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Scottish House: A History of McIlwraith, McEacharn

Scottish House: A History of McIlwraith, McEacharn



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  • Synopsis

    In the mid-20th century the magnificent passenger liners Karoola, Katoomba and Kanimbla put McIlwraith, McEacharn at the forefront of Australia's coastal shipping. The company had begun in London in the 1870s with a fleet of sailing ships carrying migrants to Queensland before venturing into ocean-going steamships, then during the 1890s gold rushes moving into the passenger and cargo trade from Sydney and Melbourne to Western Australia. Through two world wars its fleet served the nation as troopships, a hospital ship, an armed merchant cruiser and a landing ship while also maintaining vital supply lines. Coinciding with delivery of the pioneer container ship Kooringa, in 1964, the company merged its shipping interests with those of Adelaide Steamship to form Associated Steamships, but McIlwraith McEacharn remained active in towage, agency, ship management and coal mining until taken over in 1993. This definitive history by former senior manager Tom Stevens and business historian Howard Dick interweaves the stories of its business, ships and people through war and peace. The book also reveals the complicated politics of the coastal shipping industry, its importance to Australia's economic development, and the reasons for its eventual decline in the face of competition from airlines, railways and road transport.

  • Publication details

    T.S. Stevens and H.W. Dick

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