foredeck is a small portion of steel decking, known as the deck
hook, which is fixed at the very peak of the bow. The head of the capstan and the top of the
anchor crane are deposited on the seafloor outside this cavern (Fig. 26). The legs of the
anchor crane and the shaft of the capstan still reach into the remains of the bow’s lower
deck section. Also protruding from the internal bow structure are the port and starboard
hawse pipes. The remains of the collision bulkhead are visible within the bow and this
probably contributes to much of the structure’s remaining strength.
Fig. 26. The capstan and anchor crane in-situ, located at the bow. (photo: J. Riley).
Two chain stoppers are visible; one near the capstan and the other near the hawse pipes. A
set of twin head bollards are also present. The supportive frame of the bollards measures
1.15 metres by 0.35 metres and the diameter of the bollard heads is 0.35 metres. There are
a number of bollard sets throughout the shipwreck site, in varying sizes and degrees of
condition.
Resting against the rear portion of the bow structure is a steam driven windlass, the
starboard anchor chain locker and chain from the port anchor chain locker. The windlass,
no-longer secured to the foredeck, has fallen and now rests on semi-collapsed support
beams. Lying over the windlass is another collapsed support beam. Beneath the windlass is
the starboard chain locker which still contains a pile of chain, that has partly spilled out.
Leading from the chain locker to the winch are a set of pipes. These were the pipes feeding
the chain from the locker to the foredeck. Two lengths of chain still run through these
pipes indicating how the system worked.
Lying adjacent to the locker is a pile of chain corroded and fused into a shape which
appears to have been that of the port chain locker, now corroded away. Leading from this
pile of chain are also two pipes feeding chain length to the windlass above. The piles of
chain and the remains of the chain lockers rest aft of what appears to be the rear bulkhead
of the forepeak tank. From this bulkhead starts the length of the hull double bottom.
Forward midships: aft of the bow and forward of boilers. Between the bow and the stern
counter the remains of the ship follow the old line of the vessel, doing so because the
material rests on the remains of the keel and the ship floor. Between the bow and the main
boilers is a section of the shipwreck which comprises both nondescript girders beams and
steel plating and important examples of machinery and ship design.
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Approximately 10 metres from the rear of the bow is the remains of the forward cargo
hatchway and its allied winch (Fig. 27). The winch sits upright and aft of the hatchway.
Partial exposure of floor beams indicates that these two features remain fixed together. The
upright position of the winch and hatchway suggests that at least the portion of deck, to
which they were fixed, fell down flat.
The winch is bordered by a raised frame, measuring 2.15 metres square. The winch itself
appears in good condition. Its overall dimensions are approximately 1.15 metres by 2.8
metres in length and is 1.10 metres in height. The warping ends (spools that work the chain
or rope) and the main piece, (part of the driving mechanism), are distinguishable and
visibly impressive features. There is a foot pedal reaching out into the water. The hatchway
is a rectangle of 2.50 metres x 3.60 metres. However, it is possible that these are not the
original dimensions. The raised frame of the hatchway is intact.
Fig. 27. The forward winch in-situ (photo: J. Riley).
Scattered along the length of the shipwreck are sections of hull plating and the remains of
the collapsed hull walls. Both the starboard and port hull sides collapsed in a eastward
direction due to the angle of the stranded ship and the direction of winds. These broken
sections show examples the outer hull plating and, on the opposite side, the frames and
side stringers of the hull’s scantling. Some of these broken sections are right angles, one
side showing the plating or internal frames of the hull wall and the other arm of the right
angle illustrating a section of deck with a pair of bollards still secured to its face. This
material is instructive in regard to technical design and is important in distinguishing the
shipwreck’s break-up sequence.
The most revealing remains of the hull are found along the port side of the wreck. Here a
significant portion of the ship floor and hull double bottom is exposed for investigation.
This section is approximately 70 metres long. This visible material allows one to
investigate the design of the ship floor, lower hull and the cellular double bottom. In turn
this section of the remaining hull is raised off the seabed to the extent that the port bilge
keel is exposed and can be studied (Fig. 28). The role of the bilge keel was to contribute to
ship stability.
Lying east of the forward midship section is the steel foremast. This lies at a 45° angle to
the line of the shipwreck, with the base of the mast lying closer to the stern of the steamer.
The length of this portion of the mast is 22.80 metres and has a diameter of 0.75 metres at
DAVID STEINBERG
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Fig. 28. The port bilge keel in-situ (photo: J.Riley).
its widest end. There is a cheek, approximately 12 metres along the mast’s length, as
measured from the base. No wire rigging was visible. A separate section of the foremast, a
length close to 5 metres, rests on the main body of wreckage and it appears by its thickness
to have been closer to the base than the longer portion.
Returning to the main body of wreckage there is a large twisted section of steel that was
once part of the deck. It is 18.30 metres long and begins 42 metres from the bow. It is a
narrow twisted length of steel deck that has bollards secured to its face. Supportive beams
remain fixed to its underbelly.
Just forward of the boilers are the remains of the engine room bulkhead. There is little
height remaining to this bulkhead however it is clearly visible from an aerial perspective
because of its thickness and the marked drop in height from the forward midship section to
the floor of the boilers. In the close vicinity of the bulkhead are the remains of the
ventilator system and the lifeboat davits.
The boilers. The three boilers of the Australian remain visually dominant features of the
site. They consist of two (twin) double-ended steel boilers and a horizontal steel auxiliary
boiler. Each face of the larger boilers was equipped with three furnaces, each measuring
0.4 metres square. Many of these furnaces still have doors that open and close. As is
common on steam shipwrecks that have been underwater for a considerable period of time,
only the boilers themselves remain, the surrounding smoke box, uptake funnel and all other
additional structures are gone. The boilers rest on supportive seats referred to as ‘boiler
bearers’. These remain intact and still support the boilers in position. The auxiliary boiler
measures approximately 2.2 x 2.2 x 2 metres. A section of the top plating has corroded
away exposing the inner stays and fire tubes. Returning to the main boilers the position of
the furnaces indicate that they are orientated close to an upright position. The port boiler
rests 65 cms to the rear of the starboard boiler indicating that some movement has
occurred.
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Figure 29 shows one side of twin double-ended boilers. The number of hatches and the hull
bottom are incorrect in relation to the Australian, however it remains a general guide. Take
note that the boilers are supported by stays that are connected to the hull. Within the
Australian these stays were particularly necessary to support the boilers, because the lower
deck was absent in the boiler room to accommodate the size of the main boilers.
Fig. 29. Frontal view of similar boilers, a general guide (Paasch 1977: 44)
The engine room and machinery. Aft of the auxiliary boiler is the area that once
constituted the engine room. Various machinery remains intact and visible for inspection.
This includes the engine (in two parts), dynamo, twin refrigeration engines, two water
filters and a section of the main crank. The feed water filters would filter oil and other
impurities from the condensate produced after expansion in the engine, prior to its return to
the boilers. Sothern argues that refrigeration units were stored on deck however the
position of these units suggests otherwise in the case of the Australian (Sothern 1923: 30).
The engine has been damaged by salvor’s explosives in the 1970s. There was also no
evidence of the twin bilge pump system, which was positioned in this area (ship plans:
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich).
The engine lies on its side with the low pressure cylinder detached and resting 0.6 metres
away (Fig. 30). Once intact and upright the engine was cracked into two pieces by salvors
explosives. The tail rod of the low pressure cylinder is protruding from the roof of the
cylinder. The high and intermediate pressure cylinders do not have protruding tail rods,
indicating that in contrast these pistons are in the down position. This indicates further
internal damage as these two pistons should be in contrasting positions. The circulating
pump, the condenser and the support column of the condenser have been removed from the
engine by salvors. The condenser pipes remain present on the site, tied as a bundle. In
addition to the break of the engine into two segments, a support column of the engine that
once led to the condenser is gone.
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The high and intermediate cylinders constitute the smaller section of the engine, the low
pressure cylinder being substantially bigger (Figs 30, 31). Inspection of the engine has
indicated that the exhausted steam from the low pressure cylinder valve chest was routed
through the hollow cast iron port support column to be fed into the condenser. This is an
adaptation in design to save valuable space.
Fig. 30. The low pressure cylinder section of the propulsion engine in-situ. (photo: D.Steinberg).
Fig. 31. The high and intermediate pressure cylinders section of the propulsion engine in-situ
(photo: D.Steinberg)
The remains of the water filters, dynamo and twin refrigeration machines appear in good
condition. The outer surface of these still remain intact. These surfaces are covered in
small hard corals and a thin layer of concretion. In particular the dynamo illustrates much
of its design with the driving shaft and cylinder still intact and clearly visible (Fig. 32).
Further investigation may indicate if the dynamo pulley was fitted for belts or ropes, this
distinction in design highlighted by Guthrie (Guthrie 1971: 277). The remains of the
refrigeration systems show the flywheels, once powered by the cylinder of the expansion
unit (Fig. 33). As part of the refrigeration process the working of a cylinder was to expand
and cool the steam.
A small but significant example of teak upper deck planking is located near the remains of
the engine room. This is located 2.4 metres aft of the auxiliary boiler. This planking is
nearly hidden from view, found underneath debris and partially covered by sand; which
may have protected this wood from a substantial degree of deterioration. Each plank
measured to a width of 0.22 metres.
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Fig. 32. The dynamo in-situ (photo: D. Steinberg).
Fig. 33. A refrigeration unit in-situ (photo: J. Riley).
The stern section including propeller housing and the mizzen mast. Further aft, beyond
the engine room, is the remaining stern section. This is dominated by an upright portion of
the hull constituting the stern counter with a portion of the extreme aft hull walls and deck
still attached. Other features include the propeller housing (with propeller shaft), the stern
winch, a spare propeller hub, davit structures and the mizzen mast.
The steel mizzen mast is located east of the ship floor. It still retains its original length of
approximately 22 metres and similar to the fore-mast it rests at a 45° angle to the line of
the shipwreck. Located 2 metres forward of the mizzen mast are the remains of two
ventilator chambers, resting side by side, creating a ‘shotgun’ type appearance.
Also located east of the ship floor are sections of hull, found scattered on the seabed. These
examples show the outer plating on one side and the remains of the frames and side stringers
on the other. In this area are a number of brown square ceramic tiles, arguably from the
galley or bathrooms. They are approximately 60cms by 60cms in length. These tiles are
clearly visible and are threatened by potential salvage. Also located was a small brass
padlock. This was located nearer to the propeller housing and was half buried in the sand.
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The propeller tunnel is a distinctive feature of the aft portion of the shipwreck. It runs from
the remains of the engine to eventually disappear into the aft peak tank, having an overall
length of approximately 12 metres. The propeller shaft within the tunnel is off-set to port to
allow a person to enter and perform maintenance or repairs. A water pipe also runs the
length of the housing parallel with the shaft. Lying over the shaft tunnel are the remains of
lower deck support beams.
Resting just forward of the stern section lies a winch. Historical accounts suggest it was
used to run salvage work initially following the stranding. Close to the winch is a ladder,
still connected to the stern section. The remaining ladder is approximately 2 metres long
and was originally a ladder leading from the lower deck area to the upper deck. Where the
propeller shaft disappears into the remains of the aft tank, one can see a spare propeller
hub.
The stern itself stands with a minor list to starboard. It still remains structurally intact
because it gains significant strength from the remaining steering column. Hull plating
remains attached however a substantial degree of the deck floor is gone. This has exposed
the tie-plates and deck beams. The hull plating curving around the raised counter has fallen
off, and is lying on the sand in close proximity.
The steering mechanism is partially intact and the rudder is turned fully to starboard past
its stops. The bronze propeller has been salvaged as have the bronze blades of the spare
hub. In correspondence dated December 1997, Riley has stated that normally the propeller
could not have been removed without removing the nut and withdrawing the shaft.
Therefore he argues that the propeller was removed using explosives to shatter the hub. A
small excavation would be necessary to expose the area and prove this argument.
Artefacts. The site has a number of significant relics, most obvious is the collection of late
19th century machinery. Smaller items include the ceramic tiles, the bone (remains of
cargo) and the brass padlock. Investigation of the bone remains may indicate butchering
techniques.
In a telephone conversation in April 1998, John Chadderton stated that when he visited the
site in 1970, the brass lanterns were visible. This is possible, however initial salvage work
following the stranding was extensive and items such as these were more likely collected
and sold at public auction (NTT&G 28 August 1908).
5.4 Site deterioration
In addition to the aim of recording the visible remains of the shipwreck in 1997, effort was
made to both document the condition of the remains and identify the environmental
variables which affect their condition. From this, inferences have been made as to the
process of site deterioration and to what visible signs of deterioration will be seen in the
near future. It must be noted that neither a conservator nor marine biologist accompanied
the fieldwork team. Also, no measurements were taken of marine or environmental
conditions, only observations. Therefore, these conclusions are not extensive and further
study is recommended.
Three processes that promote the deterioration of this shipwreck are corrosion, physical
abrasion and structural stress, the latter from strong tidal current, winds and seasonal
cyclonic conditions.
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Corrosion is a complex subject and corrosion rates are unique, not just for each shipwreck,
but items scattered across each shipwreck. However, basic rules in regard to environmental
variables can be followed and these suggest that the Australian is undergoing rapid
corrosion. The Australian is located in shallow constantly flushed seawater suggesting that
the dissolved oxygen rate is high. It is located in tropical water where the seawater
temperature and the salinity level are high (salinity in tropical waters – Pearson 1987:
17).These factors increase the rate of corrosion (Pearson 1987: 74-76). The vast majority
of the remaining material is steel, which corrodes faster than other metals such as copper
alloys and iron, supporting the notion that rapid corrosion is occurring. The long term
corrosion rate for mild steel in seawater is 0.11 mm/year (Pearson 1987: 77). Lastly the
corrosion of the bow and stern sections, in particular, are increased by differential aeration,
caused by an interface between the air and water environment. Therefore, in conclusion, it
can be argued that the Australian is undergoing rapid corrosion.
Two factors which may assist the partial protection of the metal from corrosion are the
presence of a concretion layer and fouling assemblage. A concretion layer may reduce the
rate of corrosion by creating an enclosed local environment with unique conditions
between the metal’s surface and the sea (Pearson 1987: 77). A fouling assemblage may
also act as a buffer between the metal’s surface and the outside environment (Pearson
1987: 14). However, Pearson cautions against any quick conclusions stating that the
presence of lifeforms attached to surfaces may, in contrast, increase the rate of corrosion
(Pearson 1987: 14).
The site also experiences physical abrasion by the sandy bottom which act as a scouring
and abrasive agent. This is precipitated by a strong tidal current. The site also suffers
structural stress from current action, which is amplified by the ongoing corrosion which
weakens the structure.
Obvious signs of site deterioration in the future will be the dramatic collapse of the bow
and stern sections. The machinery will suffer ongoing loss of surface detail and will
breakdown where they are presently located. The boilers and machinery, being distinct
from other material, will remain intact for some time due to their thickness. An
unpredictable factor is cyclonic activity which has the potential to cause immediate and
extensive damage.
5.5 Environmental conditions
Climate and weather. The annual cycle includes two major seasons, the Wet season (Nov-
April) and the Dry season (May-October). The Wet season is associated with high rainfall
and cyclonic winds. The Dry season is associated with calmer wind conditions and drier air
conditions.
From April to September the South East Trade Winds dominate the area. These winds are
also referred to as the South East or the Eastern Monsoon. The winds develop from a east
to south-east direction. Within 30-35 miles of the coastline the winds are relatively calm
and this period is associated with generally fine weather (Australian Pilot 1972: 16).
From December to February the West Monsoon Winds dominate the area. It is a period
identified with cloud, rain and thunderstorms, especially at its onset. The winds and
general conditions are variable going from calm hot days to periods of rain and strong
squalls. During this time, including the transitional period between February and April,
cyclones and cyclonic depressions can develop.
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Tropical revolving storms (cyclones), appear between December and May with February
and March the period of maximum frequency. On average one or two appear in the
Arafura and Timor Sea each year. The rotating winds can reach 50 knots, and occasionally
in gusts up to 85 knots. They do not stay in one location for long, usually less than 12
hours, however the degree of destruction possible in that time is immense (Australian Pilot
1972: 17).
The temperatures experienced at Cobourg Peninsula are high throughout the year, on
average between the low 30s (C°) and high 20s (C°). It is the high levels of humidity
during the Wet season that can make working outdoors extremely uncomfortable. In the
Dry season humidity levels are on average 60 %. During the Wet season, particularly
during January, February and March, humidity levels reach an average of 75% (Northern
Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission 1993b: 13).
The average annual rainfall in Cobourg Peninsula is 1,350 millimetres. The rainfall is
highly seasonal, with approximately 95% occurring between November to May. Episodes
of rainfall can be intense, for example the highest rainfall in one day recorded at Cape Don
was 217 millimetres (Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission 1993b: 13).
The marine environment. Vashon Head reef is covered in a bed of coarse sand and rocks.
The floor is also scattered with large boulders. The reef floor is relatively flat without
gullies or pits.
The mean sea surface temperature in summer is 29 (C°).
The mean sea surface temperature in winter is 25 – 26 (C°)
The mean salinity surface value in summer is 34 parts per thousand.
The mean salinity surface value in winter is 35 parts per thousand.
(Australian Pilot 1972: 12)
On the northern coast of Cobourg Peninsula the tide flows from east and south during the
flood tide and flows from west and south during the ebb tide (Australian Pilot 1972: 57-
58). The reef is not exposed during the low tide period. The tidal range in the Cobourg
Peninsula region is approximately 3 metres, less than that experienced in Darwin (Northern
Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission 1993b2: 14).
In general the direction of the currents respond to the seasonal changes in monsoon and
wind. During the West Monsoon Period ( December-March) the current flows in an E NE
direction across the Arafura Sea. During the SE Monsoon Period ( April-November) the
current flows in a W SW direction across the Arafura Sea ( Australian Pilot 1972: 13). The
mean current strength in this region is 1/2 knot along the north-coast of Cobourg Peninsula
(Australian Pilot 1972: 57). However this average is not reflective of what can be
experienced. The varying strengths of the monsoonal winds directly affects the strength of
the current. Additionally, in local areas, the strength of the current can be affected by the
geography of the coastline.
The sea and swell in this region are low to moderate throughout the year. Isolated strong
conditions are possible during tropical storms and cyclone periods. The cyclone period
corresponds with the Wet season (November-April) however it is most prevalent during
January, February and March. The Australian site does not experience strong wave action.
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CHAPTER 6: ASSESSMENT OF THE SITE’S SIGNIFICANCE
6.1 Preamble
One role of this management plan is to assess the significance of the site. A significance
assessment is crucial in the development of a management program. An assessment
functions as a position from which decisions regarding management can be reached. As an
analytical process it allows one to reflect upon a site in a new light.
The criteria used in this assessment were developed from two suggestive sources. The first
is the information detailed in the Burra Charter. This charter is a guide developed for the
management of cultural places, and has been adopted by ICOMOS (International Council
for Monuments and Sites) Australia (Marquis 1994). The second resource was the
‘Guidelines for the management of Australia’s shipwrecks’ (Australian Institute for
Maritime Archaeology 1994). This was developed by the Special Advisory Committee of
the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA). These sources are suggestive
not prescriptive.
The assessment is divided into two sections. Firstly the site is assessed under each of the
criteria and these are then summarised in a clear and brief synopsis referred to as the
Statement of Significance.
6.2 Criterion 1 – Historic significance
Significant in the evolution and pattern of history. Important in relation to a figure, event,
phase or activity of historic influence.
The Australian is historically significant. It contributed to coastal trade between
Palmerston (Darwin) and more populated areas of Australia and contributed to early
international trade between Australia and Asia.
In regard to coastal trade between isolated Palmerston and Australia the history of this
vessel’s working life has a strong bearing to the colonial themes of isolation and distance.
In terms of international trade the cargo of the Australian illustrates that national export
markets were diverse but in their infancy. In turn, with refrigeration capabilities, this
steamer was involved in the booming export of chilled and frozen goods. This industry
introduced a much needed export market and significantly changed our economic
relationship with Britain.
The Australian functioned as an immigration vessel to Australia from China, whilst being
worked by a Chinese crew. This occurred during a period of national debate over non-
European immigration and non-European labour in Australia.
6.3 Criterion 2 – Technical significance
Significant in possessing or contributing to technical or creative innovation.
The Australian is technically significant because it illustrates innovative and important
developments in the history of invention. The technical significance of the shipwreck is
increased with the good condition of its remains.
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The shipwreck presently demonstrates a number of machines that date to the end of the
19th century. These include double-ended boilers, twin refrigeration units, a triple
expansion engine, winch, windlass and a dynamo (which produced lighting).
The refrigeration units are a specialised technology that appeared at the turn of the century.
It was the first kind (but not first model) of cargo refrigeration systems and its kind is no
longer represented in contemporary vessels. It demonstrates a technological achievement
that appeared at the end of the 19th century and which significantly changed the economic
market of the time. The triple expansion engine is in good condition. This kind of engine
revolutionised the role and status of the steamer by making these vessels substantially
more powerful and efficient.
In addition to individual machinery the remaining construction features of the ship
contribute to the technological significance of the shipwreck. The Australian still maintains
its clipper bow which was an aesthetic feature of considerable creative value. The role of
the clipper bow was to impersonate the long curved bow of the memorable golden clippers
of yesteryear. Another important design feature is the cellular double bottom hull. This hull
type was, in that period, an important advancement in hull and ballast design.
6.4 Criterion 3 – Social significance
Related to a contemporary community’s sense of identity or is of particular significance for
cultural, social, religious, aesthetic or spiritual reasons.
The Australian has little social significance to the Northern Territory. The shipwreck was
used by the then ‘government in residence’ as a case in argument for additional
navigational beacons along Cobourg Peninsula. Yet this appears to be the only official
reference to the shipwreck and little mention of importance is found in other sources. In
conclusion the ship does give insight into the trading practices of the settlement and the
employment of Asian maritime crews in Australia. However this does not have direct
relevance to the contemporary Northern Territory community thus does not have a
particular social significance.
6.5 Criterion 4 – Archaeological significance
Concerned with the research potential of material remains
The Australian is of archaeological significance because the site presents an opportunity to
investigate various technologies and design features as found on a late 19th century
steamer. In turn there may be evidence of early salvage and refloating attempts. The scope
for archaeological research is large with this shipwreck because the remains are in good
condition and they are exposed for investigation.
As the superstructure of the ship is gone, and little evidence of personal belongings or
cargo have been located, the archaeological significance of the site rests in these interests
of ship construction, machinery and evidence of early salvage and refloating.
Of particular archaeological value are the remains of machinery including the triple
expansion engine, double-ended boilers, windlass, winch, cargo refrigeration machinery
and dynamo. The engine and refrigeration units were significant technological
developments of their time, and are not common in the Australian Archaeological Record.
These features are in good condition, and further investigation would uncover details about
their design.
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The archaeological value of the shipwreck includes the remains of construction features
such as the cellular double bottom and the clipper bow. The clipper bow was an innovative
feature which is not greatly represented in the Australian Archaeological Record. These
design features remain in good condition and are exposed, therefore easily investigated.
Archaeological research may also investigate the evidence of early salvage and attempts to
refloat the ship. This work is well documented historically and a comparison of this
account with the archaeology of the site may yield significant results.
6.6 Criterion 5- Scientific significance
Concerned with the research potential through repeated measurable results.
The Australian shipwreck is of scientific significance because it may contribute to studies
in insitu conservation. In this regard the Australian experiences the unique tidal and water
temperature conditions of northern Australia therefore can contribute data on the
preservation of shipwrecks that are located in this environment. The Australian is also
abundant in marine life, therefore is a good case-study for research into the chemical
reactions between the material remains of a shipwreck and the marine environment.
6.7 Criterion 6 – Interpretative significance
Concerned with public recreational and educational values.
The Australian is of particular interpretative significance. It is an excellent recreational
asset and interpretation aimed at divers should be provided. The material remains are
visually exciting for a diver and are interesting from a technical point of view. In turn the
site is abundant in marine life. Therefore divers would benefit and appreciate interpretation
aimed at site visitation.
As the site is located within the Cobourg Marine Park there is the opportunity for site
interpretation to be incorporated into a wider program. In terms of the wider community
who do not visit Cobourg Peninsula, the history of the steamer and the images of its
remains are excellent material for the interpretation of Northern Territory history.
6.8 Criterion 7 – Degree of significance; rarity
Concerned with the uncommon or exceptional.
The Australian is of rare significance because it exhibits machinery and ship design that
are not well represented on shipwreck sites in Australia. This includes the refrigeration
units and the clipper bow (steamer version). These features are rare both because of what
they are and because of their condition.
6.9 Criterion 8 – Degree of significance; representative
Concerned with the typical or characteristic. Significant in representing the characteristics
of a class of cultural items.
The Australian is representative of the machinery and construction associated with a late
19th century steamer. The shipwreck displays propulsion machinery, cargo storage
machinery, boat deck machinery and individual features such as the propeller shaft and
anchor. As this shipwreck shows a range of construction and machinery features from a
class of steamer it is therefore considered as representative of its kind. However the
DAVID STEINBERG
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representative significance of this shipwreck as a class of steamer is lessened because
much of the superstructure and the hull is gone.
6.10 Statement of significance
The Australian is historically significant because of its role in facilitating coastal trade
between Palmerston and other ports in Australia and in facilitating early international trade
between Australia and Asia.
The Australian is also historically significant because it was used as a Chinese immigration
vessel and was worked by a Chinese crew. Therefore the history of this steamer contributes
to our understanding of the history of Australian immigration and Chinese labour at a time
of national debate over non-European immigration and non-European labour.
The Australian is the most intact wreck of a steamer located in the Northern Territory and
can offer a great deal of archaeological information regarding ship construction and
machinery as found on late 19th century steamers. The variety of machinery and ship
construction remains, which are in good condition, deem this shipwreck as representative
of a class of steamer. Evidence of early salvage and refloating will offer a further level of
archaeological data.
The remains of the refrigeration machinery (used in cold cargo storage) demonstrates a
technology that markedly changed Australia’s export market and most noticeably changed
Australia’s economic relationship with Britain.
The Australian is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
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CHAPTER 7: MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND RELEVANT ISSUES
7.1 Preamble
This section discusses the issues that are relevant in the management of this shipwreck.
These issues have been decided upon following research into all relevant matters. A policy
addressing each issue is included. These are the recommended MAGNT policies on these
issues, for this particular shipwreck. These policies guide the discussion.
As discussed in chapter 1 the recommendations have been reached via a four stage process.
The Statement of Significance highlights the archaeological and technical significance of
this shipwreck. Therefore the following policies, position on relevant issues and the
following recommendations have a strong bias towards addressing this matter. This
translates to a program with an emphasis on conservation, protection and interpretation.
7.2 Management of the Australian through provisions stipulated in the CMPPM.
Policy. The involvement of other government bodies in the management of an historic
shipwreck should be encouraged. A management program must not compromise the
fundamental principles of site protection as stipulated in the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
Issue. The Australian is located within the Cobourg Marine Park and so the plan of
management for the marine park may include provisions for the protection and
management of this shipwreck. The CMPPM has a role in instigating controls because the
site is located within the marine park boundaries. Therefore an important aim of this
shipwreck management plan is to clearly indicate the role of the CMPPM in relation to the
Australian.
The role of the CMPPM is stipulated in the Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land,
Sanctuary and Marine Park Act 1998 (NT). This legislation identifies that one concern of
the plan should be:
‘the preservation of the sanctuary and/or marine park in its natural condition and the
protection of its special features including objects and sites of spiritual, biological,
historical, palaeonto-logical, archaeological, geological and geographical interest…’
(Part IV: e).
The role of the CMPPM in regard to the management of the Australian shipwreck is to
contain provisions that promote public access to the site whilst protecting the physical
remains. The plan also has a role in offering partial logistic and financial support to a
conservation program. The plan must also ensure existing forms of public information
about the shipwreck are promoted, and that shipwreck information is included, where
appropriate, in general interpretation dealing with the park.
The particular provisions that will ensure that the CMPPM achieves this are laid out in the
recommendations of this report.
7.3 The preservation of material remains – from natural forces
Policy. A shipwreck management program must contain provisions for the establishment
of a conservation program. In brief, the role of a conservation program is firstly to identify
the condition of the remains, secondly to identify the environmental variables in the local
DAVID STEINBERG
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environment that affect the condition of the remains and thirdly to identify the chemical
processes occurring on the surface of the remains and the role of fouling assemblages in
site preservation. The conservation program should be ongoing, involving monitoring of
the site over time and include the implementation of strategies to reduce site deterioration.
A conservation program will approach the issue of natural deterioration from a calculated
strategic position.
A conservation program should be based on an assessment by a conservator.
The preservation of the remains is linked to this shipwreck’s archaeological and technical
significance.
Issue: Environmental Assessment. An environmental assessment of the site by a trained
conservator has not been conducted nor have any site preservation initiatives been
implemented. As part of the site inspection in 1997 the issue of site deterioration was
investigated (see chapter 6.4). In summary the site is undergoing a high rate of corrosion
and undergoes physical abrasion and structural stress.
An environmental assessment by a trained conservator should be conducted on the site and
a conservation program needs to be implemented. The assessment should include an in situ
corrosion study. The program should include ongoing site monitoring which will record
changes in the site over time and should also involve the implementation of protective
measures.
Issue: Site Monitoring. Site monitoring should be conducted annually by staff of the
MAGNT and rangers of the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission. The following is a
guideline for this monitoring. If a conservator is made avaliable and specialised equipment
made accessible site monitoring should be more advanced. Guidelines for site monitoring:
Recording the condition of remains
· visible signs of structural stress or collapse
· visible changes in the surface of the relics e.g. loss of fine detail, density of concretion,
changes in the colour of the concretion.
· recent cover or exposure of items
· if possible, an in situ corrosion study (measurements include extent of graphitisation,
pH, redox potential, dissolved oxygen, salinity)
Recording environmental factors
· measurements of current (force and direction)
· water temperature (surface, depth, profile across site)
· wind (speed and direction)
· changes in fauna and fouling assemblages
· water sample (materials in suspension)
· scouring of sand bed around items
· salinity
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Evidence of human impact include:
· structural damage caused by boats, anchors and anchor chain
· the removal or disturbance of relics
· presence of fishing lines, hooks and boat anchors
7.4 The preservation of material remains – from human threats
Policy. The shipwreck is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act . Under this
legislation it is illegal to interfere with, damage or remove an historic shipwreck or related
items. The protected status of the shipwreck defines the MAGNT stance on protection
against human threats.
Issue: Salvage and looting. The Australian has been partially salvaged. This first occurred
in the early history of the stranding, but more relevant to management issues the site was
salvaged in the 1970s (see chapter 3.6)
The shipwreck is vulnerable from those that may collect the copper alloy material for scrap
metal value. This places all copper alloy remains under threat including the brass
condenser pipes. Brass lanterns have not been located but may be buried on the site.
The remains of the shipwreck are also under threat from souvenir hunters. All features are
arguably vulnerable from this threat. Those features under the greatest threat, because of
their individual appeal, are the ceramic tiles, the anchor and recognisable features of the
machinery such as handles and gauges. Though lanterns, personal belongings and other
valuable items have not yet been located, they may be buried, therefore discovered by
others.
One effective response to salvage and looting is an education program that raises people’s
awareness of the significance of our historic shipwrecks.
Issue: Accidental interference whilst diving. Damage could be caused by divers who are
unaware of appropriate wreck diving practices. Divers could handle, move or accidentally
damage the material remains because they do not know that interference is illegal under the
Act. Divers may also accidentally knock fragile material with fins, tanks or their bodies
whilst swimming amongst the remains.
Therefore divers need to be made aware of the appropriate diving practices expected when
visiting this site. This includes the idea of a ‘look but don’t touch’ policy and a request that
divers pay keen attention to their diving, so as to not accidentally damage material.
Issue: Anchoring on the site. Visitors drop their anchors onto or drag their anchors across
the remains of the shipwreck to moor over the site. Anchors dragged across or dropped
onto the Australian cause damage to the remains. Therefore anchoring on the site is
interpreted as interference and damage to an historic shipwreck, interference and damage is
illegal under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
In addition to specifically anchoring ‘tying off’ to the exposed remains of the wreck also
causes interference and damage. Therefore ‘tying off’ to the remains is interpreted as illegal
under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The destructive effect of anchoring directly onto a shipwreck has been documented in other
cases. The Clonmel, located in Victoria, has been damaged by boat anchors, this being one
reason why a protected zone was declared around the boiler (Anderson 1998:27). The
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Zanoni, located in South Australia, has been damaged considerably by anchors (Jeffery
1995). Also the Pandora, located in Queensland, has been damaged from boat anchors,
this being a concern stipulated in the site’s draft plan of management (Gesner 1994).
Issue: Boat manoeuvring. The boilers, stern section and bow section of the Australian are
close to the surface of the water, the bow and stern breaking the surface at low tide. A boat
being manoeuvred around the site may accidentally collide with the remains and cause
major structural damage. Therefore a boat collision with the remains of the Australian
would constitute interference and damage with an historic shipwreck, both acts illegal
under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The most effective way to deal with this issue is for public education which promotes
caution whilst manoeuvring around the site.
Issue: Fishing. Fishing is currently permitted on the site. The first concern regarding
fishing is that fishing line, weights and hooks may become entangled around the remains
of the wreck. These objects are not part of the original remains of the shipwreck and
therefore threaten the archaeological integrity of the site.
A further concern, of a legal nature, is that the entanglement of fishing line, weights and
hooks may constitute ‘interference’ as stated in the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The most effective way to deal with the entanglement of fishing equipment is for public
education which promotes the preservation of the site and instructs on methods of
accessing the site without causing damage. Evidence of human disturbance should be
monitored as part of a monitoring program.
7.4 Protective legislation
Policy: The most effective method of challenging destructive behaviour in regard to the
preservation of historic shipwrecks is to educate people about their importance and frailty.
However, working in conjunction with this, an historic shipwreck should be protected
under effective legislation. The Australian is currently protected under the Historic
Shipwrecks Act.
A management plan for an historic shipwreck should review the possible ways that the
protective legislation can be made most effective. This is not a call for harsher restrictions
but a reference to applying the legislation most effectively. It is also important to
investigate complementary forms of protection. This may mean recognising the location of
the shipwreck within, for example, a marine park or expand on the significance of the
shipwreck and protect the site for those reasons.
Issue: Enforcement of the Historic Shipwrecks Act. An obstacle in the effectiveness of
the Historic Shipwrecks Act within the Northern Territory is that at present there are no
effective inspectors under the Act. Although members of the police force are automatically
inspectors under the Act, they are located at a great distance from the Australian shipwreck
and have other duties. Therefore it is advised that inspectors under the Historic Shipwrecks
Act be trained.
Issue: The Australian shipwreck as a site of natural significance. A later
recommendation (no. 21) deals with research into the natural significance of the
Australian. This is an appropriate recommendation for this plan of management. The local
natural environment in which a shipwreck is located and the fouling assemblages that
make a shipwreck its home have direct bearing on issues of site deterioration and
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conservation. Therefore aspects of this shipwreck’s natural environment are of paramount
concern. In turn a shipwreck can create a unique local environment for fauna and flora to
thrive and this has a bearing on defining the site’s significance and issues of research and
interpretation. These three concepts are fundamental concerns of this report. Therefore this
plan of management must recommend the need for further understanding of the site’s local
environment.
Research may indicate that the site is of natural significance and should be protected as
such. It is the role of this plan to outline how this issue could be incorporated into the
management of the site.
There are no provisions within the Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land, Sanctuary and
Marine Park Act to identify the site as an aquatic reserve or equivalent. However access to
the site maybe be controlled under provisions of the marine park plan of management.
The protection of historic shipwrecks under complementary legislation, which takes into
account the significance of the site as a unique natural habitat, is not unprecedented. The
Yongala, located in Queensland and the Clan Ranald, located in South Australia, are
protected under natural conservation legislation (Appendix 2).
7.5. The impact of development
Policy. A management program should record the impact that development has had on the
condition of this shipwreck in the past. A management program should also include an
evaluation of present threats to the preservation of the site from development.
Issue. There are at present no known plans for development in the vicinity of the
Australian. Therefore there will be no impact by development on the preservation of the
shipwreck in the near future.
At present there is a pearling company operational at Port Bremer, a significant distance
from the location of the Australian. Recently a private investor has opened a seasonally
operated fishing charter service at Cape Don, the most western point of Cobourg
Peninsula. This is also a significant distance from the location of the site.
7.6. Site identification for passing traffic
Issue. This shipwreck is not an obstacle to boat activity. It is not located within a shipping
channel. The shipwreck rests on a shallow reef, which is clearly marked on the nautical
charts of the area. Therefore passing boats should navigate clear of the reef, regardless of
the presence of the Australian.
The shipwreck is partially exposed at low tide, when the bow and stern structures break the
waters surface. At high tide the bow, boilers and stern sections are visible from the surface
of the water (Fig. 34). There is no fixed buoy or marker on the site. There are also no signs
at boat launches in the vicinity which indicate the location of the Australian.
7.7 Visitation to the Australian
Policy. Visitation to the Australian should be encouraged.
Issue. The majority of visitors to the site are either anglers or divers, the later using either
scuba or snorkel equipment. The majority of people who visit the site reach the shipwreck
on privately owned vessels. Figure 35 shows a typical visit by divers with a yacht in the
background and an inflatable dingy to accommodate divers.
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Fig. 34. Aerial photograph of the Australian; the bow, boilers
and stern are visible (photo: NT Parks and Wildlife
Commission 1998).
Fig. 35. Visitors to the site, 1997 (photo: R. Marshall, 1997).
There are no data which give visitation numbers specifically for the shipwreck site.
However visitation to the site is related to visitation to the marine park, as visitors to the
site are registered as guests of the marine park. Therefore information regarding marine
park visitation is of indirect value.
Visitors may enter from land, sea or air. Many drive through Gurig National Park to reach
the marine park, camping in the designated areas. Others stay on their water crafts, and
others again are guests at the Seven Spirits Bay resort, located in Port Essington. All
visitors to Gurig National Park and the marine park must gain a permit, and a limited
number of permits are issued each year. Administration of visitors to both parks is
controlled at Black Point ranger station, located on the east coast of Port Essington.
Gurig National Park is visited on a seasonal basis, the tourist season being the Dry season,
occurring between May and September. A management policy to restrict the number of
visitors each season has been implemented. Figure 36 indicates the regulated seasonal
visitation to Gurig National Park.
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Fig. 36. Seasonal visitation to Gurig National Park (NT Parks and Wildlife Commission).
Figure 37 indicates the number of visitors to the Park between 1991 to 1997. It shows that
the number of visitors each year was approximately 1000 people and there has not been a
significant increase between 1991 and 1997.
Fig. 37. Annual visitation to Gurig National Park (NT Parks and Wildlife Commission)
There are no commercially operated recreational fishing or recreational diving charters
based within the area of the shipwreck site. This does not discount the possibility that they
enter the area from elsewhere.
How popular the Australian is to fishers visiting the marine park is unknown.
The remains of the Victoria Settlement, located within Port Essington, is also a popular
destination for visitors who have access to a boat. Black Point is also the base for
commercial hunting safaris.
number of annual visitors
1071 1103
996
1278
1435
1007 1022
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
years
number of people
seasonal visitation
0 0 0 0
137
203
368
165 149
125
0 0
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
seasons
number of visitors
DAVID STEINBERG
80
Malcolm Sinclair, manager of Seven Spirits Bay Resort, was contacted and he stated that
the resort does visit the site as a fishing spot with guests. Mr Sinclair also stated that the
resort is planning to develop a diving program, which will include the Australian. He was
sent information regarding the management of historic shipwrecks.
Visitation: a visitors registration scheme. It is a recommendation of this report that a
registration system be introduced as a means to collect information about site visitation.
Prior to visitation visitors would contact the Black Point ranger station and indicate that
they are proceeding to the site. This is not a means of controlling who visits, but only a
non-obtrusive method of monitoring site visitation.
The information gathered from registration would include boat registration, the skipper’s
name, number in the party and planned activities. Depending on the advice of the rangers,
who are most familiar with visitation to the area, this information may be gathered over the
radio. This is not a difficult approach in regard to logistics nor is it intrusive, because
visitors to Gurig National Park and the marine park are required to register with the ranger
station regardless. The benefits of this approach are:
· rangers will be able to gather information without having to visit the site
· it is an opportunity for the rangers to distribute interpretation and site access literature
and for visitors to access other forms of interpretation on the shipwreck based at the
station
· registration, as a means of collecting visitation information, is an effective yet nonintrusive
method
· participation in a formal registration process will affect the behaviour of visitors when
on the site.
7.8 Interpretation material on the Australian
Policy. The dissemination of information about the shipwreck should be widespread,
catering for those that will access the site directly and for the general public. Interpretation
should promote an awareness of the shipwreck’s significance and of the need to preserve it.
Issue: brochure. A brochure on the Australian was produced in June 1999. It includes a
site plan and information about the history of the ship. It also states that the site is
protected and what this means in regard to site access. Distribution of this brochure has
begun, and should continue.
Issue: display. The MAGNT has gained permission from the Cobourg Peninsula Sanctuary
Board and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission to produce a display panel on the
shipwreck and house it at the Black Point ranger station. Traditional owners have approved
the plan and have contributed information for the display. A display was installed in
September, 2000.
7.9 Artefacts and records
Policy. Artefacts that came from the Australian shipwreck are protected relics under the
Historic Shipwrecks Act. Therefore the management of this shipwreck should include an
inventory of all known recovered material.
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Issue: artefacts. The MAGNT has not raised material from this shipwreck. The location
of raised material is unknown. Salvors who attempted to raise the condenser for scrap
metal worked the site in the 1970s. They reported that there were brass lanterns visible but
they did not take these as they were focusing on the condenser. An inspection in 1997 did
not locate lanterns. Items that are visible on the site and have been singled out as being
vulnerable are ceramic tiles, the padlock and the bone (remains of cargo).Interpretive
material should note that relics recovered from the Australian are protected under the Act.
Issue: records. Copies of the ship plans and the Lloyds survey data remain in the
possession of the MAGNT. These were supplied by the National Maritime Museum,
Greenwich , England.
7.10. Research
Policy. Research that will enhance an understanding of the historical and archaeological
significance of this shipwreck should be encouraged. Research that explores other areas,
for example the natural significance of the site, should also be encouraged as these expand
and develop our understanding of the overall significance of the shipwreck.
DAVID STEINBERG
82
CHAPTER 8: MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS – IMPLEMENTING POLICY
8.1 Preamble
The implementation of management policy is subject to the resources available. At present
the Maritime Archaeology and History section of the MAGNT has one permanent member
of staff. Funding for the management of the Australian is currently restricted to
Commonwealth funding through the Historic Shipwrecks Program. The recommendations
take these financial and personnel restrictions into account by retaining a strong focus on
the role of the marine park plan of management and that of the rangers of the NT Parks and
Wildlife Commission.
8.2 Preservation of material remains from natural forces
Recommendation 1: that an environmental assessment of the Australian be conducted in
the near future. This should include an insitu corrosion study. From these results it will
then be possible to develop a conservation program that takes a range of variables into
account (see chapter 8.31). The CMPPM should stipulate the need for a conservation
program and offer partial logistic and/or financial support.
Recommendation 2: that following an environmental assessment a conservation strategy
be designed and implemented (see Chapter 8.31). The CMPPM should stipulate the need
for a conservation program and offer partial logistic and/or financial support.
Recommendation 3: that the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission
instigate an ongoing site monitoring program to monitor changes in the site over time (see
Chapter 8.31). The CMPPM should stipulate the need for this program as part of its
commitment towards a conservation program.
8.3 The preservation of material remains from human threats
Recommendation 4: that select rangers from the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission
whom work at Gurig National Park be trained as inspectors under the Historic Shipwrecks
Act (see Chapter 8.41).
The CMPPM should indicate approval of this proposal.
Employees of the MAGNT should not be appointed inspectors under the Historic
Shipwrecks Act. The value of appointing Museum staff as inspectors is questionable
because the distance between the museum and the shipwreck site means that staff could not
participate in ongoing surveillance. It is also not in the museum’s interest nor capacity to
function as a compliance agency.
Recommendation 5: that the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission
establish a visitor registration system to collect information on site visitation as part of the
visitor monitoring program for the CMP. This should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 6: that anchoring directly onto the shipwreck be prohibited as a
provision of CMPPM. This restriction should include using the bow or stern as a mooring
fixture, when these features are exposed at low tide (see chapter 8.32).
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At what distance a boat can anchor in relation to the shipwreck would need to be
determined.
An alternative mooring system may need to be established.
Recommendation 7: that certain items be recovered as they may be stolen. These are the
ceramic tiles, the remains of the bone cargo and the brass padlock (see chapter 8.9).
Recommendation 8: that fishing that does not involve anchoring on the site be permitted.
Therefore trolling and drifting should continue to be permitted (see chapter 8.3).
8.4. Interpretation
The following are recommendations regarding interpretation material for the general
public.
Recommendation 9: that an education package be made available at the Black Point ranger
station. This package will be a resource for the rangers. It will include a prepared lecture
with slides and video footage. There will also be an education program for young children
developed with a marine-maritime theme. This should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 10: that information be placed at the boat launch and jetty at Black
Point. This will indicate that it is illegal to interfere with, damage or remove an historic
shipwreck or related items. This should also include information regarding the prohibition
of anchoring on the site. This recommendation should be reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 11: that the brochure on the shipwreck be widely distributed, in
particular made avaliable to visitors at the Black Point Ranger Station. This should be
reflected in the CMPPM.
Recommendation 12: that there be a consistent inclusion of information about the
shipwreck in publicity and publications dealing with the recreational and historic resources
of Gurig National Park and the CMP . This should be reflected in the CMPPM.
8.5 Archaeological Research
Recommendation 13: that further non-disturbance survey work be conducted to increase
our overall knowledge of the site. Particular attention may focus on the midship area.
Recommendation 14: that the machinery and important aspects of ship construction be
recorded in greater detail. Aspects of ship construction include the propeller housing,
cellular double bottom and the clipper bow.
Recommendation 15: that further survey work include the search for evidence of salvage
and refloating repairs.
Recommendation 16: that a small excavation in the stern section be conducted to reveal
how the propeller was removed during salvage.
Recommendation 17: that a probe survey east of the exposed material be conducted to
indicate the extent of buried material.
Over the course of the vessel’s deterioration material was deposited east of the length of the
shipwreck. This occurred due to influence from wind and tide and the lean of the ship. The
location of galley tiles and the masts east of the main body of material support this.
Recommendation 18: that a detailed comparison between the technology and archaeology
of the Australian and similar steamer wrecks be conducted.
DAVID STEINBERG
84
Historical and archaeological comparison will increase our understanding of varying
technology and design. It is important to go beyond recording the remains of technology
on individual sites. Comparative studies can form a basis for asking more probing
questions that relate to the role of finance, function, invention and design trends in the
construction of these historic streamers. The Australian is an excellent case-study for this
because of its value in demonstrating various technologies. Also comparative work may
contribute to site formation modelling.
8.6 Historical research
At the time of this report the following research directions distinguished themselves as
important. Other topics of historical research may develop in the future.
Recommendation 19: that records relating to the Australian, whilst it was at ports other
than Darwin, be collected. This may include customs and port authority documentation
from outside of Australia.
Recommendation 20: that the experiences of ethnic or foreign crews on early Australian
steamers be investigated, using the Australian as one example. The Australian had a
Chinese crew, visited Asian ports and brought Chinese immigrants to Australia, all during
a time of national debate over non-European immigration and non-European labour.
8.7 Scientific Research
Recommendation 21: that research into the natural significance of this site should be
encouraged by both the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission. One
example of this kind of work is a marine biological survey of the site (see chapter 8.10).
This recommendation should be reflected in the CMPPM.
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CHAPTER 9: ADMINISTRATIVE STRATEGY
9.1 Established policies
The delegate of the Historic Shipwrecks Act in the Northern Territory is the director of the
MAGNT. Therefore the director has the delegated authority over the management and
protection of this site.
Activity that will result in disturbance of the remains must have prior approval from the
delegate of the Act and, in some cases, the Minister. In turn some proposals regarding site
management can only be actioned following approval from the Minister, for example the
declaration of a protected zone under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The management of this shipwreck must abide by the standards as laid out within the Burra
Charter and as upheld by AIMA.
Funds to manage this site should be canvassed from different organisations and
departments. The Historic Shipwrecks Program may contribute on a project by project
basis, but does not offer funds for ongoing running costs.
9.2 Objectives
That the CMPPM identifies the role set out for it in this report in relation to the
management of this shipwreck.
That the CMPPM repeat the practical recommendations offered in this report that relate to
its role in the management of this shipwreck.
That the MAGNT and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission continue to work together
conducting shipwreck inspections, regional surveys and instigating shipwreck management
programs.
DAVID STEINBERG
86
CHAPTER 10: COBOURG MARINE PARK AND GURIG NATIONAL PARK
10.1 Establishment of the parks
Gurig National Park and the Cobourg Marine Park are located approximately 220
kilometres north-east from Darwin. Combined the parks occupy an area of 4,500 square
kilometres. Gurig National Park occupies 2,207 square kilometres and includes most of the
Cobourg Peninsula and some of the surrounding islands. The marine park extends around
the coast of Cobourg Peninsula enclosing 2,290 square kilometres of surrounding waters.
Conservation principles were first introduced into the Cobourg Peninsula region in 1919
when Cape Don was declared a reserve. In 1924 Cobourg Peninsula was declared a
reserve. In 1981, with the enactment of the Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land and
Sanctuary Act (NT), Gurig National Park was established, under the management of the
Cobourg Peninsula Sanctuary Board.
The marine park was declared under Section 12 of the Territory Parks and Wildlife
Conservation Act 1983(NT) to be managed by the then Conservation Commission (NT). In
1995, when the Cobourg Aboriginal Land and Sanctuary Act was amended to become the
Cobourg Aboriginal Land Sanctuary and Marine Park Act, the board became the
management authority for both the Cobourg Marine Park and Gurig National Park.
The marine park is managed under the provisions of both the Territory Parks and Wildlife
Conservation Act and the Cobourg Aboriginal Land, Sanctuary and Marine Park Act.
The land remains under the ownership of the traditional owners and is leased to the
government to facilitate a national park. The Sanctuary Board is made up of eight
members, four of whom are nominated by the Northern Land Council from amongst the
traditional owners of the region. The other four members are nominated by the NT
Minister for Conservation. The NT Parks and Wildlife Commission is responsible for the
management of Gurig National Park and the marine park. The management of the fish
resources within the marine park is administered by the Fisheries Department of Primary
Industry and Fisheries (NT). In 1998 a committee, the Cobourg Fishery Management Area
Advisory Committee, was formed to facilitate development of a fishery management plan
under the Fisheries Act 1999 (NT) and to contribute to the development of the Cobourg
Marine Park Plan of Management.
The board manages the marine park as a multiple-use park providing for the protection of
the ecology whilst facilitating reasonable recreational and commercial use of the resources.
A plan of management for the marine park is currently being prepared by the NT Parks and
Wildlife Commission, the board and traditional owners.
10.2 The maritime archaeological resource of Cobourg Peninsula
Despite an extensive history of maritime activity in Cobourg Peninsula, only minimal
archaeological work has been conducted. Historical evidence indicates European presence
in the area dates back to early Dutch exploration in the 17th century (Mitchell 1994: 58).
The area received a substantial degree of early colonial shipping activity related to the
failed settlements of Victoria (1839-1841) and Fort Wellington (1827-1829) both located
along the coast of Cobourg. Once the settlement of Palmerston was established Cobourg
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Peninsula became situated on a route linking this settlement with communities, outstations,
missions and businesses in Arnhem Land. In a similar fashion it formed part of a
route that connected Palmerston with coastal trade in Australia.
The area was also a destination for Macassans and European and Japanese pearlers and
trepangers. The maritime history of Cobourg Peninsula also includes the long and
continuous history of coastal occupation by Aboriginal peoples.
Contact scenarios in Arnhem Land had seen the sharing of maritime technology, for
example the Aboriginal adoption of the Macassan outrigger. Known sites that are not
specifically European nor Aboriginal include Macassan trepang processing and base-camp
sites. There may be evidence of Japanese, Torres Strait Islanders and others non-European
pearlers and trepangers dating from the early to mid 20th century.
The extent of specifically underwater survey work conducted in the Cobourg Peninsula
area prior to this work is limited to the 1995 regional survey, a brief survey based within a
small geographic region (Coroneos 1996). In this survey items believed to be the remains
of the Calcutta (1868-1894) were located on Vashon Head reef (Coroneos 1996).
10.3 Reasoning behind the Parks and Wildlife Commission’s involvement in sitemanagement
Various recommendations of this plan deal with the involvement of the NT Parks and
Wildlife Commission in site management and relate to the marine park plan of
management. This section summarises the range of this involvement and offers an
explanation for this arrangement.
Relevant recommendations:
· Recommendations 1, 2 and 3 which deal with conservation.
· Recommendations 4, 5 and 6 which deal with human disturbance.
· Recommendations 9, 10, 11, 12 which deal with interpretation.
· Recommendation 21 which deals with scientific research.
Reasoning behind this arrangement:
The shipwreck falls within the jurisdiction of the marine park.
It is advantageous that site protection and other management issues be managed through
the CMPPM, particularly considering the practical limitations of the Historic Shipwrecks
Act.
The Rangers of the park have an inherent interest and concern for this shipwreck as it is an
historical asset of the marine park.
In regard to logistics and geography, the Rangers of Cobourg Peninsula are the most
logical choice for monitoring and other aspects of ‘hands on’ site management .
The NT Parks and Wildlife Commission adhere to the guidelines for the management of
historic places as established within the Burra Charter (Marquis 1994). Therefore there is
no distinction in the standards each organisation holds in the management of historic sites.
DAVID STEINBERG
88
REFERENCES
Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. 1994. Guidelines for the management of Australia’s
shipwrecks. Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Inc. and the Australian Cultural
Development Office: Canberra.
Anderson, R. 1998. P.S. Clonmel conservation plan. Heritage Victoria: Melbourne.
Australian Pilot Volume 5, 1972. Hydrographer of the Navy: New South Wales. Bach, J. 1976. A
maritime history of Australia. Thomas Nelson Limited: Melbourne.
Blainey, G. 1966. The tyranny of distance. Sun Books: Melbourne.
Campo, J. à 1991. From far neighbour to good friend. The birth of the Java Australia Line. The
Great Circle. Journal of the Australian Association for Marine History 13(1): 1-20.
Corlett, E. 1990. The iron ship: the story of the Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Conway Maritime Press:
London.
Coroneos, C. 1996. Survey of maritime cultural resources of the northern Cobourg Peninsula
(draft). Unpublished Report, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory: Darwin,
Australia.
Foley, C. 1982. Reef pilots: the history of the Queensland Coast and Torres Strait Pilot Service.
Banks Bros. & Street: Sydney, NSW.
Government Resident. 1907. The Government Resident’s Reports, Northern Territory Archives:
Darwin, Australia.
Gardiner, R. 1993. The advent of steam: the merchant steamship before 1900. Naval Institute Press:
Great Britain.
Gesner, P. 1994. Management plan: HMS Pandora. Maritime Archaeology Section: Queensland
Museum, Brisbane.
Guthrie, J. 1971. A history of marine engineering. Hutchinson: London.
Hardwick, G. 1983. The Eastern and Australian Steamship Company Limited. The Log. Quarterly
Journal of the Nautical Association of Australia Inc. 16(1), Issue 71, new series.
Harlow, S. 1997. Tin gods: a social history of the men and women of Maranboy. Historical Society
of the Northern Territory: Darwin, Australia.
Hume, R. 1975. Clyde shipbuilding: from old photographs. B.T. Batesford Ltd: London.
Inquiry 1907. Archival material held in the Ephemera File, Northern Territory Collection of the
Northern Territory Library [Title of file: ‘The Australian ship’. Title of folder: The wreck
of the Australian]: Darwin, Australia.
Jeffery, B. 1995. Zanoni (brochure). State Heritage Branch, Department of the Environment and
Natural Resources: Adelaide, South Australia
Laxon, W. 1963. Story of the Eastern and Australian Steamship Co. Ltd. Sea Breezes October
Issue, 1963.
Lewis, G. 1973. A history of the ports of Queensland: a study in economic nationalism. University
of Queensland Press: Brisbane, Australia.
Marquis, P. 1992. The illustrated Burra Charter. Prestige Litho: Brisbane, Australia.
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McCarthy, M. 1996. SS Xantho: towards a new perspective (an integrated approach to the maritime
archaeology and conservation of an iron steamship wreck). Unpublished PhD thesis, James
Cook University: Queensland.
Mitchell, S. 1994. Culture contact and indigenous economies on the Cobourg Peninsula, north
western Arnhem Land. Unpublished PhD thesis, Northern Territory University: Darwin.
NSW Heritage Office. 1996. Underwater heritage: principles and guidelines. Publication No.
ISBN 07310 3024 9, Heritage Office: Sydney, Australia.
Nicholson, I. 1996. Via Torres Strait: a maritime history of the Torres Strait route and the ships’
Post Office at Booby Island. Roebuck Society Publication No. 48: Australia.
Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission 1993. Gurig National Park Plan of
Management Plan (draft). Parks and Wildlife Commission and the Government Printer:
Darwin, Australia.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette. Stored in the Northern Territory Library: Darwin, Australia.
Olson, W. 1976. Lion of the China Sea. P & O Australia Ltd: Australia.
Paasch, H. 1977. Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia. Argus Books: Watford, Herts., England.
Parsons, R. 1981. Australian coastal passenger ships. Ronald H. Parsons, P0 Box 33, Magill, SA
5072: South Australia.
Patterson, A. 1969. The golden years of the Clyde steamers (1889-1914). Davids & Charles:
Newton Abbot, UK.
Pearson, C. 1987. Conservation of marine archaeological objects. Butterworths Series in
Conservation and Museology: Butterworths, Sydney.
Powell, A. 1982. A short history of the Northern Territory. Melbourne University Press:
Melbourne, Victoria.
Riley, J. n.d. Iron ship disintegration: the waterline theory. In: McCarthy, M. (ed.) Iron ships &
steam shipwrecks: papers from the first Australian seminar on the management of iron and
steam shipwrecks, Western Australian Museum: Perth, Western Australia.
Shields, J. 1947. Clyde built: a history of shipbuilding on the River Clyde. William Maclellan:
England.
Sothern, J. n.d. Verbal notes and sketches: a manual of marine steam engineering practice. J.W.M.
Sothern.
Webser, J. 1995. Famous ships of the Clyde, Glasgow. Royal Concert Hall: Scotland.

