The Zeta: North Dock

The Zeta: North Dock

The Zeta was a three masted Barque commissioned by Lord Henry Bath of  Longland’s Swansea and was the pride of his copper barque fleet. The Zeta was the first merchant ship to navigate the Straights of Magellan to Chile, avoiding the treacherous Cape Horn. 

Llong tri mast oedd y Zeta a gomisiynwyd gan yr Arglwydd Henry Bath o Longland Abertawe a hon oedd seren ei lynges o longau copr. Y Zeta oedd y llong fasnach gyntaf i hwylio trwy Gulfor Magellan i Chile, gan osgoi peryglon yr Horn. 

1865 was a landmark year in North American history, with the US Civil War coming to an end and Abraham Lincoln losing his life to an assassin’s bullet. History was made in South America too when the Zeta, a three masted merchant ship, sailed from Swansea North Dock to Valparaiso in Chile to collect copper ore from the mines of Santiago.

Here Jeff Phillips shows the 185 foot barque dwarfing other craft in the North Dock. The matching plumes of smoke from ship and steam train remind us that industrialisation was revolutionising the way people travelled both on land and at sea, but of course there was an environmental price to pay for this progress, and Swansea would pay it in full.

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