Pioneers in the new steamship era

In the late 1800s the major transition from sailing to steamship started. The partners, Camillo Eitzen and Henry Tschudi, were ready for change and foresaw this as an interesting and prosperous activity. Future focus should be on steamships.

Financial investments were required and Henry Tschudi travelled to his forefathers in Switzerland to seek investors. In 1895 he succeededand money was raised to finance the construction of a new 2,000 dwt steamship,so called “tweendecker”, to be built in Norway. This ship was delivered in 1896 and named ss “Uto” after a mountain in Switzerland. This ship was employed with cattle transportation between the West Indies and the east coast of America.  

This was so successful that a second ship was ordered and money was again raised in Switzerland. The next ship was delivered in 1897 and named “Albis” after another Swiss mountain. During the next 10 years, 8 similar steam ships (2.000dwt) were ordered. These vessels were “Calanda”, “Selun”, “Sentis”, “Kamor”,“Falknis”, “Eiger” and “Titlis”. The last one “Gotthard” was delivered in 1906. The tradition of Swiss names was maintained as a sign of respect for the Swiss investors.

Another sign of respect was the funnel mark on the vessels, this being based on the City of Zurich coat of arms combined with the Norwegian colours.

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