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APPENDIX 1: A GUIDE FOR DEPARTMENTS PARTICIPATING
IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN SITE
1.1 Maritime archaeology
Maritime archaeology is a branch of Archaeology that deals with the study of our maritime
past through material remains. What constitutes maritime history and what constitutes
relevant material remains should be defined in the broadest sense. To have a restricted
definition of Maritime archaeology, for example, a discipline concerned only with the lives
of sailors or dealing only with the classic shipwreck, only limits research and fails to see
the interconnectedness between disciplines.
Shipwrecks as archaeological sites can offer essential information that is not obtainable
from historical documentation. As a simple example McCarthy (1996: 22) cites two steam
shipwrecks, the Hansteen and the Xantho. During the course of their working life both of
these ships were transformed in design. The original ship plans would not show this
evolution in design. Also highlighting the limitations of available historical information is
the fact that much of the maritime records available to the researcher were written for a
particular purpose or in a particular style which is limiting in what they illustrate. These
records may indicate events but fail to illustrate the detail to inform on themes that maybe
considered significant in contemporary academic discourse, for example the role and status
of women or minority groups.
A shipwreck is only one kind of maritime archaeological site. The remains of submerged
planes and flying boats, for example the Catalina wreck sites located in Darwin Harbour,
are also relevant. The Japanese submarine, the I-124, located north of Darwin in the
Arafura Sea, is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act. Furthermore the scope of
Maritime archaeology is not restricted to sites located in the water. The archaeology of our
maritime past also includes land sites such as jetties and wharfs. Associated with the Dutch
shipwreck, the Zuytdorp (1712), located in Western Australia, are a series of survivor
camps found in the surrounding cliffs. Other kinds of land sites, for example, dockyards
and whaling stations, are also applicable. Therefore maritime archaeologists study a wide
range of material remains to develop a better understanding of the past. Lastly, one should
recognise that maritime history does not exist within a vacuum, but is one theme extracted
from the larger picture of Australian history. Therefore the study of the material remains
from maritime archaeological sites can contribute to our understanding of larger themes,
for example, the history of industry, economics and social development in Australia.
1.2 The Commonwealth’s Historic Shipwrecks Program
This report was funded by a grant from the Historic Shipwrecks Program. The Historic
Shipwrecks Program was administered by the Department of Communications and the Arts
until November 1998. Following this, the program was transferred to the Department for
the Environment and Heritage. This program embodies a national commitment to protect
and conserve historic shipwrecks and associated material. An important focus of this
program is the development of public interpretation material. The program also encourages
a commitment by other government departments to the protection and preservation of this
cultural resource.
DAVID STEINBERG
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1.3 The management of historic shipwrecks
The distinction of a site being ‘historic’ tends to refer to the implementation of protective
legislation. However, the term historic could also be used to signify that a site has
historical or archaeological significance. A site may be declared historic under
Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation. Each historic shipwreck should be managed
through a program designed specifically for the particular conditions relating to that case.
Within each State or Territory there is a delegate for the Historic Shipwrecks Act. This
person may work within a museum environment, for example the MAGNT, or a State or
Territory government heritage body, for example Heritage South Australia. Although each
organisation would approach the management of historic shipwrecks from a unique
position, there exists common standards which are adhered to.
In the case of shipwrecks protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act the Historic
Shipwrecks Program does provide grants to fund work, however alternative funding should
be canvassed. Sources of alternative funding could include State or Territory governments.
The delegate may also work with other departments in an ongoing site management
program. Local councils may also contribute to the management of sites by, for example,
funding interpretative or conservation work.
A management program must encompass a wide range of policies and issues. A review of
all the details of a management program is beyond the aim and scope of this document,
however a brief overview will demonstrate the kinds of issues that are relevant. A
management program should include:
· the implementation of a conservation program;
· the identification of human threats to the site and the implementation of protective
measures;
· a policy and strategy to disseminate information about the site to the public;
· encouraging responsible public access to the site, and interpretation initiatives which
may also enhance the visitors’ experience;
· a research program;
· the management of raised artefacts; this includes an inventory, a conservation report
and addressing concerns of ownership.
1.4 The Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976
This section explores practical aspects of the Historic Shipwrecks Act, it should not be
taken as a comprehensive review of the legislation.
Which shipwrecks are protected under this Act? This legislation has jurisdiction over
those shipwrecks located within Commonwealth water. Commonwealth water is defined as
that water beyond the low water mark to the edge of the Continental Shelf. It does not
include river systems, lakes or harbours.
Those shipwrecks that are 75 years old or more are automatically protected under the Act.
This includes shipwrecks that have not yet been discovered. The 75 years is a rolling date,
meaning that with time shipwrecks will eventually become automatically protected.
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The Act also contains a provision for the protection of shipwrecks that are located within
Commonwealth waters but are younger than 75 years. The Minister may declare a
shipwreck of any age protected under the Act. An application to the Minister would
include an assessment of the significance of the site.
A shipwreck need not be located within water to be declared an historic shipwreck. A
shipwreck that is located partially or fully out of the water may still be protected. This
includes the whole or parts of a shipwreck that may have been recovered or relocated.
What is defined under the Act as illegal behaviour? The Act states it is illegal to interfere
with, damage or remove a historic shipwreck or related items. A protected site may also,
because of particular circumstances, have a protected zone declared around it.
So what are the practical restrictions in regard to recreational access to an historic
shipwreck? Historic shipwrecks may be visited and enjoyed by the public. The policy for
visitation is ‘look but don’t touch’. Handling or moving material or disturbing conservation
equipment could be considered interference with a site. Therefore a diver may take
photographs and video of the wreck. Also a diver visiting an historic shipwreck has a
responsibility to practice competent diving protocol so as not to interfere or damage
material through negligence.
This policy also relates to other activities on the site for example boat handling. A boat
anchor should not be lowered onto a historic shipwreck as this may cause damage. This
also applies to the handling of the boat itself, which may collide with or drift against the
remains. Therefore responsible boat handling is essential.
Does this Act cover material related to a shipwreck and does it pertain to other kinds of
water related structures? This Act provides for the protection of material associated with
an historic shipwreck. This includes material that is in close proximity to the site, or has
been moved or recovered. If an article or section of the ship has been removed from the
water or relocated to State or Territory waters it remains protected material under the Act.
If an item is found and it is believed to be associated with a historic shipwreck, it is
considered protected under the Act.
This Act does cover other sea-based craft, for example submarines. The I-124, a Japanese
submarine wreck located in the Northern Territory, is protected under the Act. However
the Act does not address the protection of other water related structures such as jetties or
wharfs. These sites may be protected under relevant Commonwealth, or State or Territory
legislation.
What is a protected zone? Within the Act is the provision for a protected zone to be
declared surrounding an historic shipwreck. A zone is declared by the Minister when there
is an agreement that additional protection is necessary. The zone is of a prescribed size and
the Act lists the kinds of activities that are not permitted within it. In summary a protected
zone may not be entered without a permit. A permit may be issued to a recreational dive
group, for one visit or valid for a period of time. Therefore a protected zone does not
necessarily restrict all public access. The conditions of access for a permit holder may
depend upon the public access policies tailored specifically for that site.
What is the status of material that was recovered prior to the Act or prior to the
introduction of the 75 years automatic declaration? Material that was recovered prior to
these restrictions are still considered protected historic relics. The Act states that a person
in possession of an historic relic must notify the relevant authority. When the automatic
DAVID STEINBERG
94
declaration was introduced some delegates instigated an amnesty period, when a person/s
could declare material without prosecution. In some cases a compromise was developed
where, following the register of the relics, people were able to maintain custodianship.
However strict protocol regarding the transfer of custodianship was established.
What occurs if a member of the public discovers or knows of an historic shipwreck or
related items? A person who discovers an historic shipwreck is obligated to inform the
Minister of its location as soon as is ‘practical’. An individual that knows of the location of
an historic shipwreck or historic relic, or knows a person who has this information, is also
obligated to inform the Minister. In short it is an offence to withhold information regarding
the location or possession of an historic shipwreck or historic relic.
Over the years public recognition and awards have been given to people who had
discovered and declared historic shipwrecks.
Under what circumstances may a historic shipwreck be disturbed or material raised?A
permit or permission must be obtained before an historic shipwreck or related items may
be disturbed. This includes individuals or organisations who may have ownership or
custodianship over a shipwreck site.
How are the restrictions and penalties of the Act enforced? The Act lists indictable
offences, which are offences that require an appearance in a court of law. The penalties are
not minor. This reflects the weight of an offence committed under the Act.
The Act contains the provision for the appointment of inspectors, whose role is to facilitate
the implementation of the Act. The inspector is delegated certain powers to investigate and
halt a crime under the Act. Members of the police force are automatically inspectors.
Is other legislation applicable to the protection of shipwrecks and related items?
Shipwrecks located within State or Territory waters also may be protected under State or
Territory legislation. In the Northern Territory eight shipwrecks are protected under the
Heritage Conservation Act 1991(NT), all located within Darwin Harbour. Shipwrecks may
also be protected under complementary legislation. For example the Yongala shipwreck,
located in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks
Act and protected under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act. A shipwreck may also be
regarded as significant by influential organisations yet not be protected as such. For
example, the Young Australian, located in the Daly River in the Northern Territory is on
the National Trust register.
Under the Commonwealth’s Navigation Act 1912, if a person discovers a wreck, they are
obligated to inform the appropriate authorities. If located within Commonwealth waters the
person must inform the Receiver of Wrecks, the Surveyor Manager of the Australian
Maritime Safety Authority.
1.5 Other relevant legislation
Navigation Act 1912 (Commonwealth). Person/s who discover shipwrecks or related
material in State, Territory or Commonwealth waters, are required to notify the Receiver of
Wrecks. The Receiver of Wrecks for material located in Commonwealth waters is the
Surveyor Manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Moveable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 (Commonwealth). Includes provisions to limit the
sale or transfer of custody or ownership of cultural heritage to an overseas person or the
importation of material protected under foreign legislation.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT, APPENDIX 1
95
Judiciary Act 1903 (Commonwealth). The court of a State or Territory is invested with
jurisdiction over offences committed against the laws of the Commonwealth. This means
that offences committed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act may be heard in the courts of
the Northern Territory. In turn an offence committed against the Act in the Northern
Territory may be heard in a court of another State or Territory.
Heritage Conservation Act 1991 (NT). This is the heritage legislation of the Northern
Territory. An application must be made to the Heritage Advisory Committee and the
Minister for Conservation for a site to be declared protected under this Act. The
Ellengowan (1866-1888), located in Darwin Harbour, is one of seven shipwrecks protected
under this legislation. Terrestrial sites Fort Wellington (1827-1829) and Victoria
Settlement (1839-1841) located at Cobourg Peninsula within the vicinity of the Australian,
are protected under this Act.
Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land, Sanctuary and Marine Park Act 1996 (NT). This
Act details the establishment of Gurig National Park and the Cobourg Marine Park. As a
feature of the marine park the Australian historic shipwreck is protected under this
legislation.
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (Commonwealth). This Act deals with heritage
sites and related items located within a national park. Permission from the Commonwealth
National Parks and Wildlife Service must be obtained prior to any disturbance of these
sites.

THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT, APPENDIX 2
97
APPENDIX 2: A DISCUSSION ON THE YONGALA AND
THE CLAN RANALD SHIPWRECKS
2.1 Preamble
The purpose of this discussion is to briefly acknowledge the management of two
shipwrecks protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act where complementary legislation
protects aspects of the local natural environment.
2.2 The Yongala shipwreck
The Yongala was built in 1903 and wrecked in 1911 off Cape Bowling Green, Queensland.
This single screw steamer was making its way from Brisbane to Townsville. She lies
approximately 12 nautical miles off Cape Bowling Green at a depth varying between 16
and 30 metres. The Yongala is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act and the Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Act.
The Yongala is a popular recreational dive destination, considered by many to be one of
the most favourable wreck dives in Australia. The management of the site takes into
consideration the demands and impact on the site as a result of visitation, particularly
commercial dive charters. One management concern is the damage caused to the wreck by
the mooring of boats. In response, the Queensland Museum is developing a mooring
system.
The Yongala is a protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act following declaration in
1981. In addition to the standard protection that the Act offers, a protected zone was
declared surrounding the site. A protected zone, as found within the Act, restricts entry
using a permit system.
The area surrounding the Yongala has been declared a Marine National Park B Zone (Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 1980). Under this zoning plan, no activities that cause
interference, damage or removal of any material are permitted. This includes cultural
material and natural material. Access is permitted without a permit into a B zone under the
condition that the kinds of activities are non-intrusive. To conduct scientific research and
tourist operations, a permit is necessary. This permit is in addition to the permit required to
enter a protected zone under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The park rangers conduct a regular surveillance program on the site (Richard Quincey,
pers. comm., February 1998). This is conducted by boat and air. Interference of the wreck
in any form can be dealt with under the regulations of the Marine Park B zone as opposed
to the regulations under the Historic Shipwrecks Act. Monitoring of human impact to the
site is conducted by the staff of the Queensland Museum.
The Queensland Department of the Environment also conducts ongoing marine research on
the site running a marine survey program (Richard Quincey, pers. comm., February 1998).
The Yongala is considered an artificial reef of high value, containing both a large number
of fish and a large variety of species (Richard Quincey, pers. comm., February 1998).
Therefore the marine environment of the site is considered of high value in the overall
management of the shipwreck site.
DAVID STEINBERG
98
The Yongala is a example of a shipwreck site in which the management plan recognises its
natural significance. The monitoring and surveillance program has been adapted to afford
the greatest effectiveness utilising the skills and abilities of each organisation involved.
2.3 The Clan Ranald shipwreck
The Clan Ranald was built in 1900 and was wrecked in 1909. She was a steel-hulled turret
steamer that was travelling from Port Adelaide, South Australia, to South Africa. The
wreck is located in Gulf St.Vincent, South Australia, lying capsized in 18-20 metres of
water (T. Arnott, pers. comm. February 1998).
The Clan Ranald remains one of the best wreck dives in South Australia and contains
significant archaeological material. It is also an outstanding feature of the Troubridge Hill
Aquatic Reserve. The reserve was declared under the Fisheries Act 1982 (South Australia)
on 22 September, 1983, and covers approximately 4 square kilometres. The primary
function of the reserve is to protect marine benthic organisms and to provide a relatively
unspoilt coastal marine area for passive recreational and educational activities. The
removal of shell, sand or plant life is illegal except by rod or handline. This therefore
excludes activities like dredging and collecting. Management priorities are aimed towards
education and conservation. In 1992, an inter-agency working party, instigated by South
Australian Fisheries, recommended that the area was worthy of total protection and
therefore should be designated a marine protected area.
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT, APPENDIX 3
99
APPENDIX 3: 1997 FIELD WORK DETAILS
3.1 Background to the field work
The fieldtrip was based at the Black Point ranger station at Cobourg Peninsula. The
shipwreck site is isolated, and the ranger station is the most viable site, on land, to base
field operations. The site was reached each day from the station by boat. The MAGNT
gained use of the station’s accommodation facilities and boat. The fieldtrip was run over a
period of 10 days. David Steinberg and John Riley flew to the station from Darwin.
3.2 Field work details
Aim and methodology of fieldwork. The aim of the fieldwork was to conduct a nondisturbance
survey of the visible remains of the shipwreck. An understanding of site
formation and site deterioration was to be developed and key environmental factors that
effect material remains identified.
Due to restrictions in time and personnel the methodology of survey was simple and aimed
for a broad impression of the site with a limited degree of accuracy. The results therefore
serve as a good beginning to further more detailed survey work.
The location of key features to each other was quickly recorded using a simple
bearing/compass process. From one object the distance and bearing to another was
recorded. Therefore there was no central datum structure. The dimensions of key features
were measured with hand held tapes and a measuring rod divided in the imperial scale. A
baseline was laid along the centre, down the length of the site. Right angle off-sets at 10
metre intervals were measured recording the extent of exposed material.
Dive team.
Diver Role and affiliation
David Steinberg (Archaeologist, MAGNT)
John Riley (Steamship expert)
Libby Sterling (Diving Supervisor, PWCNT)
Alan Withers (Head Ranger, Black Point Ranger Station, PWCNT)
Rowan Marshall (Ranger, Black Point Ranger Station, PWCNT)
Mark Ingram (Ranger, Black Point Ranger Station, PWCNT)
1997 fieldwork dive times
Diver Number of dives Total bottom time
Alan Withers 4 4 hrs
David Steinberg 10 10 hrs
John Riley 10 10 hrs
Rowan Marshall 5 5 hrs
Libby Sterling 6 6 hrs
Mark Ingram 4 4 hrs
Totals 39 39 hrs
Boat and diving safety standards. The boat used during the fieldwork was the Lorus,
owned and operated by the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission.
DAVID STEINBERG
100
The boating standards upheld during fieldwork were based on regulations stipulated in the
MAGNT Boating Policy. This policy is endorsed by the MAGNT Occupational Health and
Safety Committee.
The diving procedures practiced in the course of the fieldwork were based on the
regulations stipulated in the MAGNT Diving Operations Procedures Manual. The dive
tables adhered to were the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
recreational dive tables. Libby Sterling, a dive instructor, acted as dive supervisor.
3.3 List of fish.
This list has been complied by Rex Williams, technical officer of the Natural Sciences
Department of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. It follows his
viewing of footage of the site taken in 1997. Alan Withers, ranger at PWCNT Black Point
Ranger Station contributed information regarding the fish present on the site. This is not a
complete list of species found on the wreck site.
Common name Scientific name
Diagonal striped sweet lip Plectorhinchus multivittatus
Rabbit fish Siganus guttanus
Six banded angelfish Pomacanthus sexstriatus
Blackspot tusk fish Choerodon schoenleinii
Sergeant major (stripey) Abudefduf bengalensis
Red -bellied fusilier Caesio cuning
Spanish flag / Stripey seaperch Lutjanus carponotatus
undetermined Heniochus species Heniochus sp.
Estuary cod Epinephelus coioides
Snapper (yellow margined sea perch) Lutjanus fulvus
Diamond fish Monodactylus argenteus
Moon wrasse Thalassoma lunare
THE HISTORIC SHIPWRECK AUSTRALIAN — PLAN OF MANAGEMENT, APPENDIX 4
101
APPENDIX 4: HISTORICAL AND TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE AUSTRALIAN
4.1 Historical details
Built 1896
Location Glasgow, Scotland
Builder Napier and Sons
Description Schooner-rigged steel steamer
Owner Eastern & Australian Steamship Company
Port of registry London
Function at time of loss cargo and passenger steamer
Cargo at time of loss mail, frozen foods, bulk and exotic cargoes
Port of destination Palmerston (Darwin), Northern Territory of Australia
Location when lost Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory of Australia
Explanation of event stranded
Cause of loss navigational error
Date of loss 1906
Location 11° 06.667′ (latitude), 131° 58.533′ (longitude). Aus Chart AUS 18. 1: 75 000
Legal status Protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act
4.2 Technical details
Built 1896
Location Glasgow, Scotland
Builder Napier & Sons (ship and engine)
Port of registry London, England
Hull type steel
Propulsion single screw steamer – fore and aft schooner
Gross tonnage 2838
Under deck tonnage 2327
Net tonnage 1784
Water ballast cellular double bottom.
Keel flat keel & bilge keels
Length 341.7 feet (104.15 m)
Breadth 42.2 feet (12.86 m)
Depth 22.5 feet (6.86 m)
Forecastle length 46 feet (14.02 m)
Saloon length 112 feet (34.13 m)
Poop length 60 feet (18.29 m)
Engine 3 cylinder triple expansion engine: 26, 43 and 70 inch diameter cylinders; 48
inch length of stroke; 400 NHP ( nominal horse power).
Boilers two double-ended boilers (175 lbs boiler pressure) one auxiliary horizontal
boiler (80 lbs boiler pressure)
Registered top speed 15 knots
Auxiliary machinery Refrigeration system (compressed air); dynamo (electric lighting throughout);
anchor crane; capstan and windlass; cargo winches
Structure 2 deck ( steel and teak upper deck); 6 bulkheads; 4 cargo hatches
Passenger facilities 70 first class; 35 second class; steerage class (unknown capacity)

