Search This Blog

Sunday, 25 January 2015


The profession of the ferryman is embodied in Greek mythology in Charon, the boatman who transported souls across the River Styx to the Underworld.

In mid 16th century central and northern Europe, the persecution of Anabaptist Christians was so prevalent that they were forced to find devious ways to practice their faith. For instance Peter Peters of Amsterdam, a ferry boatman, loaded up his boat with Anabaptists and whilst pretending to ferry his company across the river, they would hold a Bible study.

Inventor John Stevens' boat, the Juliana, begun operation on October 11, 1811 as the first steam-powered ferry. It ran between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey.

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 – 1877) dropped out of school at 11 and began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor. He started his own New York Harbor ferry service at just 16 ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan. From a $100 loan from his mother, the tycoon was able to grow a steamboat and shipping empire so large it left him money to earn an even bigger fortune in railroads.

Bridge designer John Augustus Roebling died of a tetanus infection in 1869 after having his leg crushed by a ferryboat while working on the Brooklyn Bridge.

There had been a ferry service operating in Woolwich across the River Thames in East London since the 14th century, and commercial crossings operated intermittently until the mid-19th century. The free service opened on March 23, 1889 with the paddle steamer Gordon, following the abolition of tolls across bridges to the west of London.

Woolwich Ferry departing north terminal. Assumed by Alistair1978 Wikipedia Commons

History's worst peacetime sea disaster happened in 1987, when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sunk after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people.

The busiest single ferry route is across the northern part of Øresund, between Helsingborg, Scania, Sweden and Elsinore, Denmark. A car ferry departs from each harbor every 15 minutes during daytime.

No comments:

Post a Comment