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    Edwin Fox Maritime MuseumEdwin Fox Maritime Museum Picton, New Zealand
    On permanent display in Picton, New Zealand, the Edwin Fox is the world's ninth oldest ship with a fascinating history that took her from a troop carrier to an immigrant ship to a magnificent museum. The Edwin Fox was constructed at Sulkeali on the Ganges Delta, in India in 1853, as a Moulmein trader and the last vessel of her kind, similar to those that had already been constructed for the East India Company and made entirely of teak and saul timber in only nine months. The ship would be sold to Sir George Hodgkinson of London, just before her inaugural launch, and he would rename the vessel, the Edwin Fox. On her maiden voyage, to London by the Cape of Good Hope, she would carry ten passengers and a general cargo, and in less than a year later, she would be sold to Duncan Dunbar and put into service by the British government as a troop ship for the Crimean War, and would carry such famous passengers as Florence Nightingale. After the fall of Sebastopol, the Fox would be refitted to carry civilian passengers and general cargo, making her first voyage to the Southern Ocean in 1856 with five passengers and cargo, arriving in Melbourne in three months. She would be used for numerous purposes for many decades, until 1873, when she would be chartered by Shaw Savill Company to carry immigrants to New Zealand from England, and make four voyages carrying a total of 751 passengers to the new colony. By the 1880s, the age of steam had come, and the sheep industry in New Zealand was going great. The Edwin Fox would be fitted out as a floating freezer hulk and used for numerous South Island ports. In 1897, she would be towed to Picton, where she would remain, as a freezer ship, then coal hulk and then a marvelous museum.

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    Picton MuseumPicton Museum Picton, New Zealand
    The Picton Historical Society maintains the museum that is filled to the brim with artifacts from the past with an excellent collection of early pioneer relics and Maori taonga (treasures), but the most significant collection is of the whaling relics and exhibits that pertain to the Perano Whaling Station that operated in the Queen Charlotte Sounds into the 1960s. It also houses the city's history and social development that includes an outstanding collection of photographs and memorabilia.

May 12, 2011