THE TEMPEST

January 17, 2008


T H E G L E N C O E L I T E R A T U R E L I B R A R Y
i
Study Guide
for
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Tempest Study Guide 9
By 1592 Shakespeare had moved to London
and was working as an actor. He had also begun
to write plays. Around this time, Shakespeare’s
name appears in a pamphlet in which a university-
educated playwright calls him “an upstart
crow.” The educated playwright pokes fun at
the thought that a lowly actor without a good
education would dare to write plays. Two years
later Shakespeare joined an acting company, the
Lord Chamberlain’s Men, for whom he eventually
wrote most of his plays. His early works were,
for the most part, based on English history. Other
early works include comedies and a few tragedies.
Shakespeare went on to write the plays that
earned him great recognition. From the mid-
1590s to about 1607, he wrote masterpieces such
as Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello,
and Macbeth. All were produced by Shakespeare’s
acting company in the famous Globe Theater.
Shakespeare was a shareholder in the Globe,
which was located just outside London.
In Shakespeare’s day, his plays were
immensely popular, probably because they held
appeal for all levels of English society, from peasants
and poor city folk, to other writers and university
graduates, to Queen Elizabeth I herself.
Shakespeare’s heroes left his audiences in awe, his
heroines melted their hearts, his villains froze
them in horror, and his clowns and comic figures
left them in stitches. The language of his dramas
ranges from the most delicate and elevated poetry
to clever puns and bawdy jokes.
In spite of this acclaim, Shakespeare chose to
leave the stage at the height of his success. His
final four plays—of which The Tempest is considered
the greatest—all share a melancholy sense of
things ending, but all four also focus on happiness
lost and then regained.
In 1610 Shakespeare left London to retire
to his large home in Stratford. He lived his final
years as a wealthy man and town leader, dying
on April 23, 1616, at the age of fifty-two. On
his tomb in Stratford’s church rests a sculpted
bust, one of only two authentic likenesses of
the man regarded as the greatest writer who
ever lived.
Meet William Shakespeare
He was not of an age, but for all time.
. . . Shine forth, thou star of poets
—Ben Jonson, poet and contemporary
of Shakespeare
In 1611, the year that The Tempest was first
performed, William Shakespeare was fortyseven-
years old and had written more than thirtyfive
plays. Considered the greatest dramatist of his
time, he was an accomplished actor, part-owner of
the best theater in London, the greatest lyric poet
of his time, and the monarch’s favorite playwright.
He was also a wise investor and a wealthy man.
With all these accomplishments, perhaps it is not
surprising that Shakespeare’s thoughts had begun
to turn toward retirement and a quieter life in the
country with his family.
Even though more facts are known about
Shakespeare than any other writer of his time, we
know little about the man compared to what we
know about later literary figures. Shakespeare was
born in Stratford-upon-Avon, a bustling country
market town about seventy-five miles northwest of
London. His birthday is celebrated on April 23,
although no records exist to prove this is his date of
birth. His father was a glove maker, grain merchant,
and local political leader. In 1582, at the age of eighteen,
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. They
had three children, one of whom died at age eleven.
10 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Though with their high wrongs I am struck to
th’quick,
Yet with my nobler reason ’gainst my fury
Do I take part. The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance.
—The Tempest, Act 5, Scene 1
With these words, Prospero, the magician and
main character of The Tempest, makes a crucial
decision to forgive his enemies. Like the man who
wrote these words, Prospero has struggled in life
but is now prepared to leave behind both his triumphs
and his failures. He is ready to turn his eyes
toward the future.
Fresh winds were blowing across Europe when
Shakespeare was writing The Tempest, his final
play. European countries were exploring the
boundaries of the known world and founding new
settlements in America. Europeans were coming
into contact with people from other parts of the
world and wrestling with the questions such contact
raised. The Renaissance, a period of reawakened
interest in the learning of ancient Greece
and Rome and in human achievements in general,
had spread from Italy to England. Scientific discoveries
about the solar system and the world
threatened to undermine traditional ways of looking
at people and their station in life.
In England itself, momentous changes were
occurring. The nation had broken with the
Roman Catholic Church less than a century
before, shattering the unity the Church had
forged. England was on its way to becoming a
great power, although the people were troubled by
the death of their great queen, Elizabeth, who was
succeeded by James I in 1603. The English language
had grown during the 1500s into a rich and
flexible tool, one used effectively by playwrights
and appreciated by audiences.
One change that strongly influenced
Shakespeare as he was writing The Tempest was the
public’s taste for romances. Lighter in tone and containing
more music, dance, and spectacle than the
tragedy, the romance became Shakespeare’s favorite
form for his final plays. Romances often took as
their theme the need to be patient and trust in
providence during times of misfortune. Romances
featured such fairy tale–like elements as magic, shipwrecks,
young lovers reunited after various trials,
exotic settings, and supernatural creatures. In general,
characters in romances are not as well developed
as those in tragedies. Shakespeare’s romances
lacked the profound psychological portraits of tragic
characters like Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear.
All of these changing currents influenced
Shakespeare’s final works, of which The Tempest is
considered the greatest. Many critics and readers
detect in the play a melancholy feeling of retirement,
withdrawal from life, and wistful resignation.
In fact, historical records indicate that just
before finishing The Tempest, probably in 1611,
Shakespeare retired to Stratford to live a quiet life
with his family. The play’s main character, the
magician Prospero, is frequently identified with
the author himself. In fact, one famous speech by
Prospero at the end of The Tempest is often
referred to as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage.
However, other admirers of the play caution
against viewing the play as semiautobiographical.
They argue that Shakespeare was only in his midforties
when he returned to Stratford and that it
was far too early for him to be making a farewell
to the stage he dominated. These readers suggest
that Shakespeare was merely proving that he
could write in any style, including the romance—
the latest fad at the court of King James I. As the
greatest and most versatile writer of his age, he
seemed to succeed at anything he tried.
Whether one sees autobiographical elements
in The Tempest, its theme of suffering, repentance,
and forgiveness is powerful. In a society
where bloody revenge was common and even
admired, the meaning of The Tempest was radical.
Even the fact that the supernatural elements
facilitate forgiveness does not hide an important
message of the play—the real magic of forgiveness
springs from within the human heart.
The fairy-tale world of The Tempest has important
lessons for those in the real world, both of
Shakespeare’s time and today. It is better to choose
forgiveness and belief in a brighter future—what
Prospero calls “the rarer action”—than to choose
vengeance. It is better to spread the magic of human
Introducing the Play
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Tempest Study Guide 11
love than to practice the magic of spells, enchantments,
and “airy charms.” And it is better to choose
life in the real world, even with its terrifying freedom,
heartbreaks, and evil, over life in a fairy tale.
THE TIME AND PLACE
The setting of The Tempest is an isolated island in
the Mediterranean Sea, somewhere between Italy
and the north coast of Africa. The play takes
place roughly during Shakespeare’s time, the
early 1600s. Unlike Shakespeare’s earlier
plays, The Tempest is not set in the real
world but in an enchanted fairy-tale world
of the imagination that blends everyday
people and elements with monsters
and spirits.
The theaters of Shakespeare’s time were different
from our own. Knowing how The Tempest
would have been staged during the early 1600s
will help you understand the actions of the
characters and visualize how they looked on
stage. The first difference that you would probably
notice is that there were no actresses.
Males played all the parts, including the female
roles. Ariel, the sprite in The Tempest, probably
would have been acted by a young boy.
Most theaters of Shakespeare’s time were
six- or eight-sided buildings without roofs.
Three galleries housed the audience. The
galleries faced an open courtyard. The simple
stage extended out into the yard. At the back
of the stage were a balcony, two doors, and
a trapdoor leading into a space underneath
the stage.
Because the sets were simple, the texts of
the plays described the time of day, the setting,
and other important information. (Notice,
for example, in The Tempest how often someone
asks what time it is.) Costumes had to be
elaborate to help audiences differentiate characters.
Most of Shakespeare’s plays were performed
in the Globe, the theater his company
built on the River Thames across from London.
Another theater used by Shakespeare’s
acting troupe, the King’s Men, was the
Blackfriars. Many scholars believe The
Tempest and Shakespeare’s other late
romances were written for the Blackfriars
and performed there. Unlike the Globe, this
theater had a roof. The enclosure allowed
stagehands to create artificial lighting with
candles. Admission prices were up to five
times higher than those for the Globe. As a
result, a more cultured audience came to the
Blackfriars, one familiar with the popular new
romances. The Tempest was also performed in
1611, indoors at the court of King James I,
and two years later, to celebrate the wedding
of the king’s daughter.
As you read The Tempest, try to imagine
what it would have been like to see the play in
1611—no actresses, no realistic sets, no
electric lights, and no sound system to amplify
voices or provide background music. Though
stagecraft was in its infancy, Shakespeare’s
audiences would probably have been
impressed by special effects like the disappearing
banquet in Act 3 and the flying chariot
of Act 4.
Did You Know?
12 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
FOCUS ACTIVITY
Do you believe advertisements and commercials place too much emphasis on physical beauty?
Discuss
Why do we value physical beauty? Does society equate physical appearance with personal worth and goodness?
As a class, discuss society’s view of physical beauty and its worth.
Setting a Purpose
Read to find out what Shakespeare says about the relation between physical beauty and inner virtues.
BACKGROUND
A Storm and a Shipwreck
Even though The Tempest is set in an imaginary, fairy tale–like world, actual events strongly influence the
plot. Like most writers, Shakespeare used real-life events as starting points for his creations and let his artistic
imagination transform them. One event that scholars believe influenced Shakespeare as he was writing The
Tempest was a famous shipwreck. In the spring of 1609, nine ships left England for the newly founded colony
of Jamestown, Virginia. During the voyage, the lead ship, the Sea-Adventure, was separated from the others
during a storm and feared lost. The crew and passengers were shipwrecked in the Bermudas. They survived
and eventually reached Jamestown about a year later.
Pamphlets and letters describing the powerful storm, the shipwreck, and the year that the survivors
spent as castaways were later published. The most detailed letter, written by William Strachey, was circulated
to members of the Virginia Company, the group that sponsored the Jamestown colony. Shakespeare
knew several leaders of the Virginia Company, and scholars believe he almost certainly read Strachey’s letter.
Several key descriptions included in the letter appear in altered form in The Tempest. For example,
Strachey describes the dreadful storm as so powerful “we could not apprehend in our imaginations any
possibility of greater violence.” Just when all appeared lost, land was spotted, and by “the gracious and
merciful providence of God” the ship was saved. The survivors found that the island was “habitable and
commodious” rather than “dangerous and dreaded” and the home of “devils and wicked spirits,” as they
had previously believed. While on the island, the survivors fell to quarreling, and violence was narrowly
avoided. As you read The Tempest, Act 1, notice how Shakespeare portrays the tensions between the shipwreck
survivors and their faith in divine providence.
VOCABULARY PREVIEW
abhorred [ab ho rd
] adj. hated
allay [ə la¯
] v. to calm
chide [ch ¯d] v. to scold
fen [fen] n. marsh or bog
fortitude [for
tə to¯¯¯od] n. bravery
homage [hom
ij] n. tribute
perfidious [pər fid
e¯ əs] adj. treacherous
precursors [pri kur
sərs] n. ones who go before
prerogative [pri ro
ə tiv] n. privilege
Before You Read
The Tempest Act 1
The Tempest Study Guide 13
Name  Date  Class 
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
In Act 1, Scene 2, Prospero recounts the events that brought him and Miranda to the island. The
sequence of events has important implications later in the play. Use the chart below to list these events
in chronological order. You may add or omit ovals from the chart.
Active Reading
The Tempest Act 1
Prospero and his wife rule as
Duke and Duchess of Milan.
Their only child, Miranda, is born.
14 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personal Response
What passages, images, or incidents from the first act linger in your mind?
Explain why they made an impression on you.
Analyzing Literature
Recall and Interpret
1. How does Gonzalo behave during the storm? Antonio and Sebastian? What clues to
their characters do you get in this scene?
2. How did Ariel and Caliban come to be Prospero’s servants? How do they feel about
their status?
3. What is Prospero’s emotional state at the end of Act 1? What might be a reason for it?
Name  Date  Class 
Responding
The Tempest Act 1
Responding
The Tempest Act 1
The Tempest Study Guide 15
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Analyzing Literature (continued)
Evaluate and Connect
4. In what way are Miranda and Ferdinand like characters in a fairy tale? Why might
Shakespeare have chosen to portray them in this way?
5. In the play, Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love immediately. Do you believe in “love at
first sight” in real life? What are some dangers of falling in love so fast?
Literature and Writing
Character Analysis
Ariel and Caliban are probably the two most striking characters in The Tempest. Compare and
contrast them on a separate sheet of paper, citing lines from the play to support your written
analysis. Note what kinds of words Shakespeare uses to describe each character, with what
activities and actions each is associated, and what their attitudes are toward Prospero. In what
ways are Ariel and Caliban opposites? In what ways are they similar?
Extending Your Response
Literature Groups
In the Focus Activity on page 12, if you discussed the role of physical beauty in our society. In
your literature group, take a look at how Act 1 of The Tempest addresses this issue. Pay particular
attention to Miranda’s opinions about the people she sees and meets and to Prospero’s statements
about physical appearance. Cite lines from the text that describe the connection
between physical appearance and inner worth. Also look for indications that Shakespeare may
be creating tension between the outward appearance and the inner value of characters.
Learning for Life
In Scene 2, lines 89–105, Prospero admits that he neglected his duties as a ruler. Reread this
passage and decide what major fault Prospero possessed as a ruler. Then explain what qualities
you think a modern ruler of a country or state needs. What characteristics might be especially
harmful in a modern-day ruler? Note an example of both a good and a bad leader and explain
what personal qualities he or she displays.
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FOCUS ACTIVITY
American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The less government we have, the better.” Do
you agree or disagree?
Chart It
Work with a partner to make a simple, two-column chart listing the advantages and disadvantages of
having a government.
Setting a Purpose
Read to discover what the characters in The Tempest think about government and what Shakespeare
himself might have thought.
BACKGROUND
A Golden Age?
In his speech in Scene 1 (lines 158–164), Gonzalo describes how he would govern the island if he were
king. His description is based on an essay called “Of the Cannibals” by the French philosopher Michel de
Montaigne (1533–1592). Montaigne describes the primitive people of an imaginary nation who are so
naturally good that they do not need business, written language, mathematics, justice and political systems,
money, or jobs. “The very words that import [mean] lying, falsehood, treason, dissimulation, covetousness,
envy, detraction, and pardon, were never heard amongst them,” Montaigne marvels.
Montaigne, along with Gonzalo, seems to be saying that people are inherently, or naturally, good; the
evils of society make people evil. In the world Gonzalo portrays, people do not need social conventions to
control them; their good natures automatically make them behave well. The idea of a “golden age,” in
which a perfect society exists without need of laws, dates back at least to the times of the Greek philosopher
Plato (428–348 B.C.) and the Roman poet Ovid (43 B.C.–A.D.18). Both writers described societies similar
to the one pictured by Gonzalo. In this view, society itself is the evil force that corrupts people who
are basically good.
As you read Gonzalo’s speech, ask yourself whether Shakespeare himself agrees with the idea that such
a society is possible. What evidence can you find that shows Shakespeare’s beliefs about people’s basic
natures and the influence of society and laws? For clues to the playwright’s attitude, notice how Antonio
and Sebastian react to Gonzalo, as well as which event follows Gonzalo’s speech after Alonso falls asleep.
Also pay attention to Caliban’s speeches in Scene 2.
VOCABULARY PREVIEW
abominable [ə bom
ə nəbəl] adj. dreadful
celestial [sə les
chəl] adj. heavenly
enmity [en
mə te¯] n. hostility
nimble [nim
bəl] adj. quick, alert
prate [pra¯ t] v. to chatter, gab
spendthrift [spend
thrift] n. wasteful spender
trifle [tr¯
fəl] n. insignificant thing
upbraid [up bra¯ d
] v. to scold
Before You Read
The Tempest Act 2
Active Reading
The Tempest Act 2
The Tempest Study Guide 17
Name  Date  Class 
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
In Scene 1, lines 201–291, Antonio presents several arguments to convince Sebastian to commit a crime.
Clarifying the steps of this argument will help you better understand the two characters and will also supply
information about the past events that influence the action of the play. Use the chart below to record
the series of points Antonio makes as he tries to persuade Sebastian. After writing the line, paraphrase it.
“th ¢ occasion speaks thee, and / My strong imagination sees a crown / Dropping
upon thy head ” : Now is your big chance to steal the throne.
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personal Response
Describe your reaction to Scene 2.
Analyzing Literature
Recall and Interpret
1. How would you describe the moods of Alonso, Gonzalo, Antonio, and Sebastian during
Scene 1?
2. Where were the castaways going when they were shipwrecked? Why is Alonso especially
unhappy?
3. Which character speaks in verse in Scene 2? Which characters in prose? Why might
Shakespeare have made this distinction?
4. Based on what you learned in this act, which character would you call the villain of the
play? Why? Support your answer with examples from the text.
Responding
The Tempest Act 2
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18 The Tempest Study Guide
Responding
The Tempest Act 2
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Analyzing Literature (continued)
Evaluate and Connect
5. Act 2 contains a serious scene followed by a humorous one. What are some reasons
Shakespeare might have chosen to include both kinds of scenes? Do you think that the
juxtaposition of serious and funny episodes reflects real life? Explain.
6. As The Tempest begins, Alonso has overthrown Prospero, the legitimate ruler of Milan.
Prospero himself admits early in the play that he was an inattentive ruler. Is the overthrow
of a legitimately chosen government ever acceptable? Refer to the lists you created
in the Focus Activity to remind yourself of what role a government performs in
society.
Literature and Writing
Analyze Theme
Act 2 introduces the important theme of providence, the belief that God directs all actions.
Believers in providence accept seemingly unhappy events as part of God’s plan with faith
that misfortunes will turn out to be blessings in the end. In addition, believers in providence
refuse to despair because despair indicates doubt in God’s all-powerfulness. Analyze how the
theme of providence is developed in the words and actions of Gonzalo and Alonso.
Extending Your Response
Literature Groups
This act contains two very entertaining episodes. One is Scene 1, lines 199–320, when
Antonio convinces Sebastian to kill Alonso. The other is Scene 2, lines 14–105, when
Trinculo crawls under Caliban’s cloak and is discovered by Stephano. In your group, choose
one of the scenes to read aloud. Discuss how each character feels and why. Practice capturing
the character’s emotions in your voice. Then read the scene aloud.
Music Connection
In Act 2 of The Tempest, Ariel sings to Gonzalo. Using a piano, guitar, or other musical
instrument, compose a melody to accompany Ariel’s lyrics. Perform the song for your class.
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20 The Tempest Study Guide
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FOCUS ACTIVITY
Some people say that accomplishments and acquisitions mean more to them when they have to work hard
to achieve them. Do you agree or disagree?
Quickwrite
Describe on paper an occasion when you had to work hard to achieve something. How did it make you
feel? Would the achievement have been as meaningful if you had accomplished it without hard work?
Setting a Purpose
Read to see how different characters must struggle to achieve something of value.
BACKGROUND
The Three Unities
The Tempest is unique among Shakespeare’s plays because in it he observes the three unities of drama.
These unities, or rules, which were often observed during Shakespeare’s time, are based on an interpretation
of the theories of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. According to these rules, (1) dramas should occur
in a single place; (2) the events of the play should be limited to the actual length of time it takes to act
them, or to a single day; and (3) no action should be shown that does not relate directly to the main idea
of the drama. The point of the three unities was to increase the realism of the play. Why Shakespeare
observed the three unities in The Tempest is not known. In most of his other plays, events occur on several
days and characters visit numerous settings. Some scholars have suggested that, because The Tempest contains
so much fantasy, Shakespeare may have wanted to observe the unities to help audiences suspend
their disbelief. Others have pointed to criticism that Shakespeare received for ignoring the unities; they
say he may have wanted to prove once and for all that he could follow rules if he felt like it.
Did You Know?
People of Shakespeare’s time believed that God created an orderly universe and that people should seek to
preserve God’s order. Anything that violated this order was “unnatural” and led to evil consequences.
Notice how often in the first two acts of The Tempest that the “natural order” of things is disrupted.
Nature is in disorder during the storm, and human society is in disorder because a rightful ruler has been
overthrown. In the third act, Shakespeare presents other types of disorder. In Scene 2, Stephano and
Trinculo, although they are human, fall to the level of the beast Caliban, while Caliban himself expresses
some lovely and elevated sentiments in poetry. The entire scene is a parody of the correct social order, and
to emphasize this point Shakespeare includes a series of puns on the word “nature.”
VOCABULARY PREVIEW
brine [br¯n] n. salt water
jocund [jok
ənd] adj. merry
odious [o¯
de¯ əs] adj. hateful
peerless [pe¯ r
lis] adj. without equal
sinews [sin
u¯ z] n. tendons
surfeited [sur
fit əd] adj. full, satisfied
vigilance [vij
ə ləns] n. watchfulness
Before You Read
The Tempest Act 3
Name  Date  Class 
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Act 3 of The Tempest contains numerous images of nature and natural elements such as the sea, winds,
sounds, and other natural processes. As you read, use this cluster diagram to record words and phrases that
create this imagery. Include the scene and line numbers, as shown in the example.
Active Reading
The Tempest Act 3
The Tempest Study Guide 21
Nature
When this burns / ¢Twill
weep for having wearied
you (1, 18-19)
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personal Response
What went through your mind at the end of the Act 3?
In your journal, describe your reactions to the banquet scene and to Ariel’s stern speech.
Analyzing Literature
Recall and Interpret
1. What is Prospero’s goal in letting Miranda and Ferdinand get to know each other? What
will Prospero gain by the arrangement?
2. What plan does Caliban suggest for killing Prospero? What earlier scene does this echo?
3. What terrible realization does Alonso have at the end of Act 3 about his conduct toward
Prospero and what he believes to be Ferdinand’s fate? What does he decide to do? How
is nature involved in his realization?
Responding
The Tempest Act 3
Name  Date  Class 
22 The Tempest Study Guide
Responding
The Tempest Act 3
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Analyzing Literature (continued)
Evaluate and Connect
4. Caliban’s speech that begins “Be not afeared . . . “ (Scene 2, lines 130–138) is one of the
best-known in the play. Paraphrase the speech. Then evaluate it for what it reveals about
Caliban as a character in the play and as poetry.
5. In the Focus Activity on page 20, you wrote about how hard work makes an accomplishment
or acquisition more meaningful. Why does Ferdinand continue to do a task he
feels is beneath his dignity as a prince? Do you feel that certain kinds of work have more
value than others? Explain your answer.
Literature and Writing
Contrast Characters
In Act 3, what motivates Miranda to vow that she will serve Ferdinand? What motivates
Caliban to promise that he will serve Stephano? In a few paragraphs, contrast Miranda’s and
Caliban’s motivations, and explain how the contrast helps develop the theme of divine order.
Extending Your Response
Literature Groups
Ariel’s speech to the “three men of sin” during the banquet in Scene 3 is an important one.
Examine this passage, paying attention to imagery of nature and natural disorder, and to
what Alonso and Gonzalo say. What is the religious message of the passage, and how does it
relate to the themes of guilt, repentance, and forgiveness? Discuss these questions in your
group, then explain your conclusions to others.
Learning for Life
In The Tempest, Miranda and Ferdinand, the younger generation, play a role in healing the
conflicts between members of the older generation, for example, Prospero and Alonso. In
your group, discuss if and how this happens in real life. What contributions can members of
your generation make to healing conflicts between older generations, both in your personal
sphere and throughout the world?
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The Tempest Study Guide 23
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FOCUS ACTIVITY
Self-discipline and self-control are important qualities that are learned over time. How do you convince
yourself to exercise self-control when you are tempted to do something you shouldn’t?
List Ideas
Think of a time in your life when exercising self-control really paid off. Do not disclose the specifics, but
use this situation as a basis for creating a list of general steps to follow that would help a person assess a
situation, examine potential consequences, and exercise self-control.
Setting a Purpose
Read to find out what Prospero has to say about the conflict between a person’s appetites and self-control.
BACKGROUND
The Masque: Special Effects, Seventeenth-Century Style
Act 4 of The Tempest includes a masque, a dramatic entertainment popular in England during the sixteenth
century. The masque usually featured splendid sets, gorgeous costumes, spectacular stage effects, dancers and
musicians, and complicated, highly poetic speeches spoken by actors wearing fanciful masks. Plots were
simple and were often based on stories from Greek and Roman mythology. The characters were usually
either gods and goddesses or symbolic representations of qualities such as virtues and vices. Masques were
often presented in honor of special occasions like weddings or coronations.
VOCABULARY PREVIEW
abstemious [ab ste¯
me¯ əs] adj. moderate, sparing
barren [bar
ən] adj. infertile
compensation [kom´ pən sa¯
shən] n. payment; something
given in return for a debt
deity [de¯
ə te¯ ] n. god
disdain [dis da¯n
] n. scorn
mute [mu¯ t] adj. unable or unwilling to speak
oracle [o r ə kəl] n. fortune-teller
rabble [rab
əl] n. unruly crowd
vexed [vekst] adj. troubled
Before You Read
The Tempest Act 4
Name  Date  Class 
24 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The wedding masque in Act 4 provides a break from the main action of the play. However, its characters
reflect themes that are prominent in The Tempest and are associated with ideas important to the main
action. Use the chart on this page to keep track of the ideas and symbolic values associated with the main
characters in the masque.
Active Reading
The Tempest Act 4
Name  Date  Class 
The Tempest Study Guide 25
Iris
messenger of
the gods
Juno Venus and Cupid
Ceres
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personal Response
How did you feel when Prospero says, at the end of Act 4, “At this hour / Lies at my mercy
all mine enemies”?
Do you think that Prospero will take revenge on the men who wronged him? Why or why not?
Analyzing Literature
Recall and Interpret
1. Summarize Prospero’s warning to Ferdinand and Miranda at the beginning of Act 4.
What characters have been guilty of the weakness Prospero warns against?
2. What is the occasion for the masque? What images dominate the speeches? Why is this
imagery appropriate to the occasion?
3. What does Caliban begin to realize about Stephano at the end of Act 4? What did
Caliban think of Stephano earlier in the play?
Responding
The Tempest Act 4
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26 The Tempest Study Guide
Responding
The Tempest Act 4
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Analyzing Literature (continued)
Evaluate and Connect
4. Some readers believe that the long masque that dominates this act detracts from the
action of the play and seems unrelated to the plot. Do you agree? Support your answer
with evidence from the text.
5. The beginning of this act, along with parts of the masque, concerns two of the play’s key
themes, the importance of self-control and the conflict between reason and passion.
Review your answer to the Focus Activity. In what ways has Prospero himself not
always shown the complete self-control he praises? How might one achieve a balance
between self-control and creative passion?
Literature and Writing
Ananlyze Character
Prospero’s speech beginning “Our revels now are ended” indicates his psychological state.
What is the magician’s mood at this point in the play? Examine the text to analyze Prospero’s
thoughts and feelings about himself, his art, and his accomplishments. Write at least two paragraphs
to analyze Prospero’s psychological state. Use specific examples to support your analysis.
Extending Your Response
Literature Groups
Compare your responses to the Active Reading activity on page 25 with those of others in
your group. As a group, come to a consensus about the values associated with each of the
major figures in the masque and their relation to the themes of The Tempest as a whole.
Then present your consensus to others in your class.
Internet Connection
Prospero calls Caliban “a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick.” He is referring
to the debate over the relative influences of education and society (nurture) and the
traits, personality, and abilities we are born with (nature). Modern-day terms for these two
important influences are environment (nurture) and heredity (nature). Use the Internet to
research modern theories about the nature-nurture dichotomy. Which has a greater role in
determining who we are: heredity or the environment? Discuss these questions in your group.
Present your findings to your class.
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The Tempest Study Guide 27
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FOCUS ACTIVITY
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” You have probably heard this saying before, which is actually a line
from Alexander Pope’s long poem Essay on Criticism. What does this saying mean to you?
Think-Pair-Share
With a partner, discuss different kinds of experiences and situations in which forgiveness is a virtue.
Describe the effects of forgiveness on both the one who forgives and the one forgiven.
Setting a Purpose
Read to find out about the effects of forgiveness on both the major characters in The Tempest.
BACKGROUND
Shakespeare’s Farewell
One interpretation of The Tempest identifies Prospero with William Shakespeare himself. Like Prospero,
Shakespeare was an imaginative artist, a kind of magician who created characters and dramas to entertain
and enlighten. Believers in an autobiographical interpretation of The Tempest identify Ariel with
Shakespeare’s soaring genius, Caliban with his earthly appetites, and the enslavement of Caliban with
Shakespeare’s own self-control and discipline. In this interpretation, Prospero’s long speech that begins
“Ye elves of hills” (Scene 1, lines 33–57) is known as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage. In the speech,
Prospero describes the great feats of magic he has performed. Then he renounces his magical powers, vowing
to break his staff and throw his book of charms into the sea. While it is probably true that
Shakespeare’s retirement from the theater left him with some of the same divided and melancholy feelings
that Prospero expresses, Prospero’s feelings are completely understandable on their own in the context of
the play.
Is It Over?
After The Tempest ends, you’ll find that the play is not quite over. An epilogue is delivered by one of the
actors. Such epilogues occur in other plays by Shakespeare, including As You Like It, All’s Well That Ends
Well, and Henry IV, part 2. Some scholars believe that the epilogue to The Tempest is inferior writing and
was added by another writer.
VOCABULARY PREVIEW
auspicious [o s pish
əs] adj. favorable
chastise [chas t¯z
] v. to punish
discourse [dis
ko rs´] n. conversation; discussion
nuptial [nup
shəl] n. marriage
promontory [prom
ən to r´e¯ ] n. mountain top
rapier [ra¯
pe¯ ər] n. small dagger
score [sko r] n. twenty
Before You Read
The Tempest Act 5
Name  Date  Class 
28 The Tempest Study Guide
The Tempest Study Guide 29
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
In Act 5, several of the plot complications in the play are brought to resolution. Characters gain new
knowledge, earlier mysteries are explained, and events foreshadowed (hinted at) in the opening scenes
come to pass. As you read, use the chart below to note how the plot developments listed are resolved.
Name  Date  Class 
Active Reading
The Tempest Act 5
1. Pinr ohsisp eproow’se re.nemies are completely He decides to forgive them.
2. Prospero has accomplished everything
with his art that he wants.
3. Prospero tells Antonio and Sebastian that
he knows they tried to kill Alonso.
4. Alonso grieves because he believes
Ferdinand was drowned.
5. Alonso wonders if the girl with Ferdinand
is a goddess.
6. The shipwrecked courtiers believe that
the ship sank with all its sailors.
7. The courtiers wonder what happened to
Stephano and Trinculo.
8. Caliban has taken Stephano for his lord
and master.
9. Ariel has longed for freedom.
Developments Resolution
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personal Response
What do you think of the ending of the play and the epilogue?
If you had written the play, would you have ended it differently? Explain your answer.
Analyzing Literature
Recall and Interpret
1. How are Ferdinand and Miranda revealed to the others? How does the language and
imagery used reflect the theme of rebirth and regeneration?
2. What ironic comment does Prospero make when Miranda marvels at the “brave new
world” (Scene 1, line 186)? What do you think he means by this comment?
3. What significant gesture does Antonio not make at the end of the play? What might
Shakespeare be saying about the power of art by this omission?
Responding
The Tempest Act 5
Name  Date  Class 
30 The Tempest Study Guide
Responding
The Tempest Act 5
The Tempest Study Guide 31
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Analyzing Literature (continued)
Evaluate and Connect
4. In many ways Prospero is similar to a god. In other ways, he is not. List characteristics
that make him seem both like and unlike a god. Then decide what Shakespeare thought
about Prospero’s godlike status. Use the evidence you list to support your position.
5. Prospero forgives all of the men who have wronged him, even those who have not
repented. Was he right or wrong to forgive all of them? In the Focus Activity, you
shared experiences about forgiveness. Apply your answer to real life. Under what circumstances
should people convicted of crimes be paroled or pardoned?
Literature and Writing
Turning Point
Reread the dialogue between Prospero and Ariel at the beginning of Act 5 (lines 20–32). At
this point, Ariel describes how, if he were human, his affections would become tender at the
sight of Gonzalo weeping for Alonso. In what way might this be considered the turning
point of the play? What does Prospero realize and then decide to do? On a separate sheet of
paper analyze these lines and summarize Prospero’s chain of reasoning. Then explain how
events earlier in the play have led up to this moment.
Extending Your Response
Literature Groups
Unless characters in a play speak an “aside,” the audience may not understand what the characters
are secretly thinking. In your group, choose one of the characters who appear in Act 5.
For the character you choose, write an aside that reveals what the character is secretly thinking.
Share your aside with the rest of the class and explain why you think it is appropriate to
the character.
Learning for Life
Prospero uses his art in the play for a number of purposes: to restore the moral order; to bring
about changes in other people; to help sinners recognize their wickedness and repent their evil
deeds; and to instruct others about virtue. However, all of these positive changes take place on
the enchanted island, not in Milan and Naples. Do you believe these kinds of changes are also
possible in the real world? With a partner, find examples of how Prospero’s art achieves positive
results. Then discuss what real-life powers have this ability to change people, their behavior,
and society. Support your opinion with evidence from history and current events.
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Personal Response
Would you recommend this play to friends? Why or why not?
Writing About the Play
Do you feel that the play has a happy ending? Why or why not? Support your answer with
evidence from the text. You may want to focus on such elements as the meaning of Prospero’s
decision to return to Milan and his key speeches in the last act, the attitude of Antonio, the
future of Ferdinand and Miranda, and the freedom granted to Ariel and Caliban.
Responding
The Tempest
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32 The Tempest Study Guide
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Before You Read
Focus Question
Have you ever acted in a play? If so, how did you come to understand the character you played? How
might you apply this skill when reading literature?
Background
In this interview with freelance writer Patrick Pacheco, actor Patrick Stewart and director George Wolfe
discuss their 1995 stage production of The Tempest. In the interview, both men discuss what their first
experiences with Shakespeare were and how together they developed the character of Prospero.
Responding to the Reading
1. Patrick Stewart notes that his brother read some of Shakespeare’s plays to him as bedtime stories. Do you
think most children who are eight- or nine-years-old would enjoy Shakespeare’s stories? Why or why not?
2. Do you agree with Wolfe that Prospero was a “control freak”? Support your answer with examples
from the play.
3. Making Connections Does Stewart’s choice to say the phrase “My Brother!” in an explosive manner
change your perspective about the play? In what way? Do you agree with his choice? Why or why not?
Learning for Life
People still enjoy Shakespeare’s plays four hundred years after they were written. Make a list of five books,
plays, or movies that you think people will still be interested in reading or seeing two hundred years from
now, and explain your choices. Compare your choices with those of the other students.
Name  Date  Class 
Two Control Freaks Take
on Shakespeare Patrick Pacheco
The Tempest Study Guide 33
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Before You Read
Focus Question
If you were presenting a play with Caliban as a major character, how would you make him look?
Background
Staging sets the mood for a play and tells the audience members how they should interpret what they
hear. Equally important is how certain roles are played out on the stage. Editor Sylvan Barnet describes
various productions of The Tempest and a number of ways Caliban has been played over the centuries. In
Caliban’s Hour, fantasy author Tad Williams offers a different view of Caliban. Both readings reflect the
times in which they were produced.
Responding to the Reading
1. Which kind of production would you prefer to see, “plain” or “fancy”? Why?
2. Which kind of production would you prefer to stage, “plain” or “fancy”? Why?
3. Do you think it is important to perform a play exactly as the author wrote it? Explain.
4. Making Connections Which interpretation of Caliban’s part do you like best? If you were to stage the
play, how would you present Caliban?
Perform a Scene
Working in small groups, choose a scene to stage from The Tempest. Present the set as a model, a video, a
sketch or series of sketches, a storyboard, or a live performance. Present your set to the class.
Name  Date  Class 
The Tempest on the Stage Sylvan Barnet
from Caliban’s Hour Tad Williams
34 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Before You Read
Focus Question
What story currently in the news would make a good movie?
Background
Scholars believed that Shakespeare may have based The Tempest on a shipwreck that occurred in 1609. He
read two eyewitness accounts of the incident, one an unpublished letter written by William Strachey and
the other a work by Silvester Jourdain. Jourdain’s account, by far the shorter of the two, is reproduced here.
As you read it, imagine how Shakespeare might have scrutinized it for background information for his play.
Responding To The Reading
1. In Jourdain’s account, what facts or descriptions struck you as being especially vivid or interesting?
Include at least three.
2. What did the travelers expect Bermuda to be like? What did they think of the island after they
arrived there?
3. Which was easier for you to read, The Tempest or A Discovery of the Bermudas? Why?
4. Making Connections What similarities do you see between Jourdain’s description of the storm and
Shakespeare’s depiction of it?
Yesterday’s News
Working in small groups, rewrite Jourdain’s story as a newspaper or TV news story. Include drawings,
maps, interviews with survivors, or other features to dramatize your report. Present your work to the class.
Name  Date  Class 
A Discovery of the
Bermudas, Otherwise Called
the Isle of Devils
Silvester Jourdain
The Tempest Study Guide 35
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Before You Read
Focus Question
How would you react if someone refused to give you credit for something you had done well? Why?
Background
Who wrote Shakespeare’s plays? At first the question seems akin to asking who is buried in President
Grant’s tomb. The answer seems so obvious that the question seems ridiculous. But the authorship of
Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets has been the subject of a long and enduring dispute. In this reading,
famed American author Mark Twain explains his doubts about whether Shakespeare could have written
the plays attributed to him.
Responding to the Reading
1. What reason does Mark Twain give for changing his opinion about the authorship of Shakespeare’s
plays?
2. Briefly sum up Twain’s arguments. Do you think the arguments are convincing?
3. In your opinion, is it important to know who wrote the plays? Explain.
4. Making Connections Describe a particular scene or character in The Tempest that you think showcases
Shakespeare’s talents as a writer. Explain your choice.
Internet Connection
What do today’s scholars think about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays? Use the Internet to research
the controversy. Form an opinion and defend it in a brief oral report to your class.
Name  Date  Class 
from Is Shakespeare Dead?
Mark Twain
36 The Tempest Study Guide
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Before You Read
Focus Question
Have you ever had a close call in which you narrowly escaped physical danger? How did you react? How
does it feel to recall that incident now?
Background
Imagine the fear and danger involved in a real shipwreck. Editor Clarissa M. Silitch has compiled a series of
true stories, including “Those Huddled Masses,” about actual shipwrecks that have occurred over the years.
Responding to the Reading
1. What caused the Danmark to founder?
2. How were the passengers aboard the Danmark rescued?
3. Making Connections Based on their actions during the shipwreck in The Tempest, how do you think
Sebastian and Antonio might have handled themselves on the Danmark when it was going down?
Learning for Life
Pick two people involved in the shipwreck that you would like to interview. Make up a list of ten
questions that you would like to ask.
Name  Date  Class 
“Those Huddled Masses”
Tim Clark
The Tempest Study Guide 37

