General cargo ship Paul Rickmers. This amazing yard model of the ship from 1955 was built by the workshop of Christel Stührmann in a scale of 1:100 and is displayed on deck 6 of the museum.
Paul Henry Rickmers (1873-1946) has had 4 ships named after him, and the give quite a good portrait of the evolution of the cargo transport between the mid of the 19th Century to our days. He was form 1898 on the 3rd generation director of the family owned Rickmers shipping company. The company had been founded by his grandfather Rickmer Clasen Rickmers in Bremerhaven in 1849. In a not very usual turn of events, RC Rickmers moved that from being a shipwright and shipyard owner to becoming a shipping entrepreneur. His company used the flag of the North Sea island of Heligoland with an R on front. His ships eventually had the colors of the flag: white in their sails, and green and red on their hull. Their traditional route between Germany and East Asia was given by the fact that they made a fortune importing Rice, a good that the processed in their company-owned mill.
The first ship named Paul Rickmers was built in 1876, as her namesake was only three years old. Not many details are known to us about this ship, except that she was a wooden bark with 3 masts and a capacity of 1191 GRT (gross registered tonnage). This ship was lost when she accidentally beached in the island of Timor in 1895. The company then purchased the four-masted steel-hulled windjammer Windermere, built in 1892 with a capacity of 3054 GRT, and renamed it Paul Rickmers. Her career was short then she was lost at sea in 1902 while returning from Bangkok to Bremen. The next cargo ship Paul Rickmers – the one in the picture – was ordered by the company in the fourth generation of ownership, after the death of her namesake. Having skipped the steam propulsion, she was a highly modern general cargo ship with a Diesel engine and maximal capacity of 7910 BRT, built by the company owned Rickmers shipyard in Bremerhaven in 1954-55. Given the importance that the transport of heavy goods have in that time, an extra derrick lifting up to 100 t was installed in 1957. The ship had a successful but uneventful career until she was sold for scrapping in Hong Kong in 1982. By then, the age of the container had started in maritime logistics. And so, the next Paul Rickmers was a ship with a capacity to transport 1162 TEU (standard containers, built by the shipyard of Stocznia Szczecinska S.A., Poland, in 1993. She had a usual modern career, changing operators and names quite often until she was scrapped in Chittagong, Bangladesh, in 2018.
This amazing yard model of the ship from 1955 was built by the workshop of Christel Stührmann in a scale of 1:100 and is displayed on deck 6 of the museum.