This week, via the the Library of Congress flickr account, I came across the fantastic story of my (now) favourite ever ship.
In the 1850s it was employed as a prison ship off the coast of Australia, gaining notoriety when, in 1857 prisoners managed to murder the Superintendent of Prisons John Price. After this, it was “purchased by a group of entrepreneurs to be refitted as a museum ship to travel the world advertising the perceived horrors of the convict era.”
It then travelled to England before spending more than twenty years sailing up & down the east coast of the U.S., only falling into disrepair during the great depression, which coincided with a fall in the public’s appetite for buying museum tickets.
Now as far as I am concerned this, especially alongside the striking images of torture equipment makes for a fine tale. But the really remarkable thing about this museum about horror, pain & death, is that throughout its history, it retained the original name given to it. Which was the Success.
File under “Sublime Ironies”.
My thanks to Joho (the blog) who first alerted me to the existence of the LOC on the interwebs.
Love regards etc