GREAT LAKES SHIPWRECKS

January 17, 2008

Great Lakes, Great Stories:
Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
October 6 – December 2, 2007
TEACHER RESOURCES
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Introduction
Welcome to Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage at the Macomb Cultural Center. Students will discover both the universal and the unique about these fantastic and beautiful bodies of water through a series of exhibits employing video, audio, photos, posters and artifacts about the Lakes. Great Lakes, Great Stories covers Michigan history and life on the lakes throughout the years, as well as the evolution of the shipping industry and the changing role of lighthouses on the lakes; it also shows how people use the lakes today, and what we can all do to preserve our Great Lakes.
Diverse topics include: geology, the shipping industry, history of Native Americans in the area and their relationship with Europeans, lighthouses on the Lakes, famous shipwrecks, conservation and preservation of the Great Lakes.
This packet of information is designed to assist teachers in making the most of their students’ visit to the Macomb Cultural Center. Contained in the packet are:
1) An outline of the exhibit
2) Great Lakes facts, information and related activities
3) Lesson plans related to The Great Lakes
4) Websites for Great Lakes research
5) A resource list with addresses and information
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
October 6-December 2, 2007
Table of Contents
Page
Part I: Exhibit Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Part II: Great Lakes Facts and Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
What Makes the Great Lakes Great? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Geology and Glacial Formation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Great Lakes Superhighway: The Shipping Industry on the Great Lakes. . . . . . . . . 12
Important Events in the History of Watercraft on the Lakes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
The Mackinac Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Lighthouses: Caution Lights of the Superhighway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Lifesaving and Rescue Stations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Pilothouse: The Ship’s Navigation Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Part III: Lesson Plans for the Classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Michigan History on a String . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
When Glaciers Covered Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Where did Michigan’s First People Live? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Canoe Routes of Native Americans in Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Make a Lighthouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Great Lakes Shipping: The Story of the Edmund Fitzgerald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Water Quantity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Part IV: Websites for Further Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Part V: More Great Lakes Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
October 6-December 2, 2007
PART I: EXHIBIT OUTLINE
Welcome to Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
• Dive into the history, legacy and romance of the Great Lakes.
• Discover how these remarkable lakes at the heart of North America shaped our state…and our southeast Michigan community.
• Delve into their very beginnings, from the prehistoric formation by glaciers to today’s challenges and successes in preserving this precious environmental and cultural resources.
Our displays and exhibits highlight:
~ Carving Out North America’s Interior Coast
~ Great Lakes as the Maritime Superhighway
~ Lighthouses: Caution Lights of the Superhighway
~ Shipwrecks: The Challenge of the Lakes’ Great Gales
~ Great Lakes Ecology and Preservation
PART II: GREAT LAKES FACTS AND INFORMATION
What Makes the Great Lakes Great?
The Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario — and their connecting channels form the largest fresh surface water system on earth. If you stood on the moon, you could see the lakes and recognize the familiar shape. Covering more than 94,000 square miles, these freshwater seas hold an estimated 6 quadrillion gallons of water, about one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water supply. This system greatly affects our way of life, as well as all aspects of the natural environment, from weather and climate, to wildlife and habitat. Yet for all their size and power, the Great Lakes are fragile. In the past, this fragile nature wasn’t recognized, and the lakes were mistreated for economic gain, placing the ecosystem under tremendous stress from our activities. Today, we understand that our health and our children’s inheritance depend on our collective efforts to wisely manage our complex ecosystem.
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lake Huron
Lake Huron is the third largest of the lakes by volume, with 850 cubic miles of water. Lake Huron is connected to Lake Michigan, joined together by the wide Straits of Mackinac. The Huron lakeshore extends 3,827 miles, and is characterized by shallow, sandy beaches and the rocky shores of Georgian Bay. The lake measures 206 miles across and 183 miles north to south, with an average depth of 195 feet (approximately 750 feet, maximum). Shoreline map of Lake Huron courtesy of NOAA
Did you know…
Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron is recorded as the largest freshwater island in the world covering 1,068 square miles? Part of the Canadian province of Ontario, Manitoulin is located in the northern half of Lake Huron. It separates Georgian Bay and the lower portion of Lake Huron.
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is similar to Lake Erie in length and breadth (193 miles by 53 miles). Yet with its greater average depth (approximately 283 feet), Lake Ontario holds almost four times the volume (395 cubic miles). Shoreline map of Lake Ontario courtesy of NOAA.
Did you know…
The Welland Canal connects Lakes Ontario and Erie? The canal was necessary because the Niagara River, the natural connection between the lakes, has impassable falls and rapids (Niagara Falls, to name one). Therefore, the canal forms an important link for the shipping industry in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan, the second largest Great Lake by volume with just under 1,180 cubic miles of water. Approximately 118 miles wide and 307 miles long, Lake Michigan has more than 1,600 miles of shoreline. Averaging 279 feet in depth, the lake reaches 925 feet at its deepest point. Shoreline map of Lake Michigan courtesy of NOAA.
Did you know…
Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake contained completely within the United States? All other Great Lakes share a border with Canada.
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes in volume (119 cubic miles) and is exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. Measuring 241 miles across and 57 miles from north to south, the lake’s surface is just under 10,000 square miles, with 871 miles of shoreline. The average depth of Lake Erie is only about 62 feet (210 feet, maximum) making it the warmest of the Great Lakes. Shoreline map of Lake Erie courtesy of NOAA.
Did you know…
Up to 90 percent of Lake Erie freezes during the winter? This is the most of any of the Great Lakes, however, wind and water movement over bodies of water as large and deep as the Great Lakes make it unlikely the lakes have ever frozen over completely for any significant length of time.
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lake Superior
Not only is Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes, it also has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in the world. It could fill all the other Great Lakes plus three additional Lake Eries. With an average depth approaching 500 feet, Superior also is the coldest and deepest (1,332 feet, maximum) of the Great Lakes. The lake stretches approximately 350 miles from west to east, and 160 miles north to south, with a shoreline almost 2,800 miles long. Shoreline map of Lake Superior courtesy of NOAA.
Did you know…
Lake Superior was given the name Kitchi-gummi (or Gitchee Gumee) by the Chippewa, also known as Ojibwe Indians that made their home on the lands surrounding the lake? The term means Great-water or Great-lake.
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Great Lakes Geology
14,000 Years Ago
* The Laurentide glacier began retreating and melting resulting in the formation of the Great Lakes
* When the glaciers melted, the “meltwater” filled huge holes left by the glaciers

9,000 Years Ago
* The first inhabitants of the Great Lakes basin arrived crossing the land bridge from Asia or South America

7,000 Years Ago
* Descendants of the first settlers were using copper from the south shore of Lake Superior and establishing hunting and fishing communities

4,000 Years Ago
* Lake levels dropped to the current levels they are today
* Sleeping Bear Dunes formed
Carving Out North America’s Interior Coast
About a billion years ago, a fracture in the earth running from what is now Oklahoma to Lake Superior generated volcanic activity that almost split North America. Over a period of 20 million years, lava intermittently flowed from the fracture. Molten magma below the highlands of what is now Lake Superior spewed out to its sides, causing the highlands to sink and form a mammoth rock basin that would one day hold Lake Superior. The region went from fire to ice with the arrival of the glaciers, which advanced and retreated several times over the last 5 million years.
Sources: Introducing Michigan’s Past: An Overview for Teachers, Michigan History Magazine
http://www.michigan.gov/hal
http://www.great-lakes.net
http://www.abouthegreatlakes.com
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Great Lakes Super Highway: the Shipping Industry of the Great Lakes
Shipping on the Great Lakes began in 1679 when the first ship to sail the upper lakes, the Griffon, was launched. By the mid-19th century, the bulk shipping industry had begun on the Great Lakes with the transport of iron ore, wheat and coal. The late 19th century was the Golden Age of Great Lakes shipping when the lines of ships moving up and down the lakes were similar to the bumper-to-bumper traffic of today’s urban roadways. The “Era of Elegance” came alive in the first half of the 20th century, as passengers enjoyed traveling the Great Lakes aboard grand steamships. Since then, the number of ships on the Great Lakes has declined, but U.S. and Canadian ships as well as dozens of international vessels still regularly travel through the lakes carrying primarily iron ore, coal and limestone.
A “thousand-footer” freighter can carry the equivalent cargo of 700 train cars.
Important Events in the History of Watercraft on the Lakes
1600 – The water craft of people indigenous to the Great Lakes region included bark and dugout canoes, skin boats, and simple rafts. Under the French and English, birch bark canoes became the workhorse of the fur trade.
1679 – Robert Sieur de La Salle built the 45-ton Griffon on the Niagara River. It was the first large sailing vessel on the upper Great Lakes. After being laden with furs in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the ship disappeared with all hands on the return trip to Niagara.
1740 – The French had four ships on Lake Ontario.
1770 – 16 vessels sailed the Great Lakes on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
1797 – The first American vessel built on Lake Erie was constructed and named the Washington.
1816 – Steam vessels were introduced to the lakes.
1818 – The Walk-in-the-Water was the first steamer on Lake Erie, and established a regular route to Detroit.
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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1825 – The Erie Canal opened, linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie, opening a critical link to the west. As a result commerce in the Great Lakes region grew as well as burgeoning passenger traffic. Large numbers of eastern settlers moved to the Great Lakes region, as well as foreign immigrants coming to this country by way of Canada or the American East Coast.
1841 – The first propeller steamship, the 138-ton Vandalia, operated on the Great Lakes, ushering in a new era in lake navigation.
1844 – The era of the “Palace Steamers” emerged with 25 of these 300 ft. beautifully appointed, lavish vessels operating on the lakes. Most of them ran from Buffalo to Detroit or Chicago and operated in tandem with the emerging railroad system.
1855 – The steamer Illinois became the first boat to pass through the Soo Locks, a canal that bypassed the rapids of the St. Mary’s River connecting travel between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.
1856 – The Soo Locks released a flood of copper and iron ore from the western UP that was an important factor in winning the Civil War and fueled the American Industrial Revolution in the days after the war. The first cargo of iron ore ever shipped from the Lake Superior region was transported by the steamer Ontonagon from the Cleveland Iron Mining Company. There were 107 steamers, 135 propellers, 56 barques, 108 brigs, 850 schooners for a total of 1,256 ships on the lakes.
1857 – The Panic of 1857 ruined passenger business on the lakes, and the entire fleet of Palace Steamers withdrew from service. Railroads crossed the country and cut into the profitable freight businesses on the lakes.
1865 – After the Panic of 1857, many of the idle passenger steamships were converted into lumber barges, and a new class of small, specialized screw-steamer tugboats evolved including the 115-foot Trader built at Marine City on the St. Clair River. These tugs assisted the schooners that needed towing up and down rivers, and into harbors. Nearly 600 steambarges were built between 1870 and 1900.
1890 – Sailing craft were entirely displaced by steamers, except in the lumber trade.
1902 – The most important milestone for the Great Lakes bulk carriers was the development of the self-unloading equipment. It was first installed on the Hennepin and integrated into the Wyandotte in 1908.
1930 – Three quarters of the passenger lines were out of business, struggling under reduced schedules, or reduced to tourist-only or railroad-only traffic.
1968 – Poe Lock (part of the Soo Locks) was re-built after the Saint Lawrence Seaway opened. It can handle ships carrying 72,000 tons of cargo. The Poe is the only lock that can handle the 1000 foot freighters used on the upper lakes.
1981 – Paul R. Tregurtha is launched as the longest ship on the lakes at 1,013 feet.
2007 – Where once there were thousands of ships carrying passengers and cargoes, there are now only about 80 active bulk carriers, and several dozen local ferries on the Great Lakes today.
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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The Mackinac Bridge
Hailed as one of the most outstanding engineering achievements of the century, the Mackinac Bridge celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with much to celebrate. Designed by Dr. David B. Steinman, the “Mighty Mac” is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world, and the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Rising 552 feet (55 stories!) above the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet, this steel superstructure officially opened to traffic on November 1, 1957.
Before the Mackinac Bridge was constructed, travelers between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas had to cross the Straits via ferry, a ride which on busy summer weekends or the start of hunting season in the fall, would have carloads of weary travelers waiting in line for as long as 24 hours to catch a ferry! The 100 millionth crossing of the bridge took place on June 25, 1998.
Sources: http://www.great-lakes.net; http://www.mackinacbridge.org
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Lighthouses: Caution Lights of the Superhighway
In 1825 the first lighthouse was constructed in what would become the state of Michigan. Built on Lake Huron, the Fort Gratiot Light was named for a nearby military outpost. Over the next 170 years the nature of Great Lakes navigation, the kinds of ships on the lakes, and the cargoes being hauled over water would change, however, the lights themselves remain beacons in the night that aid sailors throughout the Great Lakes.
Lighthouse Design and Construction
Between 1852 and 1860 twenty-six new lights were erected on the Great Lakes. The Civil War and its aftermath greatly slowed construction of new lights during the 1860s. By the beginning of the twentieth century the Lighthouse Board oversaw 334 major lights, 67 fog signals, and 563 buoys on the Great Lakes. Throughout the early years of the twentieth century the Lighthouse Board and the new Lighthouse Service continued to build new lights. By 1925 virtually all of the Great Lakes lighthouses that exist today had been constructed.
The Lights
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Michigan’s lighthouses generally used an Argand lamp that burned whale oil. A far superior apparatus was introduced by French physicist Augustin Fresnel in 1822. Looking a bit like a beehive, the Fresnel lens was a bright, single beam of light that was far superior to anything else available in its day. A variety of different lights replaced the Fresnel lens and over time electricity became the new standard for lighthouses and other illuminated navigational aids.
The Keepers
Beginning with the lighting of the Fort Gratiot Light in 1825, lighthouse keepers kept the lights lit each night. Although a keeper’s work was sometimes glamorized in the press, the daily tasks of a keeper were very routine in an often isolated, uncomfortable setting. A typical day at a lighthouse was filled with cleaning, fixing, and recording, as well standing watch and making sure the light burned brightly. Automation eventually replaced keepers and in 1983 Michigan’s last keeper-tended light was automated. Today all the lights on the lakes are maintained through occasional visits by Coast Guard maintenance crews and many groups are committed to the effort of maintaining and preserving the Beacons in the Night around the Great Lakes.
Lighthouse Preservation
Beacons are now subjected to deterioration by the elements and vandalism. Many have been saved and are private homes, museums, or part of a county, state or national park site for recreational use. Numerous lights also still play an important role as private aides to navigation for small craft. Here are some things you can do to make a difference.
􀂃 Educate Yourself. Read about lighthouse history and preservation methods. Learn about laws and regulations governing the lighthouse disposal process and lighthouse ownership. Keep track of information you find in the newspaper, in magazines, or at workshops and conferences. Contact the Michigan Lighthouse Project to obtain information about the lighthouse transfer process, funding opportunities and more.
􀂃 Visit Lighthouses. The best way to learn about Michigan’s lighthouses is to actually see them. While you are there, offer a donation for lighthouse upkeep or for the small museums and historical societies housed in several of these landmarks.
􀂃 Get Involved. Join a local nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the lighthouse of your choice. Ask how you can participate by donating your time, goods or money to the group. In addition, join national and statewide preservation advocacy groups such as the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, or the the National Trust for Historic Preservation to keep abreast of current issues related to lighthouse preservation. Attend their meetings and conferences and read their newsletters and other mailings. They can be reached at the following addresses:
Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association 206 Lake Street P. O. Box 219 Mackinaw City, MI 49701 (231) 436-5580 (231) 436-5466 (fax)
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E-mail: gllka@aol.com
Michigan Historic Preservation Network 107 E. Grand River Avenue Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 371-8080 (517) 371-9090 (fax)
E-mail: info@mhpn.org
National Trust for Historic Preservation 1785 Massachusetts Avenue Washington, D.C. 20036
􀂃 Buy a Lighthouse License Plate. With its striking red-and-white stripes, the White Shoal Lighthouse is set against the blue waters of Lake Michigan to symbolize the need to preserve Michigan’s lighthouses. The legend on the plate reads “SAVE OUR LIGHTS.” A portion of the cost of this Michigan fund-raising license plate introduced in 2001 supports lighthouse preservation.
Source: Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Life Saving and Rescue Stations
Sailing and navigation on the Great Lakes has proven to be hazardous. The U. S. Life Saving Service was established in 1849 “for the better preservation of life and property from shipwrecks,” under the supervision of the Revenue Marine Corps. Their duties included the rescue of crew, passengers, and cargo ships in disasters as well as assisting in salvage operations. When the U. S. Coast Guard was created in 1915, it took over the responsibilities of the U.S. Life Saving Service.
Did you know…
* in 1871 Sumner Kimball was appointed as the Chief of the Revenue Marine Division of the Department of the Treasury and recommended the establishment of lifesaving stations on the Great Lakes?
* the organization of the Life-Saving Service was authorized by Congress in 1874 into 12 districts, including 3 on the Great Lakes?
* in 1878 these lifesaving stations became a separate agency of the Department of the Treasury known as the United States Life-Saving Service?
* the United States Life-Saving Service enabled the shipping industry to rapidly grow on the Great Lakes?
* when the United States Life-Saving Service ended in 1915, 63 Great Lakes stations were in operation?
* during the years of its operation, the Great Lakes Life-Saving Service contended with 9,763 disasters, saving 55,639 people and $110,038,860 in property?
* over the course of the United States Life-Saving Service, 20 brave employees gave their lives while performing their duties?
* the organization that Mr. Kimball formed, provided the basis for the new search and rescue organization of the U.S. Coast Guard?
Sources: Bowling Green State University and the Library of Congress
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Macomb Cultural Center – October-December 2007
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Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes
In the decades since LaSalle’s Griffon was lost on Lake Huron, literally hundreds of vessels large and small have met disastrous ends on the Great Lakes and their connecting waterways. Each represents more than a shipwreck – each is the story of a valiant fight for survival against the forces of wind, waves, fog, fire, snow and ice. The Lakes themselves tell the story.
Lake Erie
The worst disasters on Lake Erie:
• the burning of the passenger steamer, Erie, on August 9, 1841, with the loss of about 150 lives
• the burning of the passenger steamer, G. P. Griffith, on June 17, 1850, with about 250 lives lost
• the sinking of the passenger steamer, Atlantic, after a collision with the steamer Ogdensburg, on August 20 1852, with about 175 lives lost.
The first steam vessel on the upper Great Lakes was a ship named Walk-in-the-Water built in 1818. She ran for only three years before a severe Lake Erie storm destroyed her in 1821.
Lake Huron
The story of LaSalle’s ship Griffon, the first ship on the upper Great Lakes, has been told often in the last three centuries. Constructed in 1679, it ventured through the Detroit River, up through Lake Huron and into Green Bay area of Lake Michigan to pick up a load of furs before it sailed into mystery and history on the return journey.
The worst marine disasters on Lake Huron include:
• the loss of the steamer, Pewabic, in a collision with her sister ship, the Meteor, off Alpena on August 9, 1865; about 100 lives lost
• the sinking of the steamship, Asia, in Georgian Bay waters, September 14, 1882 with the loss of 123 people.
The worst Great Lakes storm in recorded history did its most damage on Lake Huron on November 8 – 11, 1913. Eight steel freighters and their entire crews were lost; three have never been located.
Lake Michigan
There are approximately 950 shipwrecks in Lake Michigan. The first shipwreck on Lake Michigan was the schooner, Hercules, wrecked in 1818 with all hands. By the time a Native American group found the human remains along the Chicago shoreline a few days later, wolves and bears had mutilated the bodies beyond recognition.
Lake Michigan has had more than its fair share of tragic ship losses including:
• the sinking of the steamer Lady Elgin after a collision with the schooner Augusta, September 8, 1860 with about 300 lives lost
• the steamer Seabird caught fire on April 9, 1868 with over 100 lost lives
• the steamer Phoenix caught fire near Sheboygan, Wisconsin on November 21, 1847 while carrying 250 Dutch settlers to the western frontier, killing 200 men, women and children
• the steamer Alpena went missing in a storm near Holland, Michigan on October 15, 1880 killing all 80 on board.
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Lake Ontario
Two-thirds or more of the shipwrecks that occurred on Lake Ontario during the schooner and early steam era, took place in areas of treacherous shoals and bars such as Psychic Shoal, Gull Bar and Poplar Bar. These areas contain the wrecks of a number of two and three-masted schooners, brigantines, barges and steamers including:
• the Manola Steel steamer, built in 1890 and sank on Dec. 3, 1918 by foundering in a storm while under tow. She lies upside-down in 45-80′ of water on the rocky floor of Lake Ontario; eleven lives were lost.
• the Florence steam tug sank on November 14, 1933 in some 80′ of water off Timber Island with no loss of life.
• the Annie Falconer 2-masted schooner, built in Kingston, Ontario in 1867, sank November 12, 1904 by foundering with a cargo of coal.
• the Olive Branch sank on the night of September 30, 1880 in 100′ of water, taking the lives of the captain and crew.
Lake Superior
There are approximately 500 shipwrecks in Lake Superior, most them as yet undiscovered. Many will never be discovered because they no longer exist, having been dashed to thousands of small pieces due to several notoriously dangerous shoal areas in remote and distant parts of Lake Superior.
The Lake Superior shipwrecks include:
• the side-wheel steamer, Superior, which was built in 1845 and was one of the last ships portaged around the rapids at Sault Ste. Marie and into Lake Superior before the Soo Locks were built in 1853-55. In October of 1865, the 184-foot-long Superior was crushed near the high cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Seashore after losing her rudder, resulting in one of the worst loss-of-life wrecks on the lake, with 35 of the 55 people on board killed.
• the most famous shipwreck in the Great Lakes proper is that of the steel freighter, Edmund Fitzgerald, that sank in 529 feet of water off Whitefish Point on November 10, 1975, with the loss of all 29 men on board. No body was ever recovered. (See also the Edmund Fitzgerald exhibit)
Sources: 100 Best Great Lakes Shipwrecks, Cris Kohl, Vol. II, 1998 and http://www.pec.on.ca/other/scuba.html
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The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend of the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film and media only by that of the Titanic. At 729 feet and 13,632 gross tons she was the largest ship on the Great Lakes, for thirteen years, until 1971.
The Fitzgerald’s normal course during her productive life took her between Silver Bay, Minnesota, where she loaded taconite, to steel mills on the lower lakes in the Detroit and Toledo area. She was usually empty on her return trip to Silver Bay. On November 9, 1975 Fitzgerald was to transport a load of taconite from Superior, Wisconsin, to Zug Island, Detroit.
On November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. Conflicting theories about the cause of the tragedy remain active today. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society’s (GLSHS) three expeditions to the wreck revealed that it is likely she “submarined” bow first into an enormous sea, as damage forward is indicative of a powerful, quick force to the superstructure. But what caused the ship to take on water, enough to lose buoyancy and dive to the bottom so quickly, without a single cry for help, cannot be determined. The bronze bell of the Fitzgerald was recovered by the GLSHS July 4, 1995.
Source: http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com
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Pilothouse: The Ship’s Navigation Center
A ship’s pilothouse is an enclosed area, usually on the bridge of a vessel, from which the vessel is controlled when under way. On many ships, especially military and cruise ships, the pilothouse is considerably larger and combined with a number of other control structures as the ship’s bridge. The bridge was often open to the elements, therefore a weatherproof pilothouse was provided to shelter the pilot, a ship’s navigation officer, while he issued commands to the wheelsman, engine room, and deck crew.
Can you find some of the items in our pilothouse?
􀂃 A binnacle, which is a case that supports and protects a ship’s compass, located near the helm.
􀂃 A chronometer, which is a time-keeping instrument allowing sailors to measure the stars against specific points in time, giving them their latitude and longitude. (or more simply, their position)
􀂃 The radio telegraph, which transmits telegraphic messages through radio waves, usually in Morse code.
􀂃 Widely used on ships, a gyrocompass is a compass which finds North by using a gyroscope instead of a magnet.
􀂃 The ship’s wheel which adjusts the angle of the rudder and controls the direction of the ship. It is also called the helm, together with the rest of the steering mechanism.
􀂃 An engine order telegraph is a device used on a ship to send signals from the bridge to the engine room, or to the station where the ship’s engines are controlled.
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Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery
The Great Lakes provide a home to one of the world’s greatest freshwater fisheries. Great Lakes fisheries are defined as intricate webs of fish populations, their aquatic environments, and the people who use and enjoy them. These fisheries are important parts of the Life of the Lakes.
History of the Great Lakes Fisheries
The fisheries in the lakes became established during glacial times, thousands of years ago. Change continued with the arrival of explorers, traders and settlers, and with the increased human populations in the Great Lakes basin. Changes in the life of the lakes reflect the history of the Great Lakes region. Through the history of the fishery, we can understand the vitality and productivity of the lakes and those who lives were and are directly impacted by the lakes. Fishes serve as valuable indicators of environmental health and changes in fish populations have served as early warning signals of poor environmental quality.
Ecology of the Great Lakes
Ecology is the study of the interaction between abiotic (nonliving) and biotic (living) factors. The features of the lakes interact with the abiotic and biotic organisms to affect the amount and type of life that can be supported. Because of their size and varied geography, geology and ecology, the Great Lakes are comprised of sub-regions that vary in climate, sunlight, temperature, depth, nutrients, chemical composition, water movements, shoreline, and other physical and biological characteristics. Understanding the ecology of the Great Lakes requires the study of these characteristics.
Today’s Great Lakes Fisheries
Factors Influencing Today’s Great Lakes Fisheries
Social Changes
Technological Changes
Environmental Changes
Settlement
• Cultures mixing (Native, European)
• Immigration
• Population pressures
• Urbanization
Changes in Values Over Time
• Developing markets in eastern U.S. and Canada
• Rise of recreation and tourism
• Global markets, economic
• Environmentalism, sustainability
Land Use Patterns
• Logging, dams, canals
• Conversion of land from prairie and forest to agricultural, industrial and residential uses
• Sprawl
Harvest and Other Technologies
• Nets, floats
• Boats, engines
• Radios, navigational equipment
• Fish finders
• Transport and refrigeration
Modification of Drainage Basins
• Landscape, physical, chemical and biological changes
Exotics and Invasive Species
• Varied sources of introduction
• Prevention and management strategies
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Factors Influencing Today’s Great Lakes
Sociopolitical Changes
• Treaties (between native peoples and immigrants
• Policy changes: state, federal, tribal
• Cross-jurisdictional (interstate) and international cooperation
Fisheries – continued
Management Science Technologies
• Hatcheries
• Genetics
• Population and ecosystem modeling
• Computers
• Restrictions
• Disease detection, monitoring and management
Physical and Chemical Modifications
• Cultural impacts causing soil erosion, warming of the water, and run-off of nutrients
• Contaminants
Atmospheric and Global Changes
• Contaminants in the atmosphere
• Movement of contaminants in ecosystems
• Global warming
Future of the Great Lakes Fisheries
Understanding Great Lakes fisheries helps us to better understand what constitutes quality of life in and around the lakes. In the coming years, Great Lakes fisheries will continue to experience the implications of many challenges from the past – notably contaminants, exotics, changes in the status of certain fisheries and management of a vast international resource. Future Great Lakes fisheries will face challenges in three main areas:
• Ecosystem management
• Research, fisheries management, and involvement of decision makers
• Involvement of user groups in fisheries management
How You Can Help Great Lakes Fisheries in the Future?
• Become informed! Read fisheries related information or visit science-based organizations such as the Michigan Sea Grant program at http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/
• Contact your legislators or an agency responsible for managing and regulating the fishery, such as the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service
• Attend Great Lakes events that celebrate and support Great Lakes fisheries and water quality
• Participate in water clean-up projects
• Take everyday actions to protect water quality and healthy fisheries – choose, use and dispose of home and garden chemicals wisely
Source: Michigan Sea Grant Program
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PART III: LESSON PLANS FOR THE CLASSROOM
The lesson plans for Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage correlate to the exhibit themes:
Geology/The Third Coast
1. “Michigan History”
Students use Social Studies skills to make a time line marked along a string in 500-year intervals, thus becoming aware of the eons about which we have only limited information, derived from archaeological investigation and oral tradition.
2. “When Glaciers Covered Michigan”
Students use Social Studies, Vocabulary and Science skills to understand the effects of glaciation on Michigan’s surface and describe how Michigan vegetation changed after the glaciers melted.
Great Lakes Superhighway
3. “Where did Michigan’s First People Live?”
Students use Social Studies skills to learn about the major Native American tribes and their locations in Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas upon the arrival of Europeans.
4. “Canoe Routes of Native Americans in Michigan”
Students use Social Studies and Map skills to understand Michigan’s waterways and how Native Americans and early fur trader used them for navigation.
Lighthouses: Caution Lights for the Superhighway
5. “Make a Lighthouse”
Students use art and history skills to make a model lighthouse using patterns of lighthouses on the Great Lakes and a flashlight.
Shipwrecks and Lifesaving
6. “Great Lakes Shipping: The Story of the Edmund Fitzgerald” for Grade 6
Students use History, Social Studies, and Reading to define new terms related to shipping, learn about different theories that explain the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. They then will create a detailed map of the route taken by the Edmund Fitzgerald and explain one theory of the sinking.
Great Lakes Ecology and Preservation
7. “Water Quantity” for Grades 4 – 8
Students use Science and Critical Thinking skills to understand the relative scarcity of freshwater on earth and the importance of conserving water usable by humans and animals.
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Geology/The Third Coast
Lesson Plan 1
Michigan History on a String -

