TIL Tea clippers used to race to be the first to deliver their cargo, the price being to sell their cargo at a premium

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Tea_Race_of_1866#Background

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. > The first cargo of tea landed could be very profitable for tea merchants, so they introduced incentives. In 1854, Vision had a premium of an extra £1 per ton included in her bill of lading, payable if she was the first to dock. In 1855 Maury and Lord of the Isles raced for a premium of £1 per ton, with the latter the winner through getting a better tug to get up-river. Note that the premium did not simply reward the fastest passage, since rapid loading of a cargo and a prompt departure were important factors. In 1861, the consignees offered a premium of 10s per ton to the first ship to dock in London. This was won by the Fiery Cross, who also went on to win in 1862, 1863 and 1865.

    These races ended up becoming a subject of betting and drove the development of ever faster clippers.

    One of these days I’ll figure out which way “price” and “prize” go.

  2. Here’s a nasty little ‘Wooden ships and Iron men’ fact [nsfw]

    ‘Son of a gun’ sounds like someone didn’t want to say ‘bitch.’ But in fact, back in the days of 100 gun ships, a gun crew might smuggle a woman on board. She’d service all the men on a gun crew, seven or eight fellows. A ‘son of a gun’ would be the son of a hooker and an unknown number of fathers.

Leave a Reply