- Packet trade
Packet trade generally refers to any regularly scheduled cargo, passenger and mail trade conducted by ship. [ [http://www.umassd.edu/specialprograms/CaboVerde/cvpacket.html Cape Verde Packet Trade] ] The ships are called "packet boats" as their original function was to carry mail. [ [http://www.yourdictionary.com/packet-boat your-dictionary.com: packet boat] ]
United States, "packet trade" is used most oftenFact|date=October 2007 to refer to the Atlantic (or "Western") Ocean packets which traded with Europeand Africa(most notablyFact|date=October 2007 Cape Verde).
During the 18th century ships carrying cargo, passengers and mail between Europe and America would sail only when they were fullFact|date=October 2007, but starting in the early 19th century, as trade with America became more common, schedule regularity became a priority.
The Black Ball line
In 1818, ships of the "Black Ball" line began regularly scheduled trips between Britain and America. These "packet ships" (named for their delivery of mail "packets") were infamous for keeping to their disciplined schedules. This often involved harsh treatment of seamen and earned the ships the nickname, "bloodboat".Fact|date=October 2007
The original Black Ball Line was founded by a group of New York
Quakers, but later a rival service founded by James Baines of Liverpoolalso styled itself the Black Ball Line, despite the protests of the original company of that name.
Because of the influence of
whalingand several local droughts, there was substantial migration from Cape Verde to America, most notably to New Bedford, Massachusetts.Fact|date=October 2007 This migration built strong ties between the two locations, and a strong packet trade between New Englandand Cape Verde developed during the early-to-mid 1800s.
The first seagoing ship built in
Van Diemens Land(in 1812) was named the "Henrietta Packet" by virtue of the fact that she offered a regular passenger service between Hobart, Tasmaniaand Sydney, New South Wales. From the 1830s the term "steam packet" was commonly applied to early steam ship services that, at least in theory, offered a regular and reliable service, and is perpetuated today by many waterfront establishments around Australiabearing such names as the "Steam Packet Inn" or "Steam Packet Hotel".
Both fast sailing ships and early steam ships holding mail contracts between Great Britain and Australia were also often referred to as packets. These included several ships of James Baines' Black Ball Line and the Orient Line.
Isle of Man Steam Packet
Packet (sea transport)
For further reading
*Dave Hollett, "Fast Passage to Australia: the History of the Black Ball, Eagle and White Star Lines", London, Fairplay, 1986.
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