Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, Balclutha Mast & Rigging
On January 15, 1887, with a twenty-six-man crew, Balclutha sailed under British registry from Cardiff, Wales, on her maiden voyage. She was bound for San Francisco. The ship entered the Golden Gate after 140 days at sea, unloaded her cargo of 2,650 tons of coal, and took on sacks of California wheat. This photo, ringed by portraits of Captain Constable and his crew, was taken on San Francisco Bay in June, 1887.
Because of the months-long ocean voyage, Balclutha made only one round-trip per year while engaged in the Europe-to-San Francisco grain trade. She arrived with a cargo three times, but also brought pottery, cutlery, Scotch whisky (from Glasgow and Liverpool) and "Swansea general" (tinplate, coke and pig iron) to San Francisco.
During the mid-1890s the ship called at other ports around the world; in New Zealand, for example, she loaded wool and tallow for London...