Ghost images show passengers of a ship that sank at the bottom of the ocean in 1857

© Studio Paul Messier / Courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group

More than 150 years ago, the SS Central America, better known as the “Golden Ship,” sank off the coast of the United States. But in addition to the tons of gold, on board the ship was another hidden treasure. After a long legal battle, the passenger photos were released for the first time.

sourceThe Guardian, BBC

With about 21 tons of gold on board, the Central American SS sank in 1857 off the coast of the US state of South Carolina. Only 153 passengers survived the disaster. It was a hurricane that sealed the fate of the other 425 people on board. Mainly miners and their families. They were on their way home with their newly discovered fortune, made during the California gold rush.

Between 1988 and 2014, the wreck was submerged several times, unveiling gold coins and coins. But in addition to all that gold, there was another valuable thing that was salvaged from the bottom of the sea. Many of the passengers had daguerreotypes with them. This is the first successful commercial form of photography, in which a photograph can be taken once with the help of iodine vapor and a copper plate.

(Read more below the photo)

© Studio Paul Messier / Courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group

“they (photos, editor) It really brings out the humanity of the event,” says Bob Evans Watchman† He’s been investigating the Central American SS since 1983. “We don’t know who the people in the photos are. These were the last things these guys had on board with them before the ship sank – and what a moment. These were the things that mattered to them.” More, their money and these photos. They have represented friends, relatives or maybe themselves.”

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It is remarkable that after more than 150 years the sea floor is still almost completely intact. Evans told the BBC they were in good shape because they had been put in special protective bags. They were made of different types of materials, such as wood covered with leather. “It all depends on how well the boxes are made, and how well the statues are made,” Evans said. The lower temperature of the Atlantic Ocean could also play a role.

(Read more below the photo)

© Studio Paul Messier / Courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group


The wreck was first discovered in 1988 by researcher Tommy Thompson. But he later claimed he didn’t know where some of the loot was. This infuriated investors, who raised millions for the expedition. They sued and Thompson ended up behind bars for six years.

The photos themselves appeared in 2014, but the publication of the photos was delayed due to the legal battle.

© Studio Paul Messier / Courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group


Denton Watson

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