A clipper ship is a synonym for a merchant ship from the 19th century that plied global routes and ferried cargo and passengers.
In the 1840s, a new kind of merchant navy vessel was created by American shipbuilders. It facilitated faster transport of cargo through the oceanic waters.
The most important aspect of a clipper ship was speed, and it was built to enhance a streamlined design.
The origin of the term “clipper ship” in naval architecture is disputed.
The consensus is that the Baltimore Clipper was the first vessel to employ that name.
A clipper ship offered its captain and crew a sailing speed of over 250 miles a day, whereas the routine ships travelled at an average speed of 150 miles per day.
The Flying Cloud (which was launched in 1851) was a significant American clipper ship.
It made the journey between New York and San Francisco in 89 days – a record by itself.