In the early years of the nineteenth century, the fluvial navigation, before the introduction of steamboats, was entrusted to boats, barges and flat keelboats. The barges, equipped with a long low deckhouse, and the flat keelboats went up and down the rivers and lakes, but they were heavy boats, even if with a long and slender keel, and the boatmen used the power of the current, in addition to the oars to move these boats and to an oar rudder for manoeuvres, fighting with force and tenacity against the murky and swirling waters of rivers and lakes. The only justification for classifying these vessels as boats was due to the fact that they floated on water and were used as means of transport. The birth of steam propulsion has significantly changed this way of sailing. In this short note we want to tell a story of our home: the history of the Concordia, a steamboat built by the Odero shipyards in Genova - Sestri Ponente, for navigation on Lake Como, a majestic metallic swan, a steamboat with wheels, that for more than ninety years it has been on that «branch of the lake» of Manzoni’s memory. It is a story of images, colours and sounds, of cultural and territorial perceptions and identities, but also of science, technic and technology that has characterized lakeside navigation in Italy for almost a century.

The art of sailing at the time of steamboats: cultural and territorial identity

Claudia Tacchella
2018-01-01

Abstract

In the early years of the nineteenth century, the fluvial navigation, before the introduction of steamboats, was entrusted to boats, barges and flat keelboats. The barges, equipped with a long low deckhouse, and the flat keelboats went up and down the rivers and lakes, but they were heavy boats, even if with a long and slender keel, and the boatmen used the power of the current, in addition to the oars to move these boats and to an oar rudder for manoeuvres, fighting with force and tenacity against the murky and swirling waters of rivers and lakes. The only justification for classifying these vessels as boats was due to the fact that they floated on water and were used as means of transport. The birth of steam propulsion has significantly changed this way of sailing. In this short note we want to tell a story of our home: the history of the Concordia, a steamboat built by the Odero shipyards in Genova - Sestri Ponente, for navigation on Lake Como, a majestic metallic swan, a steamboat with wheels, that for more than ninety years it has been on that «branch of the lake» of Manzoni’s memory. It is a story of images, colours and sounds, of cultural and territorial perceptions and identities, but also of science, technic and technology that has characterized lakeside navigation in Italy for almost a century.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1004623
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