Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, California, 1915

California Welcomes the World to San Francisco 1915
California Welcomes the World to San Francisco 1915

On Friday 31 July 1914, the Wimmera under command of Captain Kell departed Hobart for Sydney. Her cargo included 1300 cases of jam, 1000 bags of flour, 100 cases of evaporated apples, 60 boxes of crayfish and a couple of boxes of smoked ‘barracouta’. In addition were 100 tree-ferns.

Acquired from near Gordon and the Margate districts of Tasmania, the tree-ferns were destined for San Francisco where they would be planted as decoration around the Australian Pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Each tree fern measured an average of 10 feet in height and in order to keep them protected from rats had both the butts and head covered in scrim and wire and lightly tarred. Mr. R. A. Black had acquired them on behalf of Commonwealth authorities for the exhibition.

THE PANAMA EXHIBITION
“THE PANAMA EXHIBITION.” The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) 1 Aug 1914: 4. Web. 30 Oct 2014
< http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10379564 >

In Sydney the tree ferns were transhipped to the Union Company’s steamer SS Willochra which sailed for ‘Frisco on Sunday 9 August.

A close-up of the Australian Pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco - showing tree ferns shipped from Tasmania
A close-up of the Australian Pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco – showing tree ferns shipped from Tasmania.
Detail from photograph. Author’s Collection.

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021

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