Schichau-Werke | shipyards


From 1847, Schichau produced steam engines for ships, starting with the engine for the first entirely Prussian-built steamer James Watt (built by nearby Mitzlaff shipyard). In 1854, Schichau built the shipyard at Elbing,[1] known as the Elbinger Dampfschiffs-Reederei F. Schichau ('Elbing Steamship Shipping Company F. Schichau'). The first ship launched was the small steamer Borussia in 1855 – the first Prussian iron propellor ship.[1] The shipyard was subsequently expanded, and in 1872 Schichau acquired Mitzlaff's yard.

From 1877 the shipyard produced ships for the Prussian Navy and export, becoming specialized in torpedo boats and later destroyers. It became a major manufacturer of torpedo boats for the Prussian Navy.[1] The engine of S 1, which was built by Schichau in 1884 as one of Germany’s first torpedo boats, is shown on display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich today.

Since the shipyard's location on the Elbing River limited the size of ships that could be constructed, in 1892 Schichau built a second shipyard in Danzig, which was capable of producing bigger warships, up to battleship size, as well as freighters and passenger ships. Both shipyards also built ships for export worldwide, especially torpedo boats. In 1889 Schichau built a small repair shipyard in Pillau (now Baltijsk, Russia) near Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Schichau's son-in-law, Carl Heinz Ziese, worked at Schichau-Werke and continued to run the business after Schichau's death in 1896, until 1917.

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