Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finland – Paddle Boat Steamer Elias Lönnrot

In 1864 Factory manager Adolf Törngren asked Tampereen Pellava- ja Rautateollisuus Oy company to build a paddle steamer to operate between Tampere and Lempäälä. The paddle steamer was built in 1865 and was launched on 6.6.1865. The Boat was 100 feet long and 27,5 feet wide. It had an 80 ep. Steam engine. The Paddle steamer was named ”Elias Lönnrot” after the Finnish national epic’s, ”Kalevala’s”, writer Elias Lönnrot who had worked as a private tutor in Adolf Törngren’s Laukko Manor in Vesilahti. This was his way of honouring the well liked tutor. “Elias Lönnrot” had a scheduled route on Pyhäjärvi lake between Tampere and Lempäälä. Lempäälä canal was built in 1873 but still there were no direct connection by ship between Tampere and Hämeenlinna. The reason for not continuing the route to Hämeenlinna may have been because the ship was considered to be too wide for the Hämeenlinna route. It didn’t fit to the narrow end of the canal because of its wheel cases. Steen, the captain of that time, also thought that the boat was too fancy for residents in Hämeenlinna, which was why the ship visited Hämeenlinna only a few times. M/s Vanaja made several cruises from Hämeenlinna to Tampere and transported e.g. factory workers on their pleasure travels while Steen thought Elias Lönnrot was too fancy for that.
Railway between Hämeenlinna and Tampere finished in 1876 ended passenger and freight transportation by ship.
Elias Lönnrot was also used to transport mail (1865 – 1925). This card shows the logo whicht refers to celebrating 150 years in 2006 of the first Finnish stamp which was issued in 1856. At that time Finland was part of Russia. The logo down and right with blue little balls refers to Finnish Post (now Itella). So this card is a product of Finnish post. They have chosen the printed stamp is a facsimile from the original one. The value of the stamp (One Mark) is also written in Russian i.e. “Odna Marka”.

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