The 1872-3 Cruise of the Pearl-Shelling Schooner Franz: Recording the Southwest Pacific Maritime Trade

By Steve Mullins, published August 2004

Abstract

On 2 July 1872 the 148 ton schooner Franz left its home port Sydney bound for Torres Strait where rich grounds of mother-of-pearl shells had been discovered only recently. Yet the Franz then sailed around the north coast of New Guinea, and the voyage ended in disaster, half the ship’s company having been killed. The vicissitudes of this cruise highlight the then rapidly changing economical, social, legal, political and administrative conditions, to which the actors of the maritime trade of this region had to adapt themselves.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Whaling & Fishing

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