Would The Sunken Ship Rio's Silk Survive Salt Watergreenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread
As I was looking through an earlier post, I saw mention of the sinking of the Rio De Janeiro which sunk somewhere under the Golden Gate in 1898. I wanted to add, which books don't, that there was a treasure of gold sunk with that ship though no one can prove it. This was known even among Long Shoreman in the 1950s. Gold shipments were usually kept a complete secret by the captain of the ship. This was done in order that no one would find out about it and possibly hold up the ship or have pirates attack it. Did you ever here the term lose lips sink ships or a sickness called gold fever. If word leaked out about such cargo, the wrong people might get the wrong ideas.
The other thing is that the ship's manifest absolutely did have included on it about 1/2 million dollars in silk as well as a little less than 1/2 million dollars in opium. I don't think opium would survive salt water that long not to mention it's completely illegal but I was wondering about the resistance of silk to salt water. A half a million in silk in 1898 could be worth substantially more over 100 years later.
No one knows absolutely for sure if there was gold on board the Rio because there were no records mentioning it and because the captain went down with the ship. However, if the silk could remain intact then there might be enough motivation to invest in salvaging that ship for the silk alone. And no matter how hard it might seem to do, if we can go to Mars, we can salvage that Rio.
Clothing manufactures would then have a field day selling clothes made from that old silk that laid at the bottom of the Golden Gate for more than 100 years from a famous California ship wreck. They could label the clothes RIO and have Britney Spears do TV commercials in silk Rio shirts.
-- Harry Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 30, 2004