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Compagnie d'Armement Maritime (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2015-10-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: compagnie d'armement maritime | barbey | peulve-petitididier | letters: itb (black) | letters: pp (black) |
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[Flag of CAM]         [Flag of CAM]

House flag of Compagnie d'Armement Maritime; left, 1839-1864; right, 1864-1879 - Images by Dominique Cureau, 1 December 2005

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Presentation of Compagnie d'Armement Maritime

The shipowner Isidore-Théodore Barbey founded in 1839 in Le Havre a shipping company with the unique ship Ludovic for the trade with Valparaíso and Lima. The company prospered, with six ships in 1850, and was incorporated as Compagnie d'Armement Maritime in 1855. Passenger ships operated on scheduled lines from Le Havre to Valparaíso, Vera Cruz, La Plata, Bahia and Reunion. The magnificent, white-hulled ships were nicknamed "white clippers". The shipowner never insured his ships and reinvested the saved premiums. In 1857, Barbey owned 39 vessels and had another 34 in construction.
In 1864, Barbey transferred the company to his nephew Jules Peulvé and his partner Arthur Petitididier. In 1870, the company was the biggest French shipping company, with 81 sailboats. Experiencing the competition by steam ships, the company kept only 40 ships in 1875 and was sold off in 1879.

The harsh working and living conditions on the "white clippers" are summarized in a sailor's song:
To be happy in crew
You would always need to sail
But, believe me, do not sail
On a clipper branded T.B.

Source: C. & J. Briot, Clippers français, Le Chasse-Marée

Dominique Cureau & Ivan Sache, 1 December 2005

House flag of Compagnie d'Armement Maritime

The house flag of Compagnie d'Armement Maritime is white with the black initials of the shipowner, that is "İTB" for Isidore-Théodore Barbey, and, subsequently, "P.P." for Peulvé-Petitdidier.

Source: C. & J. Briot (op. cit.)

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2005