The Gem of the Ocean was built by Hayden & Cudworth at Medford, Massachusetts for William Lincoln of Boston who, as The Boston Daily Atlas of September 8, 1852 commented “is certainly entitled to great credit for the liberal style in which she [The Gem of the Ocean] has been fitted.” A medium-sized clipper, she was registered at 702 tons, primarily as a cargo ship, but also outfitted for passengers. Notably, her first launch, on August 4, 1852, took place at midnight to accommodate the tides of the Mystic River at Medford; it was said that “each man brought his lantern” for this unique spectacle (Glenn A. Knoblock, The American Clipper Ship, 1845 to 1920: A Comprehensive History, North Carolina, 2014, p. 49). The Gem of the Ocean left Boston on September 15, 1852 on her maiden voyage to San Francisco, arriving 121 days later on February 2, 1853. From there, she plied the waters of the Australian, Indian, and Far East trades, sailing from Hong Kong to San Francisco in early 1867. After being sold to West Coast owners in 1867, she became employed in the Alaskan ice trade and the South American lumber trade. In August 1879, on her way from Seattle to San Francisco, she went ashore on Vancouver Island; while the ship was lost, there was no loss of life (ibid, p. 294).