The convict ship Success

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Screen grab from “Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World’s Fair at San Francisco,” digitized by Library of Congress

Imagine the cruelty of being trapped on a prison ship to Australia, your sadistic captors torturing you on the rack or lashing you with the cat o’ nine tails as undulating seas heave and pitch. The convict vessel Success was one such ship of horrors… Step Right Up! Pay a fee, and you too can see the show!

If all this sounds a little bit like a huckster trying to get you into a circus sideshow, then you’re right. It is!   Read more