Annotated By Early Mariners at Sea -- Including The Boston Light and Moses Wheeler
Large sea chart of the South Pacific Ocean, extending from the Philippines and Australia in the west to the Coastine of South America, published by James Imray & Son in London, with revisions to 1857.
Imray's general chart of the South Pacific, etc. was one of the primary general navigational sea charts of the region used in the middle part of the 19th Century. Imray includes a note inviting input to improve the chart from those who use it.
The present example tracks several voyages through the region:
- Boston Light from San Francisco to Sydney May 185?
- Boston Light To Hong Kong From Sydney August 185?
- Moses Wheeler from Sydney to Callao in November 1857
- Unnamed expedition around Tierra del Fuego to Lima
The Boston Light was an 1154 ton medium clipper ship, built by E & H O Briggs in South Boston in 1854. The ship was owned by James Huckins & Sons Of Boston. The Boston Light is most famous for making the fastest ever run from San Francisco to Boston (76 days, 8 hours). The ship is known to have made a run to Sydney in 1855-1856 and from San Francisco to Hong Kong and back 1858.
The Moses Wheeler was an extreme Clipper ship, one of the earliest designed and built by Donald McKay in 1850.
James Imray was a publisher specialized in nautical charts. He started one of the most successful blue-back chart-selling companies of the nineteenth century; it is still in business today. Imray’s father was a dyer and he was born in Spitalfields, London, an area known for its garment industry. James did not want to enter the garment trade, however, and instead apprenticed to Stationer William Lukyn in 1818. Imray began his business as a book publisher and seller; however, he shared premises with Robert Blachford, a chartseller. Imray entered into business with Robert’s successor, Michael. He turned the business into a success and bought Blachford out in 1846, publishing under the imprint of James Imray. In 1854, son James Frederick joined as a partner and the imprint changed to Imray & Son. They thrived thanks to targeted marketing and excellent compilation charts that focused on trade routes. The busines entered in a long decline after the death of James Sr. in 1870. In 1899, Imray & Son amalgamated with Norie & Wilson. This conglomerate was bought by the Laurie firm in 1904 and today the business trades as Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson.