Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Switzerland – 1978 Stamp Exhibition
My generous Indian friend in Switzerland sent me this striking miniature sheet issued to commemorate the 1978 National Stamp Exhibition.. The stamps on it were designed by the well known artist Celestio Piatti of Basle, and has “Steamers on Swiss Lakes” as its theme. I will describe these stamps in the order they are shown top to bottom.
LA SUISSE (Lake Geneva) is a classical type of two-deck saloon steamer. She was built in 1910 for operations on Lake Geneva. She was the then largest saloon-type paddle steamer and has remained the pride of CGN’s fleet to this day.
IL VERBANO (Lake Maggiore) was commissioned in 1826 and provided a postal service between Magadino and Sesto Calende. She was a flush deck paddle steamer, sailed under an English Captain and at times carried a mast and sail.
MS GOTTHARD (Lake Lucerne) Early steam navigation on both Lake Maggiore and Lake Lucern benefited mainly from the heavily used St Gotthard Pass route. The present Gotthard , a two deck saloon-type motor ship was built in the years 1966-1970.
DS LOETSCHBERG (Lake of Brienz). Steam navigation on the lakes of Thun and Brienz was taken over by Bern – Lotchberg – Simplon Railways in 1913. Loetschberg was commissioned to provide a service between Brienz and Interlaken.
VILLE DE NEUCHATEL (Jura Lakes). On the Jura lakes, steamer services have been operated since 1826. In the early years, regional passenger and goods traffic provided the main business, whereas now it is tourists exclusively. This steamer is a low and flat bottomed saloon-type motor craft typical of the lakes and canals at the foot of the Jura mountains. She has been in service since 1972.
MS ROMANSHORN (Lake Constance). Lake Constance, bordered by Switzerland, Germany and Austria, has been plied by steamers since 1824. The Romanshorn, which carries passengers and road vehicles between Romanshorn and Friedrichshafen (Germany), is a double-ended ferry fitted with an upper deck and propelled and steered by a screw each fore and aft.
LE WINKELRIED (Lake Geneva). She was the first semi-saloon paddle steamer on these waters. Commissioned in 1871, she attracted attention on account of her two funnels.
DS WAEDENSWIL (Lake Zurich). The screw steamer Waedenswil was commissioned in 1895, converted to diesel operation in 1931, and finally laid up and scrapped in 1965.