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Group Description

The ship Success, which began as a humble country trader in the East Indies in 1840, went on to serve as an emigrant ship (1843-1852) and as an infamous penal hulk for the colony of Victoria, Australia. (1853-1890). Then this stout, teak-built ship embarked on a whole new career as an exhibition ship and set out on a tour of the world, first in Australia 1890-1895), then on to the British Isles (1895-1911), and finally the U.S. Fitted out with wax effigies of well known convicts and outlaws, and with other implements of of convict life, the owners tried hard to portray the ship as an educational exhibit, but in reality it was an amusement. Many of the exhibits on board had little or no connection with the ship's penal hulk days, and they couldn't even get her age correct - claiming in literature that she'd been built in 1790. And, to the consternation of the Australian government, when the ship arrived in the U.S., her new management concocted a whole new persona by claiming that she had actually been a 'convict ship' - in other words, she had transported convicts to Australia, which of course was false. This hoax continued throughout her US tour. It is difficult to estimate just how many came aboard to view the ship but it is known to have been many millions. By the 1930s business had tapered off considerably while the aging ship was becoming more costly to maintain. With the U.S. enmeshed in a world war, the Success closed for good in 1942 at Cleveland, Ohio. Later towed to nearby Sandusky, and finally Port Clinton, an arsonist set her on fire on July 4th, 1946 in shallow water and she burned to the waterline. She had been afloat an incredible 106 years.

In this group, I invite readers to submit their photos, videos, documents, and personal recollections, so as to leave a lasting legacy for this this remarkable vessel.

Group members can learn more by visiting my website at and following my blog at You can also follow the Ship Success on Facebook at

You can email me at:

Additional Info

  • This group will count toward the photo's limit (60 for Pro members, 30 for free members)
  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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