Historical information

In the early nineteenth century larger Australian wool producers sent all their wool by sailing ship to London, where colonial auctions were held in November, January, February and March. Wool bales were carried from the farm on drays or wagons pulled by bullocks, horses or camels to port warehouses. In these times, wool transport could take anything from a week to six months. Ships, such as the Lightning, were then loaded and raced each other to get to London ahead of their rivals.

The wooden ship 'Lightning' was destroyed by fire while loading wool at Geelong 31 Oct. 1869. Scuttled in Corio Bay and the remains later blown up. Reputed to be one of the fastest sailing ships. Famous in the Australian passenger trade.

Physical description

Model of a clipper ship with hull painted brown and black. Red Ensign flag attached to flag pole.

Inscriptions & markings

On label - Lightning Black Ball Line 1854-55