This clipper appeared in the USA about 1820. It is the last stage in the evolution of the sailing ship and it satisfies the demand of the American merchant class, who had realized that the future of trade was on the sea. The American builders created quite a new ship, without imitating schemes and models of the old continent, and they immediately obtained such results as to influence the techniques of the world’s shipyards. The fine, hydrodynamic hull and the wide sails made the clipper a very swift boat, so that very soon challenges between ships became frequent.
Flying Cloud, the masterpiece of builder Donald McKay, was built in East Boston in 1851. She acquired a high reputation during the 'Gold Rush' in California, making the passage from New York to San Francisco in a record time of 88 days, 22 hours and a half, never equalled so far.