Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Tall Ships in Sydney Harbour

October 3rd, 2013 by

2008/165/1-3 Glass plate negative (1 of 193), three masted sailing ship on Sydney Harbour, photographer possibly Arthur Phillips, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1900


The International Tall Ships Festival 1913 is taking place on Sydney Harbour as part of the International Fleet Review  which marks the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet into Port Jackson in October 1913.  On 3rd October 2013, a fleet of tall ships from around the world will sail though Sydney Heads and dock in Darling Harbour as part of the celebrations.

This image from the Phillips Glass Plate Negative Collection shows a beautiful three masted sailing ship at anchor in Sydney Harbour in the early 20th century.  There is very little information about this image in our database. The ship is flying a White Ensign, the flag of the British Royal Navy. The Royal Australian Navy also flew the White Ensign from 1911 to 1967, although an Australian ship would have flown an Australian flag in addition to the White Ensign.

The name of the ship is not visible in the image so it is not known when or why this Royal Navy vessel was visiting Sydney.  By the 1900s many vessels, including war ships, were steam powered.  It is possible that this sleek white hulled vessel was visiting Sydney as part of the celebrations for the new Australian Navy formed in 1911.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Technologies

Photography possibly Arthur Phillips c. 1900
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