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The 1,000 year old Krems is one of the larger towns on the Danube, Krems marks the beginning of the Wachau. It has a small university and some good eating and drinking, and also offers a very attractive historical aspect. Resting on the northern bank of the Danube, surrounded by terraced vineyards, it has been a centre of the wine trade for most of its history.



In Linz, the Danube curves and changes direction.

"Lentos" and "Lentia" are the Celtic and Roman names for Linz. Both refer to the river's change of course, both also tell the story of Linz's transformations. The Danube was the "Route of Emperors and Kings." The Nibelungs, Roman emperors and crusaders travelled it, as did King Louis VII of France and Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa with their entourage. In addition, the bridal journey of the Bavarian princess Sisi led from Straubing to Passau, Linz and Vienna, at the end of the 19th century. Over the centuries, the river was alternately a dividing line and connecting link between the cultures and regions on its banks. As the "limes," it already served as a boundary between the Roman Empire and the lands of the "barbarians" to the north of the Danube more than 2,000 years ago. Roman emperors from Vespasian to Marcus Aurelius created that which was unimaginable for the simple rural population at the time: the stone frontier fortifications right down to the Black Sea.


The trade from Ostend in the Austrian Netherlands to Mocha, India, Bengal and China started in 1715. Select private merchants from Antwerp, Ghent and Ostend were granted charters for the East-India-trade by the Austrian government that had recently come to power in the Southern Netherlands.

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.

(1717-1780) at Pressburg (Bratislava)
August 25, 1741
The monument to Empress Maria Theresa which is being erected at the ancient coronation city of Presburg, on the Danube, will be one of the handsomest raised to commemorate the millennium.

Between 1715 and 1723, 34 ships sailed from Ostend to China, the Malabar or Coromandel coast, Surat, Bengal or Mocha. Those expeditions were financed by different international syndicates composed of Flemish, English, Dutch and French merchants and bankers. The mutual rivalry between them however weighed heavily upon the profits and this resulted in the foundation of the Ostend East-India Company, chartered by the Austrian emperor in December 1722.

The capital of the company was fixed at 6 million guilders, composed of 6,000 shares of 1,000 guilders each. It was mainly supplied by the moneyed inhabitants of Antwerp and Ghent. The directors were chosen out of the rich and skilled merchants or bankers who had been involved in the private expeditions. The company also possessed two factories: Cabelon on the Coromandel coast and Banquibazar in Bengal. Between 1724 and 1732, 21 company vessels were sent out, mainly to Canton in China and to Bengal. Thanks to the rise in tea prices, high profits were made in the China-trade. This was a thorn in the side of the older rival companies, such as the Dutch VOC, the English EIC and the French CFT. They refused to acknowledge the Austrian emperor's right to found an East-India company in the Southern Netherlands and considered the Ostenders interlopers. International political pressure was put on the emperor and he finally capitulated. In May 1727 the charter of the company was suspended for seven years and in March 1731 the second treaty of Vienna ordered the definitive abolition. The flourishing Ostend Company had been sacrificed to the interests of the Austrian dynasty. Between 1728 and 1731 a small number of illegal expeditions was organized under borrowed flags, but the very last ships sailing for the company were the two "permission-vessels" that left in 1732 and were a concession made in the second treaty of Vienna.

The ships used for the East India trade were generally large three-masters of the frigate-type, heavily armed and measuring several hundreds of tons. The vessels used by the Ostenders were of the -same type. Although the period of activity was rather short, there was already a clear tendency to use larger ships.

Ostend, 1844. J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

J. M. W. Turner's fine work was exhibited when he was still a teenager.

His entire life was devoted to his art and he was successful throughout his career.

He was born in London, England. His mother died when he was very young. His father was a barber and provided little schooling. His father taught him how to read, but this was the extent of his education except for the study of art. By the age of 13 he was drawing at home and exhibiting them in his father's shop window for sale. Turner was 15 years old when one of his paintings was exhibited at the Royal Academy. By the time he was 18 he had his own studio. Before he was 20, print sellers were eagerly buying his drawings for reproduction. As his reputation grew, he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, where he became a full time member by the age of 27. He then began traveling widely in Europe. Venice was the inspiration of some of Turner's finest work. Wherever he visited he studied the effects of sea and sky in every kind of weather, developing a painting technique all his own. Instead of merely recording what he saw, Turner translated scenes into a light-filled expressions.

The first ones that sailed in 1715 -1717 only measured 200 to 250 tons, but the average of 22 private East-Indiamen (1715-1723) was from 330 to 360 tons. The company took over some of the larger private vessels and bought a few others, second-hand ships of about 400 tons. From 1725 on the company directors ordered new ships built in Hamburg and in Ostend. The average size of those vessels was 600 tons, and it raised the average of the 15 company ships from 407 to 43 3 tons. It was only for the illegal expeditions of 1729-1730 that the company again preferred smaller bottoms.

The small Ostend shipyards at first were not able to produce vessels of that size and so the Ostenders were obliged to look for their ships abroad. The private merchants bought them mainly in England. Out of 23 private vessels 15 came from England against 8 from the Northern Netherlands, and the English preponderance even becomes larger when we consider that those 15 ships made 25 voyages between 1715 and 1723, against only 9 voyages for the 8 Dutch vessels. The English private East-Indiamen were smaller than the Dutch. The latter averaged around 390 tons, against around 320 tons for the English. This difference in size seems to have been typical for both types of ships.

