Double-Checking the Records


Every student of history wants to ensure that the records they research are accurate. But every once in a while, a fake slips into place and assumes a special role in history. At first glance, this tiny photo in our archives appeared to be of an 18th century convict ship from Australia, probably added to our collections by sea captain Inman Sealby, a world traveler. However, further research revealed that the "Success" was actually a hoax! Actually built in the 1840s (not the 1790s), the ship was exhibited around the world for fifty years as the last of its kind. It was an enormously successful tourist attraction, drawing about 21 million visitors on board. To learn more about the "Success," visit