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_18670_18793-94550–,00.html

(Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries)
Primary Subject: Social Studies
Secondary Subject: Math
Objectives: Students will compare Michigan’s long existence with its short written history and identify key dates in Michigan’s existence.
Materials:
• String, yarn or twine: one 12-foot-long piece for each student
• Ruler
• Colored markers
• Teacher’s reference page: “A String Time Line of Michigan History” (Click link below for PDF page.) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_string-timeline_93325_7.pdf
Directions: Have students each make a string time line of Michigan history, then visit other grades to show younger students how much history Michigan has. The photo on the teacher’s reference page illustrates the string time line. Give each student a piece of string. Then have students do the following (see reference page):
1. Indicate today’s era: Knot one end of the string. This will symbolize this year.
2. Show time in 500-year intervals: Measure back from the knot 5 inches and knot the string again. Keep tying knots in the string every five inches until you have 20 more knots (21 with the first knot at the end). Color the knot at 1500 years with a red marker.
3. Indicate the amount of time since the Europeans arrived (around 1620). Color the year 2000 knot and color the length of string for about 4 inches back from the knot (to indicate 400 years) with a black marker.
4. Color the last knot with a blue marker to represent 8000 B.C. (approximate arrival of the ancient Paleo people).
5. Partially show (and imagine) the time it took for this land we call Michigan to form by leaving the end of the string before the blue knot as long as you can. (The teacher’s version of the time line might have the wound ball of string still connected at that end.)
6. Conduct a discussion about the meaning of the knots and colors. Ask:
7. Which part of the string shows how long people lived in Michigan? (all from the 8000 B.C. [blue] knot)
8. When did Columbus arrive in the Western Hemisphere? Where would that date fall on the string time line? (1492, next to the 1500 [red] knot)
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9. Which part shows the time for which we have Michigan history that people wrote down? (the black colored section after the Europeans arrived c 1620)
10. Which part of the string shows the amount of time for which we have history of peoples that is not written down? We call this time “precontact” and depend upon archaeologists to help us learn how people lived then. (the uncolored portion of the string from 1620 to the blue knot)
11. Optional: Have students make a tag for their own birth date (or an event they’ve studied). Tie it onto the string at the appropriate place. Add tags for the archaeological periods illustrated in the Michigan Historical Museum’s First People exhibits.
Ask students to each give a brief talk using the string time line to explain what they now know about time and history in Michigan. After they have practiced their presentation, visit other classrooms so they can share what they learned.
Questions for Discussion or Research:
1. What would you like to know about Michigan history that you could only learn from an archaeologist or the oral tradition of Michigan’s Indians?
2. How does Michigan’s climate make it difficult for archaeologists to find intact artifacts left behind by Michigan’s first people?
Vocabulary
• Anthropology: the study of people, their relationships, culture and history
• Archaeology: the scientific study of the culture of a people through things they left behind (e.g., implements, artifacts, monuments, inscriptions) found in the earth
• Artifact: an object made or modified by people
• Oral tradition: information, opinions, beliefs, and customs handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth
• Time line: a visual representation of important events or years in chronological order
References
• Fitting, James E. The Archaeology of Michigan: A Guide to the Prehistory of the Great Lakes Region (2nd, rev. ed.). Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science, 1975.
• Lewis, Ferris Everett. Michigan, Yesterday and Today (ninth ed.). Hillsdale, MI: Hillsdale Educational Publishers, 1980.
• Tanner, Helen Hornbeck (Editor). Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
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Lesson Plan 2
When Glaciers Covered Michigan –

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_18670_18793-94369–,00.html

(Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries)
Primary Subject: Social Studies
Secondary Subjects: Geography, History, Vocabulary
Background Notes: Several advances and retreats of continental glaciers covered Michigan over many thousands of years. The most recent glacier retreated (melted) about 14,000 years ago, leaving the land formation much as it is today. Vegetation was different from today: first tundra-like, then later covered with spruce forests and bogs. Ice Age mammals inhabited Michigan then: mammoth, mastodon, caribou and giant beaver. Human hunters of the caribou came into Michigan to stalk and kill the big game animals for food, fur and other necessities. The Paleo (ancient) Indians were believed to be the first humans to visit what is now Michigan.
Objectives: Students will draw (show) the effects of glaciation on Michigan’s surface and describe how Michigan vegetation changed after the glaciers melted.
Materials Needed
• Plastic milk jug with the top cut off
• Water; sand and gravel
• Refrigerator/freezer
Directions: Freeze a mixture of sand, gravel, and water in the milk jug. Allow the frozen mixture to thaw sufficiently on the edges to allow removal from the jug (or cut away the jug). Examine the ice block and discuss how the real glacier would have accumulated the sand and gravel. Allow the ice block to melt in an undisturbed location (on a sidewalk or playground surface or in a large pan in the classroom). Discuss what happened to the “glacial runoff” (water) and what happened to the sand and gravel (formation of hills, i.e., glacial moraines).
Questions for Discussion or Research
• What would it have been like to have lived in Michigan at the end of the Ice Age?
• If the ice sheets that once covered our state were a mile thick, how deep would that be? How many times would you have to stack your school building on top of itself to make a mile high stack?
Vocabulary
• Bog: wet spongy ground; marsh or swamp
• Canadian Shield: an area of almost 2,000,000 square miles of Precambrian strata that occupies most of eastern and central Canada and extends into the states of New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It contains large deposits of copper, gold, and iron ore. The glaciers pushed many of its rocks into Michigan, forming moraines.
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• Coal: black, combustible mineral formed from deteriorating vegetable matter away from air, under different temperatures and pressure for over a million years
• Copper: reddish-brown, metallic element; excellent conductor of electricity and heat
• Delta: a deposit of sand and soil, usually triangular, formed at the mouth of rivers
• Dolomite: common rock-forming mineral often occurring in extensive beds
• Drainage basin: land drained by a river system
• Esker: a winding, narrow ridge of sand or gravel, usually by a stream flowing in or under glacial ice
• Glacial striations: parallel lines on rock surfaces or crystal faces
• Glacier: compacted snow frozen into a huge mass of moving ice
• Gypsum: a mineral that occurs in sedimentary rock; used for making plaster of Paris and in treating soil
• Halite: rock salt; native sodium chloride
• Iron ore: unwrought natural material from which iron can be extracted
• Limestone: rock composed of organic remains of sea animals use in building; when crystallized by heat and pressure becomes marble. Limestone is used for smelting iron ore to make steel
• Loam: rich soil composed of clay, sand, and some organic matter
• Moraine: an accumulation of earth and stones carried and deposited by a glacier
• Oil: greasy, combustible substance obtained from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources, not soluble in water
• Outwash plain: sand and gravel deposited by meltwater streams in front of glacial ice
• Sandstone: common bedded sedimentary rock used for building; composed largely of sand grains to form coherent mass
• Shale: fine-grained, thinly bedded rock formed by hardening of clay; splits easily into thin layers
• Watershed: a ridge or stretch of high land dividing area drained by different rivers or river systems
References
• Doff, John, Jr., and Eschman, Donald F. (1970). Geology of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
• Fitting, James E. (1970). The Archaeology of Michigan. Garden City, NY: The Natural History Press.
• Heinrich, E. Wm. (1976). The Mineralogy of Michigan, Bulletin 6. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey Division.
• Kelley, R. W. (1967). The Glacial Lakes Around Michigan. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey Division.
• Larsen, Curtis E. (1987). Geological History of Glacial Lake Algonquin and the Upper Great Lakes, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1801. Books and Open File Section, U.S. Geological Survey, Federal Center, Box 25425, Denver, CO 80225.
• Pielou. E. C. (1991). After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
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The Great Lakes Superhighway
Lesson Plan 3
Where did Michigan’s First People Live? -

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_18670_18793-94373–,00.html

(Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries)
Primary Subject: Social Studies
Secondary Subjects: History, Vocabulary, Geography
Background Notes: The First People entered the area we call Michigan over 10,000 years ago. They hunted and fished for thousands of years. Yet the environment showed little impact from their lives here. When the Europeans arrived around 1620, Woodland peoples of the Algonquian language groups lived on this land that would become Michigan. This chart lists the tribes and their approximate Michigan locations.
Menominee
South central Upper Peninsula (near present Menominee River and Green Bay)
Chippewa (Ojibwa)
Eastern Upper Peninsula
Ottawa
Eastern Upper Peninsula, Canada
Potawatomi
Western lower Michigan
Mascowten
Western and central southern lower Michigan
Sauk
Eastern central lower Michigan, near Saginaw Bay
Fox
Eastern lower Michigan, near Lake Huron
Kickapoo
Southeastern corner of lower Michigan
Miami
Southwestern corner of lower Michigan
Learning Objectives: Students will identify Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas and the directions—north, south, east, and west—on an outline map of Michigan. Students will be able to correctly identify the major Native American tribes and their locations upon the arrival of Europeans in the area that is now the state of Michigan.
Materials Needed
• Pencils, pens or markers
• Blank outline map of Michigan (Click below for PDF map.) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_outlinemap_74426_7.pdf
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• Teacher: completed map for reference (Click below for completed PDF map.) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_tribal-locationsp65_93237_7.pdf
Directions: This activity assumes knowledge of directional concepts (north, south, east, west) and the concepts of upper and lower (peninsula). Review these using a Michigan map before beginning the activity. (Note that there are no definite areas marked with lines. Tribes moved seasonally and—due to conflicts and interactions with the French, British and Americans—changed locations into the 19th century.) Provide each student with an outline map of Michigan. Write the names of the major Indian tribes on the board. Using a Michigan wall map discuss the tribes and point out the areas in which they lived. Have students write the names of the tribes on their own maps during the discussion. (For greater challenge, distribute the blank maps and assign the activity to be completed from memory after the class discussion.)
Questions for Further Research
1. Why did some Indian tribes move from one section of Michigan to another?
2. Was each tribe aware of neighboring tribes? How did they get to know each other?
Vocabulary
• Peninsula: A section of land surrounded by water on all sides but one.
• Tribe: A group of people made up of many families.
References
• Cleland, Charles E. Rites of Conquest: The History and Culture of Michigan’s Native Americans. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1992.
• Clifton, James A., George L. Cornell, and James M. McClurken. People of the Three Fires. Grand Rapids, MI: Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council, 1968.
• Farm Bureau Insurance Group. Early Indians of Michigan. Lansing, MI: Farm Bureau Insurance Group, n.d.
• Halsey, John R. (Editor). Indians in Michigan. Great Lakes Informant, Series 2, Number 10. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of State, History Division, 1984.
• Sturtevant, William C. (Editor). Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.
• Tanner, Helen Hornbeck (Editor). Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
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Lesson Plan 4
Canoe Routes of Native Americans in Michigan

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_18670_18793-94377–,00.html

(Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries)
Primary Subject: Social Studies, Art History
Secondary Subjects: Sociology, History, Language Arts
Background Notes: Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes and has many rivers and smaller lakes within its borders. The First People of Michigan found canoe travel an efficient way to get from one place to another. When the French and English came seeking furs, they recognized it as a good way to travel and adopted the canoe for their own use. Native Americans and fur traders frequently had to “portage” to get from one river to another. To portage they carried their canoes and fur bundles from one river or body of water to another. In later years some rivers were rerouted or canals dug to eliminate the need to portage. For example, a canal was dug to make it possible to cross the Keweenaw Peninsula in Houghton County without portaging.
Learning Objectives: Given a highway map of Michigan and a projected overhead transparency of the included map of Michigan rivers, the student will highlight the rivers used by Native Americans on the highway map. Students will be able to explain the extent of Michigan’s waterways.
Materials Needed:
• Michigan Department of Transportation highway map (Click below to order for free)
http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9622_11033_11151—,00.html
• Overhead transparency of map of Michigan with rivers (Click below for PDF map) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_mi-rivers-map_93199_7.pdf
• Highlighter pens
Directions: Make an overhead transparency from the map of Michigan rivers (see above for pdf). Project the overhead transparency so that it can be viewed by the entire class. Ask students to open their highway maps. Locate, identify by name and discuss (location, source, outlet) Michigan’s major rivers. Direct students to highlight the rivers discussed on their maps of Michigan. Write the name of each river on the transparency as students identify it. Ask students to suggest places where the early travelers would have needed to portage to get from one river to another. Mark them on the transparency map. Are there other rivers—especially near your town—that would have served as canoe routes? Highlight them on the highway maps and add them to the overhead transparency. Optional: a county map is useful for locating nearby rivers.
Questions for Discussion or Research
1. Why did Native Americans choose rivers as a major means of travel in Michigan?
2. Why did the early French and British adventurers also travel mostly by lake and river?
3. What major Michigan cities are near rivers?
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Vocabulary
• Canoe: A light narrow boat with both ends sharp, usually moved by paddling.
• Portage: (n.) The route followed to carry boats or goods overland from one body of water to another. (v.) to carry the canoe, back, etc., over land to the next available waterway.
References
• Sommers, Lawrence M. (Editor). Atlas of Michigan. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press (Distributed by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI), 1977.
• Tanner, Helen Hornbeck (Editor). Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
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Lighthouses
Lesson Plan 5
Make a Lighthouse

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-15481_19268_20778-95614–,00.html

(Michigan Department of History, Arts, and Libraries)
Primary Subjects: Art, History
Secondary Subjects: Geology
You are a Great Lakes sailor 100 years ago. Lighthouses warn you away from rocks and reefs and shallow waters. But they do more than that. They let you know where you are. You follow the coastline as you travel from port to port. And you follow the lighthouses.
Blink, blink! How do you find your position during at night? You look for the flashes of light. Each light has its own pattern, called its characteristic. One light may flash slowly, another quickly, another in groups of two or three flashes with a pause in between, another with a red or green light flashing after the white light. In a flashing pattern the dark pause between the flashes lasts longer than the flash of light. Some lights have an occulting pattern. In an occulting pattern the flash of light lasts longer than the dark pause between the flashes. You know the pattern of the different lights, so you always know where you are along the coast at night.
How do you find your position during the day? You look for the lighthouse. Lighthouses have different shapes. Some are free-standing towers. Others are attached to a keeper’s house. They are painted in different colors or patterns. White paint helps them stand out against the trees and sky. Some towers are all white. Some have alternating stripes of white and black or of white and red. On some, the stripe has a spiral pattern like a barber pole. The pattern or color of a lighthouse is called its day mark. You know the day mark of each tower, so you always know where you are during the day.
You can make paper models of four Michigan lighthouses that each have a different day mark. This activity has patterns for these lights:
• Detroit River, Lake Erie
• Fort Gratiot, Lake Huron
• Stannard Rock, Lake Superior
• White Shoal, Lake Michigan
Materials Needed:
• The paper lighthouse patterns [PDF, 4 pages] Click the link below for patterns. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_lighthouse-patterns_94526_7.pdf
• A piece of tabloid-size (11″ x 17″) plain white paper for each tower you want to make
• A way to enlarge each pattern 2x. (Use a copy machine or redraw the pattern.)
• Crayons, water-based markers or water paint
• A 10 oz. clear plastic drinking cup for each tower
• Tape
• A flashlight 6-8″ long that can stand upright on the end opposite its light
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Directions:
• Copy or trace each pattern onto a sheet of the large paper. Make the new pattern about two times bigger than the original.
• Color the lighthouse walls according to the directions on the pattern page.
• Cut out the pattern.
• Tape or glue the side edges together so that the plain strip is underneath the opposite
• edge. You now have a cone-shaped tower with a wide base and a narrow top.
• Insert the plastic cup—bottom first—into the base of the tower as far as it will go. Use a few pieces of tape on the inside of the tower to keep it there.
• Place the flashlight on a tabletop and turn on the light. Put your lighthouse over the flashlight.
• Turn off the lights in the room to see your lighthouse shine! (Important: do not use a candle or any type of flammable light near your paper lighthouse!)
(NOTE: If you cannot enlarge the pattern, you can make a mini-lighthouse using a clear 3-5 oz. bathroom-size plastic cup and a pen-size flashlight.)
Reprinted with permission. Great Lakes, Great Stories: Michigan’s Maritime Heritage
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Shipwrecks and Lifesaving
Lesson Plan 6
Great Lakes Shipping: The Story of the Edmund Fitzgerald
By Judi Vittio and Dan Kust

http://wupcenter.mtu.edu/education/great_lakes_maritime/teaching_units/Vittito_Kust_Ed_Fitz_Lesson.pdf

Grade Level: Grade 6
Primary Subjects: Reading and Social Studies
Secondary Subjects: Mapping, Vocabulary
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to define new terms related to shipping (examples: taconite/iron ore, aft, stern, ballast, listing, broach). They will also recognize the different between the two major theories (open Hatch and Shoaling) that support the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. They will create a map of the Great Lakes shipping route used by the Edmund Fitzgerald and construct a brief presentation to the class that demonstrates this event.
Materials Needed:
• Map of the Great Lakes (One for each student)
• Video: Shipwreck: The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald
• The Edmund Fitzgerald Lost with All Hands by Capt. Robert Hertel
• The Edmund Fitzgerald Song of the Bell by Kathy-Jo Wargin
• Gordon Lightfoot – Gord’s Gold Volume II (The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald) with lyrics
• LCD projector/lap top/internet access
• Colored Pencils
• Ruler
Vocabulary Words
1. Aft – back or behind
2. Ballast – weight added to lower a ship in the water making it less top heavy
3. Broach – when a vessel rolls onto its side
4. Listing – tipping to the side
5. Stern – back of the ship
6. Taconite – iron ore found in the Lake Superior region, refined, and formed into pellets
7. Shipping Route – the route in which a freighter travels from port to port
Background Information:On November 9, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald left the port of Superior Wisconsin bound for Detroit, Michigan. Carrying 26 thousand tons of taconite to be used to build cars, the crew anticipated a routine trip across Lake Superior. The Arthur M Anderson, another Great Lakes freighter was 10 miles behind the Ed Fitz. When a gale warning was issued by the weather service, the two ships decided to travel together. Several significant communication failures occurred – long range radar was not operative, then short range was lost, then the Whitefish Point Lighthouse lost power due to the storm. Essentially, the Ed Fitz was without navigational aids.
Two theories surround the tragic disappearance of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Shoaling, or running aground, is one popular theory. It is believed that the great ship struck bottom on the Six Fathom Shoal
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off the shores of Caribou Island. Another theory is referred to as the Open Hatch Theory. Some believe that the hatches were not sealed properly, causing the freighter to take on excessive amounts of water that resulted in the ultimate sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Pre-Assessment/Focus Questions
1. What is the significance of the name, Edmund Fitzgerald?
2. What cargo is transported across the Great Lakes?
Attention-Getter or Hook
Listen to the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. Have lyrics available to students so that they can follow along.
Procedure
Day One
1. Write pre-assessment questions on the board. Discuss student responses and give correct information.
2. Distribute lyrics.
3. Play the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.
4. Listen to the song and discuss.
5. Write the 6 vocabulary terms on the board for students to listen to during the reading of the book, The Edmund Fitzgerald Song of the Bell by Kathy-Jo Wargin.
6. Record and discuss vocabulary and events in the book.
Day Two
1. Distribute book The Edmund Fitzgerald Lost With All Hands by Capt. Robert Hertel.
2. In small groups partner read pages 38-43.
3. Record notes on the shoaling and open hatch theories.
4. Whole class discussion about theories that support the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
5. Closure: Read epilogue
Day Three
1. Distribute blank maps of the Great Lakes & Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) packet of shipping routes on the Great Lakes (for teacher and student reference).
2. Teacher display map of shipping routes from LCA and LCD projector for classroom discussion on shipping. Address the following topics:
a. Minnesota exports (taconite etc.)
b. Shipping routes/stops/locks
3. Students label the following locations:
a. Superior, Wisconsin
b. Duluth, Minnesota
c. Port Huron, Michigan
d. Detroit, Michigan
e. Marquette, Michigan
f. Michipicoten Island
g. Six Fathom Shoals
h. Caribou Island
i. Whitefish Point
j. Sault Sainte Marie
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k. Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Lawrence
l. Toronto, Canada
m. Atlantic Ocean
4. Trace a shipping route starting in Duluth, Minnesota to Detroit, Michigan.
5. Trace a shipping route starting in Marquette, Michigan to Toronto, Canada and out to the Atlantic Ocean
Day Four
1. View Video: Shipwreck: The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald
2. Discuss significant points and review KWL chart from Day One
3. In small groups students web significant events of the Ed Fitz
4. Students choose one of these events and create a brief performance modeling the event.
5. Share with class on the following day.
References
-Holling Clancy Holling. Paddle to the Sea
http://www.great-lakes.net/econ/busenvt/maritime.html
http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/
http://greatlakeshistory.homestead.com.home.html
http://www.nmc.edu/maritime/
http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/seawaymap/index/html
– Hertel, Robert. (1999). The Edmund Fitzgerald Lost With All Hands (p. 29, pp38-45. Spring Lake, Michigan: River Road Publications, Inc.
– Shipwreck: The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald (video). (1995) Great lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.
– Wargin, Kathy-Jo. (2003). The Edmund Fitzgerald Song of the Bell. Chelsea, Michigan: Sleeping Bear Press.
– Boswell, Mark (November 10, 2005) “When the Gales of November Came Slashing – The Edmund Fitzgerald” Minneapolis Star Tribune
– Lake Carriers Association http://www.lcaships.com
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Great Lakes Preservation
Lesson Plan 7
Water Quantity

http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/flow/U2/U2-L3.html

Grade Level: Grades 4-8
Primary Subject: Science
Secondary Subject: Social Studies
Learning Objectives: After participating in this activity, students will experience the relative scarcity of freshwater on the planet and explain why some of the earth’s water is not easily accessible
Summary Even though the earth contains an abundance of water, only a small percentage is fresh water. An even smaller amount of this freshwater is accessible and usable by the people and animals that need it. As the human population grows, the amount of freshwater available per person shrinks. The relatively small amount of available freshwater demonstrates how critical it is for everyone to help maintain clean, healthy lakes and streams.
Background Information: Oceans and seas contain more than 97 percent of the water on the planet. Because it is salt water, it is not healthy for humans and animals to drink. The remaining supply of water on Earth is fresh water. The amount of freshwater available for use by living beings is very small (See chart). The Great Lakes contain 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface freshwater. Other reservoirs of freshwater are not available for use by humans. For instance, more than 2 percent of the Earth’s freshwater is “locked” in ice caps and glaciers. The Earth’s supply of water remains the same: the planet has as much water as it will ever have. Yet world population continues to grow. The relatively small amount of available freshwater supports more than 6 billion people. As this number increases, the amount of fresh water available per person decreases. Thus maintaining the quality of the Earth’s available fresh water is vitally important.
Amount of water in each major reservoir on earth:
Saltwater in oceans:
97.2%
Ice caps and glaciers:
2.14%
Groundwater:
0.61%
Surface water:
0.009%
Soil moisture:
0.005%
Total:
100%
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Materials and Preparation
• 5-gallon bucket
• 2-cup transparent measuring cup
• 1-cup transparent measuring cup
• 1 eye-dropper
• Water Body Worksheet
Advance Preparation Before class starts, fill the 5-gallon bucket with water. Have the other materials nearby in a place where the whole class can observe.
Note: Be sure to wipe water off the floor if spills occur during this activity.
Procedure
1. Explain to students that the water in the 5-gallon bucket represents all the water on Earth. Ask them to name the kinds of water that exist in, on or around Earth. They should be able to name rivers, lakes, oceans, clouds or water vapor, ice caps, groundwater, water held in soil, and water held in plants and animals. Provide hints so that all types of water are mentioned.
2. Ask two students to come up and help with the demonstration. Ask one of them to remove two cups of water from the bucket, using a measuring cup. Have the student hold that amount so everyone in the class can see it. Ask: What does the water in the cup represent? (Freshwater.) Ask: What does the water remaining in the bucket represent? (Saltwater.) Explain that the saltwater is not usable by humans because drinking it would make us very sick.
3. Move the bucket aside. Ask the first student to pour 1/2 cup of water into the one-cup measurer held by the other student. Ask: What does the 1-1/2 cups still left in the two-cup measurer represent? (Polar ice caps.) Explain that this water is unavailable for our use because it is frozen. Set this cup aside. The first student can return to his or her seat.
4. Ask the class what the 1/2 cup of water represents. (Groundwater, surface water (e.g. lakes, rivers, wetlands), and water vapor in the atmosphere.) Have the class guess how much water should be removed from the cup to represent only the surface water on Earth. After a few guesses, pull out the eye dropper from your pocket and draw some water into it. Place one drop of water into the hand of a few students. Explain that one drop of water out of a whole 5-gallon bucket represents the water that is available to us and other animals for drinking.
5. Allow the class to think about this for a minute. Then explain to them that the total amount of water on the planet is not going to change. Even though water moves around on the planet and changes from one kind to another, we will never have any more than we have right now.
Discuss the Results Spend some time discussing the activity with the class. The following questions are a good place to start:
• Were you surprised at how little water is available for human use?
• Would you call water a scarce or an abundant resource? Why?
• What do we need/use water for?
• Why can’t we drink saltwater?
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• The number of people who need to use Earth’s freshwater keeps increasing. If the amount of freshwater cannot change, but there are more people who need it, what does that mean? What might happen?
• Can people and animals live without clean freshwater?
• What is the main cause of the increased demand for freshwater?
Ask students to think about the term “water quality.” Find out from them what they think it means. If they get stuck, have them think about it in terms of low water quality or high water quality: would they want to drink, wash, swim, or cook with low quality water or high quality water? Have them come up with as many descriptions as they can for what might be “low quality” and “high quality” water.
Source North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – Adapted with permission from the Girls in Science Program. Original source content: Hands On Save Our Streams – The Save Our Streams Teacher’s Manual, Chapter One, Watersheds, Water Water Everywhere and Not A Drop to Spare, Water Supply Activity, The Izaak Walton League of America.
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COPY MASTER
Water Body Worksheet
In class today, you have seen how much water is on the planet and how it is distributed. One thing people don’t think a lot about is that we depend on water every day. If you don’t get enough (clean) water, you can get very sick. In this exercise, you will calculate how much water is in your body right now, as well as how much water you are likely to utilize in your body over your whole lifetime.
1. Figure out how many pounds of water are in your body. Approximately five sixths of your body weight is water.
Use this equation: 5/6 X ___________________ lbs. = ____________________lbs.
(your weight)
2. Now use this answer to find out how many gallons of water are in your body. (Note: 1gallon of water weighs 8.1 lbs.)
__________________ lbs. / 8.1 = ___________________ gallons
(answer from part 1)
3. Now find out how much water your body needs during your life span. Each person’s body needs to replace 1.5 million gallons of water throughout their life. To get a feel for this, a back-yard
swimming pool holds about 20,000 gallons of water. How many swimming pools of water will you need in your life?
Use this equation: 1,500,000 gallons / 20,000 gallons = _________________________
(swimming pools of water used in a lifetime)
4. Was there anything here that was surprising to you? Explain.
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
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PART IV: WEBSITES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

http://www.aahom.org/

Army Corps of Engineers

http://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/

Great Lakes and Ohio River District home page

http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/

Detroit District home page
Bell Museum of Natural History

http://www.bellmuseum.org/

BoatNerd.com

http://www.boatnerd.com/

Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University

http://clarke.cmich.edu/

Colonial Michilimackinac State Park

http://www.mackinacparks.com/parks/colonial-michilimackinac_7/

Cranbrook Institute of Science

http://science.cranbrook.edu/

Detroit Historical Museum

http://www.detroithistorical.org/

Dossin Great Lakes Museum

http://www.detroithistorical.org/aboutus/dossin.asp

Great Lakes Commission

http://www.glc.org/

Great Lakes Information Network

http://www.great-lakes.net/

Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association

http://www.gllka.com/

Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/

The Historical Society of Michigan

http://www.hsmichigan.org/

Jesse Besser Museum

http://www.bessermuseum.org/

LakeFury.com

http://www.lakefury.com/

Mackinac Island State Park

http://www.mackinacparks.com/

Macomb County Historical Commission

http://www.hsmichigan.org/mountclemens/

Macomb County Library

http://www.macomb.lib.mi.us/mcl/

Michigan Historical Museum

http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17447_18595_18596—,00.html

