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The Transformation of Maritime Professions. Old and New Jobs in European Shipping Industries, 1850–2000

Karel Davids, Joost Schokkenbroek (eds.)
Palgrave Macmillan Cham 2023 [Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-27211-0, ebook ISBN: 978-3-031-27212-7, p. XVIII, 288]
Type: New Publications


This book deals with the economic impact of technological changes and the rise of passenger shipping on social relations on board and ashore in European shipping industries between c.1850 and 2000.  The changes in motive power, communication techniques and positioning technologies and the rise of passenger shipping went together with the creation of new tasks and functions and the marginalization or disappearance of traditional jobs and skills. This book presents case-studies on changes in different maritime professions between the middle of the nineteenth century and the end of the twentieth century, covering the shipping industries of a variety of seafaring countries in Europe. The subjects include changes in maritime labour at large, changes in specific groups of deck, catering or engine room personnel, such as captains, cooks, catering personnel, engineers, or radio-operators. A number of chapters employ a prosopographical or micro-historical approach, while others apply a spatial perspective, analyze business records, materials from professional associations or distil information from large sets of quantitative data. This book will be of interest to academics and students of economic history, maritime and labour history.


Table of contents

Introduction, Karel Davids, Joost Schokkenbroek

Changes in Maritime Labour: Institutional, Technological and Spatial Contexts

The Human Element in Power-Driven Merchant Ship Propulsion Since 1850: The British Case, Alston Kennerley

Technological Change, Institutions and Maritime Labour: International Reforms and Their Reception in Sweden and Finland, c.1850–1939, Jari Ojala

Changes in Maritime Labour in Greece During the Transition from Sail to Steam, c. 1850–1917, Alkiviadis Kapokakis, Apostolos Delis

Seamen in the City. Origins, Residence and Standard of Living of Le Havre Seamen from c. 1800 to the First Wold War, Nicolas Cochard

Reading Shipboard Space: The Plans of Ships Serving the Netherlands East Indies, 1850–1914, Richard Guy

Case Studies of Old Maritime Jobs

Reconfiguring Authority at Sea: Steamships and Their Captains in a Danish Context, c.1850–1950, Morten Tinning

Feeding the Fleet: Cooks in the Belgian Merchant Marine, c.1850–1930, Kristof Loockx

Case Studies of New Maritime Jobs

Elbowing Their Way: Ship’s Engineers in the Spanish Merchant Marine, c.1850–1950, Enric Garcia Domingo

From the Captain’s Tiger to the Chief Steward. Career Patterns of the Catering Personnel on British Passenger Liners, 1860–1938, Sari Mäenpää

Surfing the Waves. The Rise and Decline of Radio Operators in the Dutch Mercantile Marine in the Twentieth Century, Karel Davids, Joost Schokkenbroek


Conclusion, Karel Davids, Joost Schokkenbroek