Model of Medium Clipper Ship Reporter

Reporter was built at East Boston by Paul Curtis in 1853 and launched on 3 September of that year. It measured 207 feet 6 inches in length, 39 feet in beam, and 24 feet 7 inches in depth of hold and was originally built for the cotton trade from New Orleans to England. On October 13, 1853, it left on its maiden voyage from Boston to New Orleans, and it was the first clipper-built ship to successfully cross the mouth of the Mississippi River. From New Orleans it sailed to Liverpool in 30 days, the fastest trip made at that time. However, it was not profitable in the southern cotton trade on account of its size, and in November 1855 was sold to W. F. Weld & Company for use in the Cape Horn run. It made several profitable voyages to California through early 1862. The ship was lost during a severe gale off Cape Horn on August 17, 1862 on a voyage from New York to San Francisco. Only four crew were saved; the captain and 31 others were lost.
Built by an unknown 19th century craftsman, this model was acquired in 1962 by the Insurance Company of North America from a New York antique dealer.
Currently not on view
Object Name
ship model
date made
ca 1860
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 27 in x 40 1/2 in; 68.58 cm x 102.87 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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