Michigan Maritime Museum

http://www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org/

Michigan Office of the Great Lakes

http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3677-80115–,00.html

Michigan Oral History Association

http://www.h-net.org/~oralhist/moha/

Michigan Sea Grant Commission

http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/index.html

Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame

http://www.michiganwomenshalloffame.org/pages/timeline.htm

Mariner’s Church of Detroit

http://marinerschurchofdetroit.org/

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Mount Clemens Library

http://www.libcoop.net/mountclemens/

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/

Ninth Coast Guard District

http://www.uscg.mil/d9/

Noble Odyssey Foundation

http://www.nobleodyssey.org/

Port Huron Museum Fort Gratiot Lighthouse Museum

http://www.phmuseum.org/

Save Our South Channel Lights

http://www.soschannellights.org/

St. Clair Shores Public Library

http://www.libcoop.net/stclairshores/

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

http://thunderbay.noaa.gov/

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PART V: MORE GREAT LAKES RESOURCES
1. Lighthouses
Forty Mile Point
Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Society
PO Box 205
Rogers City, MI 49779
PH: (800) 622-4148
Hours: weekends noon-4:00
June 1-mid October
Sturgeon Point
Alcona Historical Society
PO Box 174
Harrisville, MI 48740
PH: (989) 724-6297
Pointe Aux Barques
8114 Rubicon Road
Port Hope, MI 48468
PH: (989) 428-4749
Daily 8-8 Memorial weekend to Sept. 30
2. Maritime Museums
Dossin Great Lakes Museum
100 Strand Drive
Belle Isle, Detroit, MI 48207
313-852-4051
Mackinac State Historic Parks
207 West Sinclair St.
P. O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 48701
231-436-4100
Michigan Maritime Museum
260 Dyckman Avenue
South Haven, MI 49090
800-747-3810
Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum
367 N. 3rd Street
Rogers City, MI 49779
989-734-0706
Dr. John Hartig
US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office
100 Mt. Elliott Ave.
Detroit, MI 48207
313-568-9594
jhartig@msodetroit.uscg.mil
3. Historic ships and replicas
SS Keewatin Douglas
Huron Lightship Port Huron
SS Badger Ludington
Highlander Sea Port Huron
4. Underwater preserves
– Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve
– Lake Huron Shipwreck and Maritime Center
– Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve
– Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve
– Thumb Area Underwater Preserve
– Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve
5. Performing artists
Michael P. Deren – will travel
*At the Cultural Center 11/4 at 2pm.*
The Past in Person and Dodworth Saxhorn Band
2640 Powell Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
PH: (734) 663-9634
jmtderen@prodigy.net
Kitty Donohoe – will travel
*At the Cultural Center 10/28 at 2pm*
“Lighthouses & Legends”
3462 Richard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
PH: (734) 973-2998
kitdonohoe@aol.com
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Larry B. Massie – will travel
*At the Cultural Center 10/13 at 2pm.*
Michigan History Storytelling
Contact: Priscilla D. Massie
2109 41st Street
Allegan, MI 49010
PH: (616) 673-3633
Lee Murdock – will travel
*At the Cultural Center 10/19 at 10:00 am & 1:00 pm 10/21 at 2pm.*
Music and stories of the Great Lakes
Contact: Joann Murdock
Artists of Note, Inc.
PO Box 11
Kaneville, IL 60144-0011
(630) 577-2742
jmurdock@mcs.com
http://www.leemurdock.com
Genot Picor: French Voyageur and Storyteller
*At the Cultural Center 10/14 at 2pm.*
15904 Haverhill Drive
Macomb, MI 48044
PH: (586) 566-0952
Project Lakewell: Voices of Our Past – will travel
Costumed presenters bring to life historically significant individuals who lived during the fur trade period of Great Lakes history.
Contact: James M. Meyerle
9140 Grove Road
DeWitt, MI 48820
PH: (517) 669-3710
FX: (517) 669-7873
lakewell@voyager.net
Song of the Lakes – will travel
Ambassadors of the Great Lakes
*At the Cultural Center 10/6 at 2pm.*
Contact: Mike Sullivan
PO Box 1544
Traverse City, MI 49685-1544
PH: (231) 947-0398
FX: (231) 947-4311
makenwavez@aol.com
http://www.songofthelakes.com
Donn P. Werling, Ph.D., Director,
Sweetwater Journey– will travel
*At the Cultural Center 11/11 at 2pm*
Ballads that tell the story of our Great Lakes heritage of lighthouses and Allen County – Fort Wayne Historical Society (collaborates with wife Diane and Eric Shaver and Richard Harris of Michigan).
PH: (260) 426-2882 x 22
History Center
302 E. Berry
Fort Wayne, IN 46806
PH: (260) 748-7854
Email: dpwerling@comcast.net
6. Ferry, Charter Boat and Cruise Companies
Great Lakes Cruise Company 3270 Washtenaw Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Great Lakes Cruise Company Toll Free: (888) 891-0203 Voice: (734) 477-6032 Email: info@greatlakescruising.com
As the only Travel Company in the world to specialize in the Great Lakes cruises, we offer unforgettable adventures on these legendary waters. We invite you to join us as we discover the Great Lakes.
Lake Huron – Huron Lady II Cruises 3560 Pine Grove Ave. #379 Port Huron, MI 48060 http://www.huronlady.com Toll Free: (888) 873-6726 Voice: (810) 984-1500 Email: Captrigney@hotmail.com Cruise from beautiful downtown Port Huron on an informative narrated tour of the beautiful Blue Water Area. View Great Lake freighters, the two Blue Water Bridges, Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Lake Huron and more.
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Soo Locks Boat Tours & Dinner Cruises P.O. Box 739 Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 Sault Ste Marie Locks PH: (906) 632-6301 PH: (906) 632-2512 Toll Free: (800)432-6301 Email: sales@soolocks.com Take a trip through the famous Soo Locks. The whole family will enjoy a fully narrated, memorable, and relaxing tour. Learn about the lake freighters, ocean vessels, and the historic Sault Ste. Marie. For a different cruise, try one of our Dinner or Lighthouse Cruises.
7. Museums with significant maritime exhibits
Bay County Historical Society
Gay McInerney, Executive Director
Bay County Historical Society
321 Washington Avenue
Bay City, MI 48708
PH: (989) 893-5733
FX: (989) 893-5741

http://www.bchsmuseum.org

Detroit Historical Museum
Dr. Dennis Zembala, PhD, Director
5401 Woodward
Detroit, MI 48202
PH: (313) 833-1801
FX: (313) 833-5342
Zembalad@hist.ci.detroit.mi.us
Port Huron Museum
Steve Williams, Director
1115 Sixth Street
Port Huron, MI 48060-5346
PH: (810) 982-0891
FX: (810) 982-0053
http://www.phmuseum.org
St. Clair Historical Museum
Ronald Brenner
308 South Fourth
St. Clair, MI 48079
PH: (810) 329-6888
8. Festivals
Boat Town Festival of Lights
Dave Klicki
P.O. Box 46941
Mt. Clemens, MI 48046
586-405-3555
Maritime Days
Holy Cross Church
610 S. Water St.
Marine City, MI 48039
810-765-3568
Maritime Festival
(Harbor Beach Chamber of Commerce)
P.O. Box 113
Harbor Beach, Michigan 48441
989-479-6477
11. Educational opportunities
Inland Seas Education Association Educational programs for youth and adults
aboard the “Schoolship”
100 Dame Street
Suttons Bay, MI 49682 PH: (231) 271-3077
Fax: (231) 271-3088 email: isea@greatlakeseducation.org •
web: http://greatlakeseducation.org/
Elderhostel
“Lake Michigan and Beyond: A Nautical Adventure”
11 Avenue de Lafayette
Boston, MA 02111
PH: 1-800-454-5768

http://www.elderhostel.org/

10. Harbor Walks
South Haven Harborwalk
Michigan Maritime Museum
260 Dyckman Avenue
South Haven, MI 49090
A series of historic markers are positioned throughout the walk from Lake Michigan and along the Black River.

Shipwrecks in Indiana: Underwater Archaelogy in Lake Michigan

January 8, 2008

Shipwrecks
in Indiana
Underwater Archaeology
in Lake Michigan
Map of the Muskegon shipwreck site.
Although Indiana is a landlocked state, the
northwestern counties bordering Lake Michigan
have served as popular ports of trade and travel
for centuries. The busy lake traffic, combined
with the region’s occasionally harsh weather, has
resulted in the presence of many historic
shipwrecks within the Indiana territorial waters
of Lake Michigan.
Map of Unknown Shipwreck #2 site.
In the 1980’s, Gary D. Ellis, the first Indiana
State Archaeologist at the Department of
Natural Resources (“DNR”), and avid scuba
diver, began researching and documenting the
shipwrecks of Indiana. In 1983, Ellis began the
Submerged Artifact and Vessel Evaluation
Program (“SAVE”) to survey the Indiana
portion of Lake Michigan for cultural resources.
SAVE was initiated as a direct response to an
attempt to salvage the shipwreck of the J.D.
Marshall, which sunk in 1911. The rescue of the
Marshall by the DNR served as a catalyst for the
state to protect Indiana’s submerged cultural
resources. To date the SAVE program has
evaluated 14 shipwreck sites ranging in age from
the early to late 19th century.
Ellis trained DNR Conservation Officers in
underwater archaeological techniques to help
conduct the surveys. The methodologies
employed during the SAVE surveys included
archival research, sonar and other remote
sensing methods, systematic survey on grids or
transects, photographic and graphic
documentation, and subsurface topographic
mapping. The shipwrecks SAVE team
documented included passenger boats,
freighters, “sand-suckers,” and car ferries.
The archaeological survey of the Muskegon
(originally named the Peerless) shipwreck was
conducted over a three-year period and
consisted of 25 project dives. As a result of this
research, the Muskegon is now listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Photograph of the Muskegon shipwreck.
The Muskegon was a medium sized steam
powered passenger-freighter vessel that was
brought down by fire in 1910. However, at the
time of its sinking the vessel had been converted
to a “sand-sucker.” The sand and gravel
company that owned the Muskegon sent the J.D.
Marshall, a 154-foot wooden “lumber hooker,”
to salvage the Muskegon’s deck and sandsucking
equipment in 1911. Ironically, outfitted
with the Muskegon’s complement of equipment
the Marshall itself sank the following day, over
laden and in heavy seas, and killing four men.

ODYSSEY’S SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure

January 4, 2008

Contact: Shani Jefferson
Museum of Science & Industry
shanij@mosi.org
(p) 813-987-6080
Contact: Natja Igney
Odyssey Marine Exploration
nigney@shipwreck.net
(p) 813-876-1776 x 2553
NOW OPEN!
ODYSSEY’S SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure
Presented by:
Bank of America
***
NEW EXHIBITION UNCOVERS HIDDEN TREASURES
OF THE DEEP-OCEAN
***
MOSI admission fees*:
$25.95 adults, $22.95 seniors, $20.95 children (ages 2-12)
(*includes MOSI Exhibits and Galleries, SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure, and One IMAX® Film, excludes special engagement IMAX films)
Tampa, FL (June 22, 2007) – Join thousands of shipwreck enthusiasts in their quest to discover the fascinating world of underwater adventures and treasures in Odyssey Marine Exploration’s exciting multimedia exhibition SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure, which is now open at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) in Tampa.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (AMEX:OMR) made worldwide headline news recently when announcing the recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins weighing over 17 tons from a newly discovered shipwreck code-named “Black Swan.”
SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure exhibition reveals the compelling stories behind some of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, their treasures and historical artifacts, and allows visitors of all ages to interactively experience the adventure and excitement of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration through multiple hands-on exhibits. Visitors can pilot a real robot submersible, navigate a virtual ship through a terrifying hurricane, maneuver the controls of the giant robotic arm to pick up coins one at a time, battle the force of nature in a 75-mph hurricane tube, and engage in archaeology, weather and navigation games. The exhibit also includes the premiere of a new interactive pirate display that presents the lore, legends and facts of pirates who sailed the oceans of the world.
– more -
Among the authentic shipwreck treasures on display are gold and silver shipwreck coins and priceless historical artifacts archaeologically recovered from the SS Republic®* and other shipwrecks discovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration. The SS Republic was a sidewheel steamer en-route from New York to New Orleans in 1865 with a fortune in gold and silver coins intended to help rebuild the war-ravaged South, when a fierce hurricane forced her to the depths of the icy Atlantic Ocean. Odyssey discovered the shipwreck in the summer of 2003 nearly 1700 feet below the ocean’s surface about 100 miles off the Georgia coast and has since recovered more than 51,000 coins and approximately 14,000 artifacts.
The exhibit is scheduled to run through February 10, 2008.
*SS Republic is a registered trademark of Odyssey Marine Exploration.
# # #
Purchase tickets by visiting http://www.mosi.org/shipwreck.html
Location: 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa FL 33617
Additional information and high resolution photos are available at
http://www.shipwreckandtreasure.com/media
About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration is a Publicly Traded US Company with several shipwreck projects in various stages of development throughout the world. Additional information about Odyssey, the SS Republic shipwreck, the “Black Swan” project, and the Company’s other activities is available at http://www.shipwreck.net.
About (MOSI) Museum of Science & Industry
MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. With a total size of over 300,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States, and home of the only IMAX® Dome Theatre in the state of Florida. Kids In Charge! The Children’s Science Center at MOSI is the largest children’s science center in the nation. Disasterville, featuring WeatherQuest, MOSI’s newest permanent exhibition combines education and 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits on the remarkable science behind natural disasters.

