In March of 1854 the iron hulled, steam powered S.S. City of Glasgow sailed into oblivion with 480 people on board. She was never seen again. Those expecting the arrival of the SS City of Glasgow held onto the hope that she was delayed midway due to mechanical problems and would just arrive some days late. Hope would ebb and flow, and after a period of weeks would be extinguished altogether. This was by no means unusual as vessels had been sailing off the "edge of the world" for centuries. In modern times the maritime community was eager to embrace anything that would lift the cloak of mystery surrounding these disappearances. The advent of wireless brought all this to an end--vessels would communicate their position during the voyage, and if delay or disaster did strike, could call for help. It wasn't long before international agreements stipulated large vessels be fitted with wireless apparatus.
The news item on the right is typical for the era--vessels come across some flotsam or a wreck--could be a recent wreck, or one from some months past--and sift through it looking for any identifying marks or inscriptions.
Wrecked on Cape Beale
December 18, 1886 Victoria Colonist Newspaper.
An Unknown Vessel Goes to Pieces with Probable Loss of the Crew
The steamer Hope, which arrived from Alberni last evening, reports having seen a large ship ashore two miles on this side of Cape Beale. the Hope was, owing to the rough weather, unable to near the wreck. The lighthouse keeper said he could discern the letters "G.E." on the stern, the high sea preventing his boarding the doomed vessel, which lies almost submerged by the waves. No further particulars have come to hand, and the fate of the crew is as yet unknown. the supposition, however, is that they took to the boats, but it is believed no small boat could live in such a sea. It is quite probable that the vessel has gone to pieces ere this.