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WHAT IS A TEA CLIPPER

Friday November 8th, 2013
ImageClippers originated in the 19th century and the thing that defines them is that they had three or more masts and a square rig. They were an extremely fast vessel for their time and although as a rule were usually narrow, they managed to carry quite a lot of bulk freight.

Britain and America were the most prominent builders of the clipper, but other nations also built them including France, the Netherlands and Brazil.

They were mainly used on the trade routes from the UK to the East where the United Kingdom had colonies. They were also used for trans-Atlantic trade and were used during the Californian gold rush New York to San Francisco.

Clippers however are probably most famous for their delivery of tea from China. This began in 1843 when there was a huge demand for tea, the phrase “Tea Clipper” is still used today. The demise of the Clipper probably started in 1869 with the opening of the Suez Canal.
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