Metallurgy of the RMS Titanic

January 4, 2008

NIST-IR 6118
Metallurgy of the RMS Titanic
Tim Foecke
Metallurgy Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Technology Administration
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-0001
Abstract
Metallurgical and mechanical analyses were performed on steel and rivet samples recovered from
the wreck of the RMS Titanic. It was found that the steel possessed a ductile-to-brittle transition
temperature that was very high with respect to the service temperature, making the material brittle at
ice-water temperatures. This has been attributed to both chemical and microstructural factors. It
has also been found that the wrought iron rivets used in the construction of Titanic contained an
elevated amount of incorporated slag, and that the orientation of the slag within the rivets may hold
an explanation for how the ship accumulated damage during its encounter with the iceberg.
Keywords: Titanic, forensics, fracture, mild steels, ships, manganese sulfide, rivets, wrought
iron, historical metallurgy
Introduction
On April 12, 1912, on her maiden voyage, the liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic
and sank 400 miles southeast of Newfoundland, with a loss of over 1500 people. This loss was
particularly tragic when considered in the context of what Titanic represented. At the time of her
construction, she was the largest moving man-made object. She was designed with the latest
safety features and was thought to be man’s triumph over nature. The popular press dubbed her
“unsinkable”.
This most famous of all shipwrecks has been the subject of books, film, and forensic speculation
for over 85 years. Many questions were raised from the time of the Mersey Inquiry [1] (the
official British hearing into the sinking) to the present day about what happened that night:
• Why did Titanic sink so quickly (in less than three hours)?
• What was the nature of the damage to the hull from the impact with the
iceberg?
• In what sequence did the compartments flood?
• Did she break in half at the surface, or did she sink intact?
• Were there any design flaws that could have been avoided?
Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute found Titanic under 12,000 feet of
water in 1985. Surprisingly, Titanic was found to be broken into two pieces oriented in opposite
directions. This confirmed the scattered testimony of some passengers that she broke at the
surface, but ran contrary to every account of the disaster given by surviving officers. This new
data fueled even more speculation as to how and why Titanic sank as she did.
Recovery of Material
The first piece of hull material recovered from the wreck site of the Titanic was brought back by the
French oceanographic institute submersible Nautile in 1991, during the filming of an IMAX
production on the sinking. This material came into the possession of Maritime Museum of the
Atlantic, who asked researchers at the Defence Research Establishment – Atlantic (DREA) in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, and CANMET in Ottawa to test the steel’s mechanical properties [2].
Charpy impact tests were performed by Ken KarisAllen and Jim Matthews of DREA, and they
found that the steel fractured in a 100% brittle fashion at ice brine temperatures. An observation of
these tests and subsequent limited analysis can be found in an article published in Popular
Mechanics [3]. This caused wide-spread speculation that the brittle character of the hull steel in ice
water might have been a major factor in the sinking of the ship. It was considered conceivable that
the impact with the iceberg, though minor, would have been sufficient to shatter the brittle hull
plates in the bow, allowing the rapid flooding of the ship.
The Marine Forensics Panel (SD-7) of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
(SNAME), of which the author is a member, in cooperation with The Discovery Channel formed a
team that was charged with a scientific investigation of the causes of the sinking of the Titanic.
RMS Titanic Inc., headed by George Tulloch and salvor-in-possession of the wreck, provided
access to the wreck and facilitated the investigation during a salvage trip in August of 1996.
During this time, investigations of the biology of the “rusticles” hanging on the hull, the damage to
the bow now buried under fifty feet of mud by sub-surface sonar imaging, and the damage to the
ship on breakup were performed. Of particular importance to this report, a section of the Titanic’s
hull plating, along with several hull and bulkhead rivets, was recovered and turned over for
analysis.
The purpose of this study was twofold. First, a determination of the physical properties,
microstructure and chemistry of the steel from the hull of RMS Titanic was made. These results
were compared to prior studies of another sample of the steel, and to modern and contemporary
standards to determine if it could be considered inferior material for the application. Secondly,
since a great deal of the other forensic evidence [4] points to the likelihood of seam opening and
rivet failure in the sinking, a detailed analysis of the microstructure of the wrought iron rivets was
performed.
Sample Preparation and Experimental Procedure
Specimens of hull steel were cut from the larger pieces using a low speed diamond saw immersed
in cooling oil. Metallographic specimens were mounted in epoxy, mechanically polished, and
etched with 10% nital solution. Optical metallographs were obtained in all three orientations with
respect to the rolling direction. In addition, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images of the
polished and etched surfaces were obtained to show the microstructure in more detail, particularly
to better determine the pearlite lamellar spacing. In addition, fracture surfaces cut from Charpy
bars tested at ice water temperatures were imaged in the SEM to determine percent ductile fracture
and to observe the effect of precipitates on fracture nucleation.
Transmission electron microscope samples were prepared from the plate material. Slices
approximately 1 mm in thickness were cut using a low speed diamond saw. These were
mechanically thinned using 600 grit SiC paper and 5 μm Al2O3 slurry on cloth. 3 mm disc
samples were mechanically punched from the thinned slices, and given a final thinning to
approximately 100 μm. These samples were then dimpled to a residual thickness of approximately
20 μm using cubic boron nitride slurry on a brass wheel. Finally, the samples were thinned to
electron transparency using a liquid nitrogen cold stage ion mill. The samples were imaged using
both a Philips 430 and JOEL 3010 transmission electron microscopes (TEM)1, operating at 300
kV. Parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy (PEELS) and energy-dispersive xray analysis
(EDS) were used in the 3010 to try to determine contaminant concentrations on grain boundaries.
In addition, imaging secondary ion mass spectroscopy (I-SIMS) was used to determine the
chemical composition of particles and the distribution of contamination elements in the matrix.
Mechanical characterization of the hull steel, in the form of room-temperature tensile tests and
Charpy tests run at various temperatures spanning the transition regime, were performed at the
University of Missouri – Rolla, under the supervision of Prof. H.P. Leighly [5]. Chemical
analyses were performed by Prof. Leighly [5] and also by Dr. Harold Reemsnyder of the Homer
Laboratories of Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania [6].
Experimental Results
Metallography
Steel samples of all three orientations orthogonal with respect to the rolling plane were polished
and etched to reveal the microstructure. A ferrite-pearlite microstructure was seen, with large
ferrite grains (ASTM number = 4-5, 100 μm to 130 μm equivalent diameter) and large, coarse
pearlite colonies (roughly 0.2 μm lamella thickness, but quite variable). The microstructure shows
a large amount of banding in the rolling direction. MnS and oxide particles are evident throughout
the material, and were quite large, occasionally exceeding 100 μm in length. The MnS particles
were deformed into lenticular shapes instead of being melted into stringers. Given the lack of rareearth
additions to increase the sulfide melting point (see table 2), this indicates a low rolling
temperature. The large grain size and coarse pearlite are consistent with air-cooling of the rolled
1 Identification of specific brand-names of experimental equipment does not imply
endorsement by either NIST or the U.S. Government.
plate, with no evidence of quenching or normalization treatments evident. All of this evidence is
consistent with the production of this plate in a low speed rolling mill, as was the norm in turn-ofthe-
century Ireland.
A comparable modern steel grade is AISI 1018, which has a similar chemistry and does not
possess a specialized microstructure. Micrographs of a modern 1018 steel show a finer grain size,
much finer pearlite, and smaller and less numerous rare-earth doped MnS particles. This
microstructure is typical of that produced in a modern high-speed mill, followed by a quench and
normalization treatment.
Figure 1: Scanning electron microscope image of the polished and etched longitudinal sections of
steel from the hull of the Titanic, and for comparison a modern hot-rolled 25 mm (1”) AISI 1018
plate. Note the differences in grain size, pearlite lamella spacing, and MnS particle sizes.
Mechanical Testing
The data produced from tensile tests performed on steel recovered in 1996 [5] and 1991 [2] is
shown in Table 1. The uncertainty in this data is unknown. These values are consistent with the
design requirements of “15-20 tonnes per inch squared” as specified by Harland and Wolff (the
shipbuilder who constructed Titanic in Belfast in 1911 [4]). Two groups of Charpy specimens
were prepared such that in one group the long direction of the specimens were parallel to the
longitudinal direction of the hull plate (LS) and in the second group the long axis of the specimen
was parallel to the transverse direction (TL). The adjoining figure compares the experimental
results from the Charpy impact test of the Titanic hull steel for the longitudinal and transverse
rolling directions with a modern ASTM A36 mild steel [7]. Unfortunately for the purposes of a
direct correlation of properties and microstructure, the comparison of mechanical behavior was
made versus A36 steel, which is chemically nearly identical to AISI 1018 used in the
microstructural comparison, but has a more specialized microstructure. Using 20 ft-pounds (27 J.)
for the determination of the ductile-brittle transition temperature, the author [5]obtains a transition
temperature of -15oC for the modern A36 steel, while the Titanic specimens yielded transition
temperatures of +40oC for specimens in the longitudinal direction and +70oC for the transverse
direction. The transition temperatures for the Titanic steel are much above the water temperature of
-2oC at the time of the ship-iceberg collision [1].
Figure 2: A plot of the impact
energy measured by the Charpy
test versus temperature for two
different orientations for the
Titanic hull steel, as well as
modern A36 (which is
c h e m i c a l l y a n d
microstructurally very similar to
AISI 1018). The transition
temperature is marked for each
series of samples, and is
defined as that temperature
where the sample exhibited 20
ft-lbs (27 J.) of energy. Data
from reference [5]. The
uncertainty in the data is
unknown.
Table 1
Tensile Tests Results
Plate recovered in: 1996 [7] 1991 [2]
Yield Stress 38 ksi (262 MPa) 41 ksi (280 MPa)
Ultimate Tensile Stress 62.5 ksi (430 MPa) 62.6 ksi (432 MPa)
% Elongation (50 mm gage length) 29% 30.9%
Fractography
Fracture surfaces cut from the Charpy test specimens tested from the 1996 plate were examined in
the scanning electron microscope. Fracture was entirely transgranular (figure 3), with no evidence
of fractured grain boundaries. This is significant, in that if the cause of limited fracture ductility of
the steel (as evidenced by the absence of microvoids) had been sulfur embrittlement, we would
expect sulfur segregation to the grain boundaries and intergranular fracture facets. At ice-brine
temperatures, the fracture was nearly entirely brittle, with the ductile portion of the fracture surface
estimated to be less than 5 percent (figure 4). Cleavage patches on the surface, made up of 4 to 15
cleaved grains, were seen to originate at fractured MnS particles, as evidenced by tracing river lines
on the facets. This indicates that in some cases the MnS particles acted as initiators, but the
incidence of these nucleated patches amounted to less than 10% of the surface area of the Charpy
bar fracture surface.
Figure 3: SEM fractograph of Charpy bar fracture surface (LT) from a sample fractured at 0o C.
Note the presence of cleavage facets and absence of fracture grain boundaries. One or two
cleavage patches nucleated by MnS particles can be identified in this image.
Figure 4: SEM fractograph of
Charpy bar fracture surface from
a sample fractured at 0o C. Note
presence of ductility along ridges.
This micrograph contains the
largest amount of plasticity
observable on the surface in one
area of the fracture surface of this
sample.
Figure 5: SEM fractograph
showing the MnS particle that
fractured and nucleated a
patch of 15 cleaved grains.
This was determined by
tracing river lines within the
patch. Note the lenticular
shape of the particle, the
cleavage river lines eminating
from the particle, and the
fractured course pearlite
colony in the upper right
corner.
Chemical Analysis
The steel from the hull was analyzed for chemical composition. Two determinations were made on
material recovered in the 1996 expedition [5,6], and one of the 1991 material [2]. These are
summarized in table 2. It is seen that the hull is made up of a steel that is roughly equivalent to a
modern AISI 1018 mild steel, with somewhat elevated levels of sulfur and low manganese. The
oxygen content implies that this is a semi-killed steel, and the low nitrogen levels indicate that the
steel was produced in an open-hearth furnace and not by a Bessemer process [8]. Imaging of the
chemical distribution within the steel using secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) and by
parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy (PEELS) in the TEM showed that the sulfur in the steel
to be almost entirely tied up in the MnS particles and not distributed in the matrix nor on the grain
boundaries.
Table 2
Chemical Composition of the Hull Steel from the RMS Titanic
Element 1991 [2] 1996 [5] 1996 [6] AISI 1018 [8]
(CANMET) (U.Mo, Rolla) (Beth. Steel) (ASM)
Carbon 0.20% 0.21 % 0.21% 0.18-0.23%
Sulfur 0.065% 0.069% 0.061% 0.05% max
Manganese 0.52% 0.47 % – 0.60-1.0%
Phosphorous 0.01% 0.045% – 0.04% max
Silicon 0.025% 0.017% -
Copper 0.026% 0.024% -
Nitrogen 0.004% 0.0035% 0.0026%
Oxygen – 0.013% -
Rare Earths – -
Mn/S Ratio 8.0:1 6.8:1 – 12:1 – 20:1
Mn/C Ratio 2.5:1 2:1 – 3:1 – 7:1
All measurements in volume percent, with unknown uncertainties.
Discussion
Analysis of the Fracture Behavior of the Hull Steel
The measured fracture toughness of the steel from the hull of Titanic is unacceptably low for use as
a structural material at ice water temperatures. This is likely not due to any one single material
characteristic, but a combination of several. These can be broken down into four general
categories: effects of chemistry, microstructure, architecture, and loading rate.
Effect of the Chemistry of the Steel
Several elemental constituents can increase or decrease toughness at various concentrations. The
sulfur level measured in the Titanic hull steel is higher than that acceptable in modern steels, as is
the phosphorus concentration. Both of these elements can decrease the measured upper shelf
toughness, but have been seen to have little effect on the transition temperature [9]. The steel was
also found to be low in Mn. This can lead to sulfur embrittlement if there is insufficient Mn to tie
up all the sulfur in MnS particles. However, SIMS and PEELS data indicate this is not the case,
but rather that the sulfur is mainly occupied in sulfide particles. Mn is also a powerful solidsolution
toughening agent, which can shift the transition temperature several tens of degrees celsius
with small additions [10]. Thus the low Mn level may have had an impact on the toughness of the
ferrite matrix. Also found to be important in low-carbon steel is the ratio of manganese-to-carbon
[11], which has a desired value of 5 for a 1018 steel [12], but which measured 1.5 to 2 in the
Titanic hull steel.
It has been argued that the sulfur content of the hull steel was significantly higher than the standard
of the time, and that should have implied to the engineers that the ship was being made of material
that would have been substandard from a fracture viewpoint, given sulfur’s deleterious effect on
fracture toughness. However, it is important that one look at the sulfur content standard from a
historical viewpoint. The sulfur content standard for structural mild steel is 0.05% maximum
today. In 1906, the standard, which would have been in place at the time of the ship’s
construction, was placed at 0.04% [13]. This would indicate that the steel from the hull was even
more sub-standard at the time. However, a further investigation of the literature reveals that the
standard had been revised to 0.055% (1933, [14]) and 0.05% (1946, [15]) at various times
between 1906 and the present day. There is no evidence that the concentration level was set in
reaction to any data linking sulfur concentrations to fracture or tensile behavior, but rather seem to
be a series of estimates at an upper bound. Metallurgists of the era had an empirical knowledge
that elevated levels of certain tramp elements, most notably sulfur and phosphorus, increased the
likelihood of cracking in steel under certain service conditions. The effect had been known in
general terms for nearly a century, but a quantitative analysis was not performed until the analysis
of Liberty Ship failures during and after WW II [16]. Any assertion that the engineers constructing
the ship should have been able to link a chemical analysis showing high sulfur in any given plate to
a obvious risk of brittle fracture is unfounded. Also, it is far too simplistic to state that, simply
because there exist somewhat elevated sulfur concentrations, the steel was brittle, as will be
discussed in subsequent sections.
Effect of the Steel Microstructure
Trends have been found relating microstructural characteristics of mild steel with ferrite/pearlite
microstructures to fracture toughness. In general, larger ferrite grain sizes and pearlite colonies
give lower toughnesses [17]. There is a body of work in the literature, for example the analysis of
Ritchie, Knott and Rice [18] that the size, shape and distribution of carbides in mild steel is a
dominant factor in determining the shape and location of the brittle-to-ductile transition temperature
(BDTT). Since the steel from the hull appears to have been air-cooled and unannealed, most of the
carbon not in matrix solid solution is tied up in carbide lamella in the pearlite. It was not possible
in either the SEM or TEM to find precipitated particle carbides in the steel. So the carbide size that
would be controlling fracture behavior would be that in the pearlite, and thus a coarser pearlite
lamella spacing would cause a higher transition temperature.
The presence and large size of the MnS particles are considered deleterious to fracture resistance,
as they act as crack initiators within the steel at temperatures near the lower shelf [19]. It was seen
that the plate recovered in 1996 exhibited 5% ductile fracture during Charpy tests at ice-brine
temperatures, and that MnS particles, upon examination of the fracture surface, nucleated a few
patches of cleavage. However, the plate recovered in 1991 was 100% brittle even at room
temperature [20], placing it firmly in, not near the lower shelf regime. Thus MnS particles would
have little to no effect on toughness in this plate. The presence of MnS particles and their effect on
crack growth have been found to be much more important at high temperatures than lower
temperatures. Their effect on the fracture behavior of both the material in this study as well as the
1991 study [2] are considered negligible. Although cleavage patches have been identified on the
fracture surface as having come from the fracture of a MnS particle, and thus the formation of a
process-zone would have begun, the occurrence of this was relatively rare. It is believed that the
fracture mechanism that controlled at -2oC would have been weakest-link [18], where the first
fractured microstructural feature would have precipitated failure. And as the population of large
carbides, in the form of thick pearlite lamella, is many times that of large sulfides, it is more likely
that a fractured carbide would precipitate failure.
A finer microstructure, both in terms of grain size and in pearlite lamella spacing, would have
exhibited a significantly higher transition temperature at this composition. This could have been
obtained by rolling the steel at a higher speed and temperature, then subjecting the plate to a quench
and normalization anneal. However, the concept of notch sensitivity of iron-based alloys was little
understood, and the first quantitative ways to begin to evaluate the fracture toughness of a material,
among them the Charpy V-notch test [21], was only devised in the five or so years before the
construction of the ship. It was suggested in a rather off-hand manner in the Mersey Inquiry [1]
that Charpy-like testing should have been performed on the steel of the hull. However, in 1911,
the only materials being routinely tested for fracture toughness were ordinance steels [22], where
failures by fracture were thought to be much more likely than in structural steel under normal use.
Therefore, it would have been not intuitive for the designers and builders of Titanic to have tested
the hull steel for notch sensitivity, and even if they had, they had no information about what makes
steel notch sensitive in the first place, and how to fix it. Specifications of the time for steels at the
time called for only a range of tensile strengths and tensile ductility, which are a poor indicator of
fracture toughness.
Effect of Fabrication Techniques and Architectural Design
Several practices common in turn-of-the-century shipbuilding may have contributed to making
brittle steel a factor in the sinking. All of these are noted here as possibilities only, and the exact
effect each may or may not have had on the sinking may never be known for certain.
• Stress Concentrations: Because of a lack of understanding of notch sensitivity in ironbased
alloys, there was no attempt to remove stress concentrations from the architecture of
the ship. These are commonly found at hatch corners, strake junctions, and the like.
These were found to be sources of brittle cracks in Liberty Ships during and after WW II
[23].
• Cracks at Rivet Holes: The rivet holes in the hull plates of the Titanic, and of all
contemporary ships, were cold-punched using a steam-driven ram [24]. Upon close
examination, these rivet holes were found to contain a small number of cracks. However,
the shipbuilders generally did not worry about them because they were so small, and they
thought that a well-driven rivet would exert a clamping stress that would negate any risk
[24]. However, the residual stresses from the punching process would have been
significant, and was such that they exerted a driving force on the cracks. Furthermore,
upon impact of the plate at low temperatures, these cracks could have grown in a brittle
manner and linked up, resulting in failure of the plate.
• Plate Variability: The two plate fragments recovered from the wreck and analyzed to date
(1991 [2] and this study) have exhibited significant differences in microstructure and
fracture properties. They appear to have been rolled at different temperatures, as evidenced
by the more severe banding and MnS particle melting in the 1991 plate. This variability
would have meant that some plates were at risk of brittle fracture at ice-brine temperatures,
while others would have been fine. This effect of plate variability in the hull was also seen
in the detailed analysis of Liberty Ship failures, where the initiation, propagation, and arrest
hull plates were found to have increasingly higher toughnesses at a given temperature [22].
This variability is not unexpected, as the Titanic and her two sister ships were twice as
large as any previously built, and iron feedstock was being assembled from all over the
United Kingdom [25]. Also, the plates were being produced in 40 ton batches, versus the
500 ton batches typical for today [25].
Effect of Loading Rate
Iron-based alloys are well-known to exhibit strain-rate sensitive fracture behavior. That is, the
faster the crack is loaded, the more brittle the fracture character. There is both direct and indirect
evidence that the steel used in the hull of the Titanic and her sister ships exhibited this behavior.
Imaging of the hull of the Titanic by Nautile showed considerable buckling resulting from the
impact with the seafloor [26]. Computer simulations of the sinking showed that this impact was
fairly gradual and that these plates deformed at low strain rates [7]. However, the impact of the
ship with the iceberg at 20+ knots would have occurred at strain rates more in line with a Charpy
impact test. At this rate, the steel would exhibit more brittle behavior. Additional evidence comes
from photographs of damage to the Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic, after collision in Belfast
harbor with a Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Hawke [25] (figure 5). A close examination of the
photos show considerable bending of the plates around the hole, while reports of the physical
damage include a mention of a triangular piece of hull that fractured into the ship. This would be
consistent with a high strain rate impact causing fracture, and then progressively slower
deformation as the two ships pressed together, causing bending instead of cracking.
Figure 6: A close-up of the damage to the RMS Olympic due to collision with the HMS
Hawke in the Solient in 1911. Note the man for scale. A considerable amount of plasticity in
the hull plates is indicated by the bending and twisting seen in the picture. Note missing rivets.
Photo from [25].
Analysis of the Fracture Behavior of the Rivets
The findings of the Marine Forensics Panel report [7] detail that parting of seams, and not a
mythical 90 m (300 ft) gash in the bottom of the hull, made up the damage to Titanic. This would
imply that failure of the rivets may have had a role in the sinking. A detailed analysis of two hull
rivets was undertaken to determine if any metallurgical factors may have given the rivets a tendency
to fail.
Effect of Microstructure
The Titanic was assembled using some 3,000,000 hydraulically-driven rivets [7]. These were
drawn from wrought iron, a mass of iron and iron silicate that extruded into a layered structure.
These were driven through the hull plate and the stringer, and flattened on the inside. Rivets were
considered to be acceptably driven if when tapped with a hammer, one heard a clean ‘ring’. If the
sound was a dull ‘thud’, the rivet was drilled out and another driven in.
These rivets were made of wrought iron, which consists of a relatively pure iron matrix containing
2-3% (by volume) iron silicate slag. A micrograph of the structure can be seen in figure 7.
Quantitative metallography was performed on a cross-section of a hull rivet that had been cut and
polished. This showed that this rivet contained 9.3% +/- 0.3% slag on average, which is more
than 3 times the amount normally expected in wrought iron [27]. This slag had an almost bimodal-
type distribution of sizes, ranging from a large amount in very long stringers (>200 μm
long) to a large number of small oblate spheroid particles (1 μm to 5 μm diameter).
The mechanical behavior of wrought iron, and especially the fracture behavior, is known to be
highly anisotropic [8]. Parallel to the direction of the silicate stringers, the tensile strength is on the
order of a strong mild steel, while perpendicular to this the measured strength is considerably
decreased. More strikingly, the tensile strain to failure, which is one of two parameters generally
specified in 1911 for the quality of wrought iron [27], is an order of magnitude lower in the
transverse direction than in the longitudinal direction. This behavior can be simply understood by
considering the microstructure. It is important to note that there is virtually no interfacial strength
between the ferrite and slag components of the microstructure. The slag merely takes up space in
the ferrite, from a mechanical point of view, in the transverse orientation. Worse, at low
temperatures, the silicate slag can fracture and nucleate cracks in the iron, a similar effect to MnS
particles in mild steel in the transition temperature regime. And in the transverse orientation, the
slag sheets present a very large area that can nucleate a crack.
Upon impact, these rivets might have a tendency to pop out of their holes after losing the interior
head. This is evidenced by both the rivets in possession, which are missing interior heads, and by
the higher magnification of the damage to RMS Olympic after collision with the Hawke (figure 8).
If you look at the photograph, dozens of rivets around the hole are missing. Loss of rivets, and
the resultant parting of seams and water leakage, is believed to be the main occurrence that caused
the sinking of the Titanic [7].
The two hull rivets in possession have been sectioned and examined. Both exhibit the abovementioned
orientation distribution of slag stringers within the rivet, an increased amount of
incorporated slag, and are both missing the inner head. These metallurgical factors would have
degraded the mechanical performance of the rivet. If additional samples are obtained during an
expedition planned for August of 1998, further work will be performed to determine if this was a
major factor in the sinking of the ship. Rivets from an intact section of a lap joint will be sectioned
to see if rivets that did not fail contain elevated slag levels and transversely-oriented slag stringers.
It is important to reiterate that only two rivets have been sectioned to date, out of 3,000,000, some
minority percentage of which held the hull together.
But it is also important to observe that not all rivets need exhibit these undesirable characteristics
for the rivets to have played a role in the sinking. If a load from the iceberg impact is borne by the
rivets of a lap joint on the edge of a plate, failure of a small fraction of the rivets (for whatever
reason) would transfer this load onto the remaining intact rivets. This load transfer would occur
disproportionately onto the rivets immediately adjacent to the failed ones. This could bring the
stress level in these neighboring rivets to the failure level and propagate the failure of the joint,
even if the neighboring rivets are of standard quality. The microstructure of the rivets is the most
likely candidate for becoming a quantifiable metallurgical factor in the loss of Titanic.
Figure 7: Montage of micrographs showing the orientation of silicate slag at various locations
within a cross-section of a Titanic hull rivet. Note that in the upper pre-formed head (formed onto
a hot rod of wrought iron prior to cutting the rivet to length), the slag spreads out evenly into the
head like the branches of a tree. At the bottom, where the inner head popped off, very near the
fracture surface the stringers are oriented perpendicular to the tensile axis. This occurred
presumably when the inner head was formed.
Figure 8: Blowup of damage to
Olympic after collision with HMS
Hawke. This image has undergone a
considerable amount of digital image
processing to bring out the empty rivet
holes. On the entire image after
processing, one can identify in excess
of 50 rivets missing from the immediate
area of the impact. Image from [25].
Effect of Residual Stresses
A properly driven rivet possesses a considerable amount of residual tensile stress. This develops
as the rivet cools and shrinks, clamping the two plates together, and is only partially relieved by
plastic deformation in the rivet. This stress could have an effect on the behavior of the rivets
during an impact of the hull plate. The residual stress does not have an effect on the tensile
strength of the material. However, it does have an effect on the amount of plate deflection would
be required to fail the rivet during an impact. For a given rivet, the presence of a residual tensile
stress decreases the amount of additional stress needed to exceed the ultimate tensile strength of the
material. This represents a smaller amount of deflection of the hull plate applying the stress though
leverage against the supporting rib inside the ship. High residual stresses would increase the
tendency of rivets to “pop” during collisions. The presence of high residual stresses in Titanic
rivets can be seen in a badly-corroded bulkhead rivet, seen in figure 9. The head of the rivet has
exfoliated and the slag stringers have spread, driven by residual stress during stress corrosion
cracking and dissolution of the ferrite.
Figure 9: Bulkhead rivet from RMS Titanic. Note the
portion of the head that exfoliated during corrosion of
the ferrite matrix of the wrought iron, under the
influence of the residual stress in the rivet.
Conclusions
• The steel used to construct the RMS Titanic’s hull, though adequate in strength, possessed
a very low fracture toughness at ice water temperatures
• The low toughness was likely due to a complex combination of factors, including low Mn
content, a low Mn/C ratio, a large ferrite grain size and large and coarse pearlite colonies.
• There is evidently a large variation in properties among the 2000 plates that made up the
hull of Titanic. This conclusion is based on the very different microstructures and fracture
behavior observed in the two plate samples recovered to date. This is a normal result of the
variability of feedstock and rolling conditions in turn-of-the-century ironworks.
• This variability makes it difficult to determine the effect of MnS particles and microcracks
in the sinking of the ship. An analysis of the actual plates involved in the collision would
be required for a more firm determination.
• It is possible that brittle steel contributed to the damage at the bow due to the impact with
the iceberg, but much more likely that the brittle steel was a factor in the breakup of the ship
at the surface. This is discussed in much more detail in the full Forensics Panel report [7].
• Steps could have been taken to heat-treat the steel to improve its fracture properties, but this
knowledge was simply not available in 1911.
• The microstructure of the rivets that evolved during their being driven into place, with the
slag stringers oriented perpendicular to the tensile axis, may have been a direct contributor
to the type and distribution of damage to the hull. This aspect is under further
investigation.
• Given the knowledge base available to engineers at the time of the ship’s construction, it is
the author’s opinion that no apparent metallurgical mistakes were made in the construction
of the RMS Titanic.
Acknowledgements
The author wishes to thank the following colleagues for material, data, advice,
consultation, and comments:
Phil Leighly (Univ. of Missouri, Rolla, MO), Harold Reemsnyder (Homer Labs,
Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem, PA), George Tulloch (RMS Titanic, Inc., New York, NY),
Bill Garzke (Gibbs and Cox and SNAME, Arlington, VA), Jim Matthews (Defence
Research Establishment – Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia), Bob Brigham (CANMET,
Ottawa, Quebec), Ed McCutcheon (USCG (Retired), Bethesda, MD), Bill Gerberich
(Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN), and John Bonevich (Metallurgy Division,
NIST).
References
1. 1912 Board of Trade Hearings of the Titanic Disaster (Mersey Inquiry).
2. R.J. Brigham and Y.A. Lafreniere, “Titanic Specimens”, CANMET Report 92-32(TR),
CANMET Metals Technology Laboratories, Ottawa, Canada.
3. “Titanic Steel: A Shattering Tale”, Popular Mechanics, February 1995.
4. Moss, M. and Hume, J.R. Shipbuilders to the World, 125 years of Harland and Wolff,
Belfast, Blackstaff Press, Belfast (1986).
5. K. Felkins, H.P. Leighly, and A. Jankovic, “The Royal Mail Ship Titanic: Did a
Metallurgical Failure Cause a Night to Remember?”, JOM 50 (1) (1998) p. 12.
6. Dr. Harold Reemsnyder, in a letter report to the Marine Forensics Panel (SD-7) of the
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, August 12, 1997.
7. W.A. Garzke Jr., D.K. Brown, P.K. Matthias, R. Cullimore, D. Wood, D. Livingstone,
H.P. Leighly Jr., T. Foecke, and A. Sandiford, “Titanic, The Anatomy of a Disaster”,
Proceedings of the 1997 Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine
Engineers, SNAME, Jersey City, NJ (1997) p. 1-1
8. The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel, United States Steel Corporation, 7th. Edition,
Pittsburgh (1957).
9. A.J. DeArdo, Jr. and E.G. Hamburg in Sulfide Inclusions in Steel, American Society for
Metals, Metals Park, OH (1974) p. 309.
10. J.A. Rinebolt and W.J. Harris, Trans. Amer. Soc. Metals 43 (1951) p. 1175; 44
(1952) p. 225.
11. M.L. Williams, Symp. on Metallic Materials at Low Temperatures, ASTM STP 158
(1953) p. 11.
12. M.L. Williams and G.A. Ellinger, American Welding Journal 32 (1953) p. 498.
13. “Sulfur Content Standards in Structural Steels”, American Technical Society, Chicago
(1906).
14. see W.M. Wilson, J. Mather and C.O. Harris, Bull. No. 239, Ill. Experimental Station
(1931), p. 3.
15. Steel Products Manual, Section 2: Semifinished Carbon Steel Products, American Iron and
Steel Instute, Pittsburgh (1946).
16. Brittle Fracture of Welded Ship Structures: Final Report of a Board of Investigation,
convened by order of the Secretary of the Navy, US Govt. Printing Office, Washington
DC (1946)
17. ref. 6, p. 800.
18. R.O. Ritchie, J.F. Knott, and J.R. Rice, J. Mech. Phys. Solids 21 (1973) p. 395.
19. I. Kozasu and J. Tanaka in Sulfide Inclusions in Steel, American Society for Metals,
Metals Park, OH (1974) p. 286
20. J. Matthews, Defence Research Establishment – Atlantic, private communication, October
1996.
21. M. Charpy, Ass. Intern. pour l’essai des materiaux, VI Congres, rv, 5 New York (1912).
22. C.F. Tipper, The Brittle Fracture Story, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1962).
23. M. Williams, “Failures in Welded Ships, An Investigation of the Causes of Structural
Failures”, NBS Technical News Bulletin 37 (24) (1953).
24. W.A. Garzke, Jr. , Private Communication (1997).
25. Eaton, J.P. and Haas, C.A. Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, W.W. Norton and Co., New
York (1986).
26. Private communication, D. Livingstone to W. Garzke (1996).
27. R.M. Brick and A. Phillips Structure and Properties of Alloys, McGraw-Hill, New York
(1949) p. 33

January 4, 2008

Treasure Hunters
Allan Baillie
Notes written by Catherine McCredie
Summary
Pat joins his father and his father’s friend in their search for a shipwreck off the coast
of an Indonesian island. This island is a territory in turmoil, with freedom fighters
actively seeking independence from Indonesia and the Indonesian military using
extreme methods to quell uprisings.
In searching for the lost Flor do Mar – a sixteenth-century Portuguese ship, ‘the
richest shipwreck in the world’, which was once loaded with treasures from Malacca
(near Indonesia) – Pat and the others start piecing together the old history that led to
the ship being wrecked. But they also become reluctantly and fatefully embroiled in
modern-day Indonesian politics.
Themes
Treasure Hunting and Shipwrecks
• Do many people search for lost shipwrecks?
• What kind of people are they?
• What attracts them? Would you do this?
• Who owns the treasure once it’s been found?
• How many valuable, undiscovered shipwrecks are there? Where are they? What
are some of the most famous shipwrecks? This may be research that can be done on
the Internet.
Social Responsibility
• What are our responsibilities towards others? Do you have more responsibility for
someone you know, or someone who asks you for help, than for a stranger?
• When you’re in a foreign country, are there some things you should just ignore, or
put up with? Are some things always worth fighting for? If so, what?
• How important is it to understand the politics of the country you are living in or
visiting? What is the relevance of politics to your day-to-day life?
Indonesian Politics
Allan Baillie’s most pioneering work as a writer has been to place his characters in
the centre of some of the world’s most troubled spots (with a particular focus on
Asia), thereby offering his readers invaluable insights. For this, he has drawn on his
background as a journalist, and his own far-reaching experience. For instance, it was
through witnessing the events leading up to and occurring in Tiananmen Square at
the time of the massacre that led Allan to write The China Coin.
What are some recent events that might have inspired Allan Baillie to write Treasure
Hunters? How plausible are the actions of ‘The General’ in Treasure Hunters?
• What were the effects of colonisation on Indonesia?
• What other trouble spots has Allan Baillie explored? Where could he choose next
to write about? (In fact, Allan is currently writing a novel set in present-day Egypt.
Can you imagine some elements he might use in the plot? Perhaps you could draw
up a plot outline for this novel.)
History of the Spice Islands
• What was Malacca like in the early 16th Century? What was the purpose of the
Flor de Mar’s fateful trip? Again, this type of research can be done on the Internet.
Writing style and language
How has Allan Baillie’s background as a journalist affected his writing? Do you know
other writers who were once journalists? Are there similarities between these writers
and Allan Baillie? Do you think this is a good background for a writer? Could there be
disadvantages? Why do you think Allan Baillie chose to write novels for young
people, instead of remaining a journalist? Are there particular journalists whose
writing you enjoy?
• Find newspaper or magazine articles that lead to discussion and debate – try
writing your own novel outline based around some of the real-life things you find in
the media.
Can you imagine being on a little boat off an Indonesian island with your slapdash
father? Can you imagine being a Portuguese sailor in the 16th Century? How has
Allan Baillie gone about building a picture in the reader’s mind?
• Use these questions as a springboard for your own personal or descriptive
writing.
• The historical story is written in the present tense, and the modern story is written
in the past tense. What do you think this achieves? Is it an effective technique?
Look at the structure of Treasure Hunters. Is it chronological? How does this effect
your reading of the book?
Activities
• Look at the cover of the book. What does it tell you about the story? What does it
suggest about the main character? What sense of the narrative is presented?
• How will Pat tell his story to Beth? To Robbie?
• Research the Flor de Mar. Are there treasure hunters looking for it now? Do you
think it will be discovered one day? What treasures was it carrying?
• Research Indonesian politics. What is causing the current instability in Indonesia?
Pick an Indonesian territory that is threatening to break away from the rest of
Indonesia. What measures does the Indonesian government take to quell uprisings?
What is the Australian government’s stance? Do you agree with the Australian
government’s position? What are some of the issues that the Australian government
considers when it forms a stance? Who helps the government to form an opinion?
Who decides, in the end?
• Research the history of East Timor. How and when did East Timor achieve
independence? Regarding East Timor, what was the Australian government’s stance
over the years? How and why did this stance change? Do you think it’s likely that
other Indonesian territories will also achieve independence? What about Australia?
Are there parts of Australia that would prefer to form an independent government?
How do you think governments should respond to demands for independence?
• Write your own treasure hunt – think about what your character will learn and
how they will change by the end of their adventure.
• Read one of Allan Baillie’s other political thrillers. What similar themes, if any, are
explored in Allan’s other books?
About the Author
Since the publication of his first book for children, Adrift, in 1983, Allan Baillie has
become one of Australia’s most important writers for children. His novels, which
include Little Brother (1986), The China Coin (1992) and Saving Abbie (2000), have
won him acclaim, awards and international recognition. He is also the author of
several highly successful picture books, including Drac and the Gremlin (1989).
Allan Baillie’s novels have found success in Japan, Sweden, Holland, Germany,
France, Spain, England, the United States, New Zealand and South Africa.
Allan is a versatile author who has written fantasy novels and novellas (The
Magician, Megan’s Star, Foggy), a mystery (Secrets of Walden Rising) and a
historical novel set in pre-colonial Australia (Songman). He has also written
collections of short stories.

Treasure Hunters – Allan Baillie

January 4, 2008

Treasure Hunters
Allan Baillie
Notes written by Catherine McCredie
Summary
Pat joins his father and his father’s friend in their search for a shipwreck off the coast
of an Indonesian island. This island is a territory in turmoil, with freedom fighters
actively seeking independence from Indonesia and the Indonesian military using
extreme methods to quell uprisings.
In searching for the lost Flor do Mar – a sixteenth-century Portuguese ship, ‘the
richest shipwreck in the world’, which was once loaded with treasures from Malacca
(near Indonesia) – Pat and the others start piecing together the old history that led to
the ship being wrecked. But they also become reluctantly and fatefully embroiled in
modern-day Indonesian politics.
Themes
Treasure Hunting and Shipwrecks
• Do many people search for lost shipwrecks?
• What kind of people are they?
• What attracts them? Would you do this?
• Who owns the treasure once it’s been found?
• How many valuable, undiscovered shipwrecks are there? Where are they? What
are some of the most famous shipwrecks? This may be research that can be done on
the Internet.
Social Responsibility
• What are our responsibilities towards others? Do you have more responsibility for
someone you know, or someone who asks you for help, than for a stranger?
• When you’re in a foreign country, are there some things you should just ignore, or
put up with? Are some things always worth fighting for? If so, what?
• How important is it to understand the politics of the country you are living in or
visiting? What is the relevance of politics to your day-to-day life?
Indonesian Politics
Allan Baillie’s most pioneering work as a writer has been to place his characters in
the centre of some of the world’s most troubled spots (with a particular focus on
Asia), thereby offering his readers invaluable insights. For this, he has drawn on his
background as a journalist, and his own far-reaching experience. For instance, it was
through witnessing the events leading up to and occurring in Tiananmen Square at
the time of the massacre that led Allan to write The China Coin.
What are some recent events that might have inspired Allan Baillie to write Treasure
Hunters? How plausible are the actions of ‘The General’ in Treasure Hunters?
• What were the effects of colonisation on Indonesia?
• What other trouble spots has Allan Baillie explored? Where could he choose next
to write about? (In fact, Allan is currently writing a novel set in present-day Egypt.
Can you imagine some elements he might use in the plot? Perhaps you could draw
up a plot outline for this novel.)
History of the Spice Islands
• What was Malacca like in the early 16th Century? What was the purpose of the
Flor de Mar’s fateful trip? Again, this type of research can be done on the Internet.
Writing style and language
How has Allan Baillie’s background as a journalist affected his writing? Do you know
other writers who were once journalists? Are there similarities between these writers
and Allan Baillie? Do you think this is a good background for a writer? Could there be
disadvantages? Why do you think Allan Baillie chose to write novels for young
people, instead of remaining a journalist? Are there particular journalists whose
writing you enjoy?
• Find newspaper or magazine articles that lead to discussion and debate – try
writing your own novel outline based around some of the real-life things you find in
the media.
Can you imagine being on a little boat off an Indonesian island with your slapdash
father? Can you imagine being a Portuguese sailor in the 16th Century? How has
Allan Baillie gone about building a picture in the reader’s mind?
• Use these questions as a springboard for your own personal or descriptive
writing.
• The historical story is written in the present tense, and the modern story is written
in the past tense. What do you think this achieves? Is it an effective technique?
Look at the structure of Treasure Hunters. Is it chronological? How does this effect
your reading of the book?
Activities
• Look at the cover of the book. What does it tell you about the story? What does it
suggest about the main character? What sense of the narrative is presented?
• How will Pat tell his story to Beth? To Robbie?
• Research the Flor de Mar. Are there treasure hunters looking for it now? Do you
think it will be discovered one day? What treasures was it carrying?
• Research Indonesian politics. What is causing the current instability in Indonesia?
Pick an Indonesian territory that is threatening to break away from the rest of
Indonesia. What measures does the Indonesian government take to quell uprisings?
What is the Australian government’s stance? Do you agree with the Australian
government’s position? What are some of the issues that the Australian government
considers when it forms a stance? Who helps the government to form an opinion?
Who decides, in the end?
• Research the history of East Timor. How and when did East Timor achieve
independence? Regarding East Timor, what was the Australian government’s stance
over the years? How and why did this stance change? Do you think it’s likely that
other Indonesian territories will also achieve independence? What about Australia?
Are there parts of Australia that would prefer to form an independent government?
How do you think governments should respond to demands for independence?
• Write your own treasure hunt – think about what your character will learn and
how they will change by the end of their adventure.
• Read one of Allan Baillie’s other political thrillers. What similar themes, if any, are
explored in Allan’s other books?
About the Author
Since the publication of his first book for children, Adrift, in 1983, Allan Baillie has
become one of Australia’s most important writers for children. His novels, which
include Little Brother (1986), The China Coin (1992) and Saving Abbie (2000), have
won him acclaim, awards and international recognition. He is also the author of
several highly successful picture books, including Drac and the Gremlin (1989).
Allan Baillie’s novels have found success in Japan, Sweden, Holland, Germany,
France, Spain, England, the United States, New Zealand and South Africa.
Allan is a versatile author who has written fantasy novels and novellas (The
Magician, Megan’s Star, Foggy), a mystery (Secrets of Walden Rising) and a
historical novel set in pre-colonial Australia (Songman). He has also written
collections of short stories.

Famous Shipwrecks in Labuan

January 4, 2008

Famous Shipwrecks in Labuan
Treasure Images underwater filming services have been required by the Malaysian
Department of Museums and Antiquities to document the condition of the 4 famous Labuan
Shipwrecks.
Known as the Australian Wreck, the American Wreck, the Blue Water Wreck and the
Cement Wreck, Labuan wrecks have not yet been protected by any laws against looters,
fishermen as well as commercial fishing trawlers.
How much damage been done and in what conditions the wrecks are has been one of the
subjective of the Museum to be researched and filmed.
During one week of filming work, Treasure Images Cameramen brought up fantastic, but
also alarming images. Although there is healthy coral grow and plenty of marine life on the
Cement Wreck, fish traps, countless fishing nets and clear signs of dynamite fishing can be
found at the Blue Water Wreck. The thin steel plates of the American Wreck are fast
deteriorating and looters have been taking almost anything of value. Countless fishing
trawlers in the region stir up silt and cover the Australian Wreck and whatever looters
haven’t taken from it yet.
We also found personal artifacts of crewmembers and passengers, as well as grenades
and ammunition on the two World War II Wrecks (The American and The Australian
Wreck), which have been given to the Museum for conservation and display.
The wrecks are part of Labuan’s and Borneo’s history and need urgent protection should
they be kept intact as war memorials and tourist attractions.
More information’s on the wrecks at http://www.labuantourism.com.my/explore/wreck_diving.htm
Blue Water Wreck
Cement Wreck
Australian Wreck
American Wreck
Copyright by Treasure Images Sdn Bhd
http://www.treasure-images.com


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