Group portrait in a ship’s cabin, c 1916

Group portrait in a ship’s cabin, c 1916

This image depicts Ray Milton Sterling (standing right), the son of American shipowner Captain Edward Robert Sterling. He is standing next to Ethel May Francis with her family seated in front of them in the saloon of the six-masted barquentine E R STERLING. Seated left to right are Ethel’s sisters Elizabeth (nicknamed Esme) and Martha (nicknamed Matt) and two unidentified individuals.

The saloon was reportedly the most beautiful room on board, equipped with a range of contemporary gadgets built for ‘comfort and convenience’. According to the ‘Cairns Post’, the saloon moved beyond ‘cramped quarters’ and ‘hurricane lamps’ to a player piano and a gramophone, which Sterling had concealed in the room’s centre table, an ‘ingenious combination’ of music and dining table. This photograph was probably been taken before Ray and Ethel May married.

For more information see our blog post on the Sterlings:

This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio collection. Sam Hood (1872-1953) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 60-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century.

The ANMM undertakes research and accepts public comments that enhance the information we hold about images in our collection. This record has been updated accordingly.

Photographer: Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection

Object no. 00023069

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