Parniki Jadrana na razglednicah (Steamships of the Adriatic on Postcards)
Mitja Lamut: Steamships of the Adriatic on Postcards
.The essence of the book Steamships of the Adriatic on Postcards by Mitja Lamut, a barrister, collector and thalassophile from Ljubljana, are postcards with the motif of the Adriatic steamship. The postcards, which are a unique document of a certain time, place and course of events and presently have great historical value, are presented in the book chronologically by year of construction, reconstruction or renaming of a ship. He systematically selected postcards with the images of steamships from the eastern part of the Adriatic Sea, which manifest historical development, events and political and economic changes in the region under consideration. With the aid of postcards he created a story of ships and emplaced them in time and space.
The book depicts mostly passenger-cargo ships from the east coast of the Adriatic Sea from Bar to Trieste, from their beginnings in the mid-18th century to the end of World War II and a little beyond it. This was the period of prosperity in steam navigation, when passenger sea traffic was at its peak. Through postcards, the readers get acquainted with the period of shipowners and their steamships in the eastern part of the Adriatic from Trieste to Dubrovnik and Kotor. Although the book's major part of the contents territorially refers to the present-day Croatian territory, the author does not avoid today's Slovenian region and the area of Trieste. In the introductory part, the author gives a brief overview of passenger-navigation formation, which is followed by a summary on the history and seafaring in the Adriatic Sea.
The author proceeds by highlighting the link of postcard development with the expansion of passenger-postal navigation, ships and maritime transport. Postcards were printed by shipowners for propaganda and commercial purposes, turning into propaganda material for all kinds of goods and services in ship traffic as well. Postcards of those times can be understood as a link in market propaganda, with the leading role played by Austrian Lloyd, which published official propaganda postcards and hired for this purpose the most notable artists of that time. Lamut presents the data significant also for the territory of modern-day Slovenian Istria and Triste. In today's Slovenian part of Istria, a major role was played by the shipping company Istria-Trieste.
Lamut's postcard is and interesting double source, its face presenting a ship cutting through waves or quietly landing in the dock. Its back side, however, may at times be even more interesting, considering that many people's destinies are revealed in fragments on it. Specifically, an attentive reader of both Lamut's books can quickly discern the passenger structure on board these smaller Adriatic steamships, by contrast to the large luxury ships presented in his first book.
The book can be read as a whole or each catalogue page separately. Each page describes only one ship with its entire history, from its launching in a shipyard to its sinking, burning in flames or cutting for scrap metal. The book, which is a catalogue of postcards and a catalogue of Adriatic steamships at the same time, will be gladly read by lovers of ships, the sea and the past. It is intended for general educational, relaxation and scientific research purposes. It will also be of help to experts, museum workers and historians, considering that the history of our surrounding area is gathered in it in a kind of encyclopaedial style.
Price: 43,00 €