The four-masted steel-hulled barque 'Garthpool' (2842 GRT) was built by W.B. Thompson & Co. Ltd at Dundee, Scotland in 1891. This ship was originally named 'Juteopolis' owned by Captain C. Barrie after the nickname given to Dundee as a centre of textile production. Between 1901 and 1912 she carried cased oil between the USA and Asia for the Anglo-American Oil Company. Soon after she was sold to G. Windram & Co. of Liverpool. John Williams was Second Mate of 'Juteopolis' between 1917 and 1919, later residing in Melbourne he later gained international recognition for directing the salvage of gold bars from the wreck of the RMS Niagara off the coast of New Zealand in 1940-41 and eventually became Chairman of the Australian National Line. 'Juteopolis' was sold after the First World War to the Marine Navigation Co. of Canada Ltd and renamed 'Garthpool'. Sir William Garthwaite was the president of the Company and the prefix 'Garth' was given to their ships. Garthpool was used on the Australian trade for wheat transport. The vessel was wrecked at Boa Vista in the Cape Verde Islands in 1929 on a voyage from Hull to South Australia and was the last large square rigged sailing ship in British merchant marine service.

This model was built by Swedish-born shipwright Frans August Soderberg (1859-1935). The case was made by his brother Wilhelm Thure Soderberg. Frans Soderberg arrived in Victoria as a ship's carpenter on the 'SS Protos'. He jumped ship and settled in Williamstown, Victoria, later moving to various places in Victoria and New South Wales. He worked on the Wimmera Railway repairing timber bridges and was later employed by Dorman Long & Co. in South Melbourne as a foreman while living in Box Hill. His brother Wilhelm was a member af the Ship Lover's Society of Victoria and he may have suggested to Frans that he donate this 1:168 scale model of the 'Garthpool' to the Museum in 1930 following the loss of the ship in the previous year..

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