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Long before the oceans, rivers have been the way to progress and civilization and the more or less rustic boats that sailed their waters – from otters of the Euphrates to common steamboats were their means of expansion.
From prehistoric times river travel, as opposed to ocean voyages, was helped by quasi-unchanging routes already plotted by nature. Since river navigation was closely linked to geography, and therefore to geopolitics, it made up a fundamental chapter in cultural anthropology.This latter aspect, boiled down mainly to the ship's very reason for being (limited to the ship's function) and therefore to its various types and technologies, is the object of the present iconographic overview at the time of barges without means of propulsion and small boats powered by wheels or screws or a submerged chain, as well as certain rare examples of civil or military sailboats.
The reference to the boat implies a need for classification that seems to answer to two distinct criteria : propulsion and function.Thefirst may be passive (moving in the river current or by towing, the latter being done from a towing path by men or animals or by any appropriate boat), or active (using sails or mechanical means).As to the second, the boat is a transport that can be identified based on the type of cargo it carries : human (passengers), mail carriers (post boats that became packet boats or « paquebots » in French), etc. All of which shows that a ship may have characteristics that are identical to others although it may be listed differently, so that the classification should not be too rigid.
The author : For twenty years, Giovanni Santi-Mazzini has headed Pharos Publications, publishers specializing in the ancient Italian navy, and has translated the four volumes of The 74-gun Ship into Italian.
31x24.5 cm Italian-style formating, sewn booklets, edge-cut. The book consists of 96 pages (176 gr paper), 48 of them in full color and include 125 figures or photos.
Summary : I. Burchi, barks, barges, etc.
II. Ceremonial and pleasure riverboats
III. Sailing riverboats
IV. Wheel or screw-driven river steamboats
V. River tugboats
2. submerged-chain hauled
VI. Ships and machines for river work(dredges, pontoons, dive-boats, etc)
VII. Steam riverboats in service in the coloniesBibliography