September 19, 1872, Sacramento Daily Union Sacramento, California USA


Austria.Edmund About (Edmund Francois Valentin About, 1828-1885) recently published a book said to be severe in its strictures upon the German Government. What special offensive matter is in this book is not yet explained; but he has been arrested and is held in confinement for it by the German authorities of Strasbourg. This has caused a demand for explanation from France, and in the Prussian reply to this demand we shall probably learn the particular cause of the arrest. Meanwhile the country will indulge its own conjectures. Probably About's book was designed to strengthen the aversion of the Alsatians to German rule. In that case the Germans are not much to blame for forbidding its circulation there. The late meeting of the Emperors at Berlin is supposed above all things to have had for its object, on the part of Germany, the idea of uniting Austria and Russia in a pledge to maintain the arrangements of the treaty of Versailles as a permanent settlement between France and Germany. If so, whatever tends to weaken or disturb this settlement, Germany will have at least the consent of Austria and Russia to put down, if not their cooperation in the event of a war. The summary proceedings against About may be the German method of breaking the new understanding between the three Emperors to the French Republic, intended as an incidental warning against democratic poaching upon imperial grounds.

It is hardly to be supposed that the advantages of the meeting at Berlin were intended to favor Germany exclusively. The reasonable conjecture is that Russia and Austria demanded something from Germany for their pledge to recognize the existing status of the German Empire. Report says the Czar's demand is the abrogation of the treaty of Paris of 1856. What Austria wants is easy to guess. Her greatest need is to be let alone by the Czar and the Germans. That will satisfy her in a condition hardly more assured from dissolution without the friendship of her two great neighbors than that of Turkey. But the abrogation of the treaty of Paris of 185G in fact implies such an increase to the southward of the naval power of Russia as must in time threaten Constantinople and the ultimate destruction of the Sultan's European Empire. To this England and France will never consent until they must. But they must, if the three empires of the continent consent to the arrangement. With Germany holding France by the throat, with Austria ready to take the part of Russia the moment England should side with the Sultan, and with poor, imbecile Turkey thus left, at the mercy of the Russians, there would be no help for it, and that city founded by Constantine as the most commanding point on the map of Europe for war or tor trade would pass from the feeble hands of the Moslems to the strong hands of the Czars, and make Russia what Napoleon the First feared she might some day become the dictator to Europe.

Funeral of Ludwig van Beethoven. Vienna.

Funeral of Ludwig Van Beethoven in Vienna
March 29, 1827
Franz Stober, 1795-1858

March 21, 1881, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California


Austria is another European Government which has had bad dreams about worms in the flesh, trichinosis and similar phantasies. So she has followed France in prohibiting the Introduction of swine, pork, bacon. sausages and, perhaps, lard, into her ports. The idea in some European countries seems to be that we are shipping death in the form of "hog meat," as the Hoosiers and others term pork. And although it has been shown and proved undeniably that in a vast number of hogs slaughtered in Chicago, amounting to millions of swine, only two cases of the disease had been found, those foreign Governments cannot be convinced. It begins to have the appearance of a plan or purpose on the part of the Governments which thus strike at our great American export trade, to cripple us for the benefit of their own subjects and citizens who may be cultivators of pork. Suppose our Government should meet such unfriendly prohibitions by levying a heavy export duty upon our grain and other breadstuffs. How would their hungry people like such retaliation? Suppose we prohibit the importation of what is termed French wine, although made from potatoes and old boots? Suppose we should say to Austria: "As you prohibit our pork, we prohibit your emigrants. Keep them at home, lest our pork fill them with as many maggots as you appear to have in the beam of your Government." Perhaps it would not be long before Francis Joseph & Co. would be indeed trying to make some kind of whistles out of pigs' tails.

December 24, 1898, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The Shipload of Its Products Which Austria Will Show in the Orient.

Austria-Hungary lags behind in the race for foreign trade. Hungary is given to agriculture, and her manufactures are inconsiderable. Austria lacks the coal and iron that add so much to the wealth and industrial activity of Germany. Most of the manufactures of the empire are produced in the rugged parts of Austria proper, and though in variety and volume they fall far below those of Germany the country is capable of much larger production, and is now trying to expand its trade.

The latest effort in this direction is the floating exposition, which is to start from Trieste in December. It will spend the next six months visiting all the leading ports of India and the Orient and a few islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. A large steamship has been chartered from the Austrian Lloyds Steamship Company, and the imperial Government has encouraged the enterprise with a grant of $20,300. Among the ports to be visited are the Piraeus, Salonlca, Constantinople, Smyrna, Alexandria, Massowah, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Calcutta, Rangoon, Singapore, Bangkok. Saigon, Latvia, Cebu, Manila, Canton, Hongkong, Swatow, Amoy, Fuchau, Shanghai. Wei Hai Wei, Cheefoo, Port Arthur, Nagasaki, Kobe and Yokohama.

The ship will carry samples of Austro-Hungarian products, and the entire vessel, fitted up with booths and lighted by electricity, will be a vast storehouse of exhibits. Each exhibitor will pay according to the space up occupies, and thirty or forty experts will accompany the floating show to give information. The exposition will be free to all, and its arrival in each port will be announced in advance in the newspapers and by posters and circulars. Catalogues printed in four languages will be distributed gratuitously, and the agents on board may receive orders, but can be only at the prices fixed by the exhibitors. An ice machine will be on board to insure the freshness of all the products, particularly the wine and beer.

This enterprise is not original with Austria. It was tried with success by Switzerland years ago. The larger country may well take other lessons from the little republic, for Switzerland, an Inland state, dependent upon foreign ports to receive and dispatch all its Imports and exports of commodities, is, in proportion to its population, one of the leading commercial nations. New York Sun.

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping.Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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