This hand coloured photograph commemorates the visit of the United States Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908. It depicts a night-time view of a building in Sydney with the illuminated sign 'NSW greets USA'. The postcard has been captioned 'Illuminations Sydney, USA Fleet visit'. Hundreds of postcards were produced as souvenirs of the visit and were purchased by both American sailors and Australian spectators.
In December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent the US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships, all painted white in peacetime colours, on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The voyage came at a time of tense relations between Japan and America and gave the US an opportunity to demonstrate its blue-water naval capabilities as well as strengthen diplomatic ties. The fleet arrived in Australia on 20 August 1908.
For more information on lightshows of the past, see our blog
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Object number: 00015347
Owner: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons