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21 1850-1914 EXPANSION AND COMPETITION The period between 1850 and 1914 was characterized by the breakthrough of the industrial revolution throughout Europe. Vessels generally became larger, steam engines found their way into shipping and competition grew more intense. How did SVITZER meet these changing circumstances? In the 1850s the impact of the Danish free constitution signed in 1849 was evolving quickly. The city gates of Copenhagen were opened and it was now allowed to build outside the ramparts. Trading and crafts, which had until now been controlled by guilds and restricted to larger cities, were in the following years opened to all. Copenhagen became a city buzzing with trade and industrial growth following the general European development at the time and businesses quickly emerged in the provinces as well. The shipping industry was essential to industrial development and shipping conditions had high priority. In 1858 the Port Authorities were established in Copenhagen to modernise the harbour facilities and create a better and more effi cient infrastructure for shipping. Until the Kieler Canal was completed in 1895, connecting the North Sea and the Baltic through Northern Germany, all vessels coming from the Baltics had to go through the Sound and the port of Copenhagen was a busy crossing point. To avoid decline as an outcome of the new German canal and the establishment of a free port in Hamburg the Copenhagen free port was consecrated in 1894. Development of navigational aids received much more attention at this time. In previous years lighthouses had slowly emerged and now continued to develop. Charts were no longer considered a security risk for the state and it was becoming more and more common to use pilots when navigating. Another important change in this period was vessels becoming bigger and more powerful. Steamships made of iron and later steel became common. Being a company rooted in the timber trade SVITZER had to adapt to this change. This was not least a challenge for salvors as ships grew much heavier. Salvage was developing slowly towards fewer but larger operations demanding more pulling power and new technology. The salvage vessel EM. Z. SVITZER with crew. The vessel was built at the shipyard Bur meister & Wain in 1885. It was one of SVITZER’s fi rst steamships.


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