The Cutty Sark turns 150 © Grant Rooney Premium/Alamy
We"re featuring the Cutty Sark in today"s image to mark the 150th anniversary of its launching on November 22, 1869. Built for speed, the Cutty Sark began its abbreviated career as a tea clipper racing across oceans "at a clip" (hence the designation "clipper ship") to deliver the season"s first tea harvest from China to England. While at times considered one of the fastest ships in the world, the Cutty Sark’s practical use as a cargo ship was ending almost as soon as it was launched. That"s because steamships using the much shorter route through the newly opened Suez Canal were able to deliver the highly anticipated tea harvest faster and more cheaply. In 1883, the Cutty Sark began hauling wool from Australia, but within 10 years steamships also disrupted this business.