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Paper Passenger Receipt Artifact from the SS Central America Shipwreck

Sank September 12, 1857

Artifact measures 2' tall and 3.5" Wide (from longest points)


The SS Central America shipwreck is a compelling tale of tragedy and lost treasure from the 19th century. The SS Central America was a sidewheel steamer that operated during the California Gold Rush era, shuttling passengers and cargo between the east and west coasts of the United States. On September 9, 1857, disaster struck when the ship encountered a powerful hurricane off the coast of North Carolina, leading to its sinking.


The ship was carrying a fortune in gold and other valuable cargo, including gold bars, coins, and personal belongings of the Gold Rush prospectors. The sinking of the SS Central America resulted in the loss of nearly 425 lives and a substantial amount of wealth, causing a significant financial panic in the U.S. banking system. The tragedy also dealt a heavy blow to the economy, as the lost gold represented a significant portion of the country's monetary reserves at the time.


For over a century, the shipwreck of the SS Central America remained lost at the bottom of the ocean, becoming a legendary tale of lost treasure. In the late 1980s, a team of deep-sea explorers led by Tommy Thompson located the wreckage and initiated a groundbreaking recovery effort. The discovery of the shipwreck and the subsequent retrieval of its precious cargo became one of the most significant treasure salvage operations in history.


The recovered treasure from the SS Central America included thousands of gold coins, bars, and other artifacts that offered a glimpse into the economic and social history of the Gold Rush era. The salvaged gold was later sold, and the proceeds were used to compensate the investors who funded the exploration and recovery efforts. The SS Central America shipwreck remains a captivating story of human triumph and tragedy, and its lost treasure serves as a tangible link to the extraordinary events of the 19th century Gold Rush and the impact of a single maritime disaster on the course of history.

Paper Passenger Receipt Artifact from the SS Central America Shipwreck

SKU: Passenger Receipt Artifact

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