Thursday, July 3, 2008

A 19th Century Ship Built in the 21st Century

Sweden, 2008
Tre Kronor af Stockholm

The death knell for sailing ships was sounded with the dawn of the steam engine. As the merchant trade demanded faster and more reliable means of transportation, wind-driven cargo ships started their long slide into obscurity. Today, just a tiny fraction of the ships that ply the seas are wind-driven, and almost all of those are used for recreation or historical purposes.

From an idea conceived in 1993, the Stockholm Brig Society (Sweden) has supported efforts to build a sailing ship modeled after an 1857 Brig named Gladan. Brigs are two-masted sailing ships with square sails. For their size, they are easy to maneuver and with their sail configuration can move quickly through the water.

By the late 1950s, the last authentic Swedish brig had been scrapped. So, the idea was born to create a replica sailing brig and the builders chose to model their new ship on the brig Gladan. The shipbuilders had access to the rich documentation of the Gladan including original plans and photographs.

Sweden, 2008
Gunilla

Even though the new ship, named Tre Kronor af Stockholm (Three Crowns of Stockholm), was modeled after the 1850s Gladan, modern methods of construction were used. The plans for the new ship were developed from the Gladan's original plans using advanced computer technology. Plus, the shipbuilders used modern technologies such as chainsaws and electric tools during the ship's construction. Even though the ship reminds contemporary folk of the glory days of sailing ships and its rich history, traditional tools gave way to modern tools in order to expedite her construction.

Sweden honored its sailing ships on a 4-stamp set of stamps issued on May 15, 2008. The stamps depicted are the schooners Falken and Gladan (not the same as the brig described above), the barque Gunilla, the ketch Gratitude, and the topic of this entry, the brig Tre Kronor af Stockholm.

The stamps have a face value of 11 Swedish kronor, about $1.85 US, each.

You can order these stamps from Sweden Post at http://www.posten.se/m/startpage (English).

1 comment:

Home Improver said...

Beautifully constructed and detailed stamps. A set to definately be aquired.