Like other clippers she is sheathed with yellow metal and painted black outside, and inside is light pearl color, with blue waterways. Her bulwarks are built solid like those of a ship of war, and above them she has a pannelled monkey rail, which is continued around her entire outline. She has an open topgallant forecastle, the height of the main rail, a large house amidships for the crew, &c., and aft she has two spacious cabins into a trunk poop. The after one is wainscotted with mahogany, satin and rose wood, and has papier maché cornices, two recess sofas with stained glass pictures in the back ground. One of these represents a ship with all sail set by the wind on the starboard tack, and the other, Neptune and his Rib in an old-fashioned car, drawn by creatures to match. In the forward partition there are double-pannelled mirrors, which give a reflected view of the whole cabin abaft it. The forward cabin or dining saloon, is neatly grained in imitation of oak, with white cornices enclosed between gilded mouldings.
The furniture of both cabins and their state-rooms, is extremely neat and beautifully arranged. The windows in front of the house have stained glass, and in the midship one, is a representation of a train of cars, and over it the ship's name.
She is well found in boats and ground tackle, has a force pump aft for wetting sails, washing decks, or extinguishing fire, should such a calamity befal her. Her bulwarks have brass ventilators along their sides, and her bitts are also pierced and ventilated. She has a patent steering apparatus, Crane's self-acting chain-stoppers, and all other improvements of the day, except Emerson's ventilators, without which we never consider a ship complete.
Her frame is of oak, and her scantling of hard pine, and she is square fastened throughout, and butt and bilge bolted with copper. She has two 16 inches square depths of keel, floor timbers of 12 by 18 inches, three depths of midship keelsons, each 16 inches square, sister and bilge keelsons, and hold ceiling, varying from 14 to 10 inches in thickness. She has 16 hold beams, secured with lodging knees, 29 lower deck beams, 16 inches square, with oak knees, which rest on a massive stringer, 16 inches square waterways, with two thick strakes above them, and one inside of them, the whole cross-bolted with 1¼ inch iron, and ceiling above 6 inches thick. She has 4 oak hooks and pointers forward and 3 aft, varying from 12 to 14 inches square, and two of these are 30 feet long on each side. The midship stanchions are double, clasp the hold and lower deck beams, and are kneed below and bolted above. the hanging knees under the beams of both decks are sided from 10 to 12 inches, are moulded from 20 to 22 inches in the throats, and have from 16 to 19 bolts in each. There are 30 beams under the upper deck, sided 16 inches and moulded 10, and they have oak turned stanchions under them. The hook in the between decks completely spans the angle of the bow, and has 136 bolts in it, and the after hook has 100 bolts, and both are sided 14 inches and moulded over two feet in the throats. The planking of both decks is 3½ inches thick, the lower deck hard pine, and the upper one white pine, and as already stated, her bulwarks are built solid. her outside planking varies from 4½ to 5½ inches thick, and is square fastened with treenails, butt and bilge bolted with copper, and neatly finished.
She has built fore and main masts, and a single spar for the mizzenmast, and her topmasts and jibbooms are of hard pine, and her topgallant-masts of spruce pine. She is not heavily sparred, that is to say, she is sparred in proportion to her size, and looks well aloft. Her highest sails fore and aft, are royals. She is neatly rigged, has white mast-heads and lower masts, black yards and bright studding-sail booms. She will spread about 10,000 yards of canvas in a single suit of sails.
This beautiful ship is now nearly ready for sea, and in a few days will sail for Callao, and thence for the Chinca Islands. She was built by Mr. Jas. O. Curtis, long and favorably known as one of the best builders in Medford, and like all his other vessels, does him great credit for the completeness of her finish. She is owned by Messrs. Reed and Wade, of this city, who also owns many other fine clippers engaged in the California and China trade. The Ocean Express lies at the Grand Junction Wharf, East Boston, and is well worth an inspection by those who take an interest in shipping.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives | The Boston Daily Atlas.
Copyright © 1999 Lars Bruzelius.