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Stinnes (German Shipping Company)

Last modified: 2008-03-15 by jarig bakker
Keywords: stinnes | fendel |
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[Hugo Stinnes] image by Jarig Bakker, 23 Dec 2004 See also:

Hugo Stinnes

Hugo Stinnes, Hamburg - four stripes NWRN; in center white diamond, charged with "HSt" above two crossed hammers.
Image after Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 23 Dec 2004

Stinnes variant

[Stinnes variant] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 Jan 2008

There is a further Stinnes house flag variant: the one sporting a large red ball or disk on a slightly reduced photo taken from German eBay offer no. 330037939053, end 20 Oct 2006, put up by, and presented in garden of, “lz530”.  Dimensions given as 1 m by 1.60 m; synthetic material.

Green with white Canadian pale, a large red disk in the centre stripe interrupted by a white stripe bearing the name ‘STINNES’ in green letters without serifs.
This is a serious departure from the black-white-red colours which was introduced – according to Klaus-Peter Bühne on his MarCollect site – in 1976 when Fendel Stinnes and the WTAG shipping department were united:

Shown as a drawing on this ‘Binnenvaart’ page dedicated to ‘Eiltank 17’: a colour photo of the flag in use on ‘Julia’ (former name) is linked from the camera logo near that name and the year 1988, end of page. Flying the flag and repeating the logo on the funnels, with coloured bands thrown in for good measure, is ‘Stinnes Schub 1’ seen here (same source).
Jan Mertens, 18 Jan 2008

Vereinigte Stinnes

[Vereinigte Stinnes] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 Jan 2008

A “united” house flag for the Stinnes shipping concern resembled that of above firm (but its roots lay in the past rather than the future as I suggested: a precursor, really). As stated on this MarCollect page: “In 1934, the shipping departments of Mathias Stinnes GmbH (a firm which will be presented separately, jm) and Hugo Stinnes GmbH were merged into ‘Vereinigte Stinnes Rheinreedereien’ (i.e. United Stinnes Rhine Shipping Companies, jm) and established at Duisburg-Ruhrort.”

This page (in German) charts the astonishing career of Stinnes family scion Hugo, industrialist, business tycoon, and shipping entrepreneur, from the modest beginning till his death in 1924: Born in 1870, Hugo Stinnes founded his breakaway firm in 1922 (as we have seen above a merger was in store for 1934), cooperated with renowned industrialists such as Thyssen and Siemens, acquired mines, factories, etc.  We have seen he had Notgeld (emergency bank notes) issued while speculating against the Reichsmark, thereby adding greatly to inflation.  And he made it to the cover of Time magazine!

Image based on a Vereinigte Stinnes table flag: black with broad saltire horizontally divided white over red, a large white disk in the centre - within a thin black ring – bearing black initials ‘V St R’.  Source: German eBay offer no. 200086980314 (end  17 March 2007) put up by “freschkall”.

There is also a photo showing a real-life flag on the cover of a book ‘150 Jahre Math. Stinnes’ (i.e. 150 years Math. Stinnes) published in 1958. Source: German eBay offer no. 180088827280 (end 4 March 2007) put up by “nautmedia”.

Lastly there is a Karl Scherf exhitibion item (I saw it at Düsseldorf last year but it appeared on the web at an earlier occasion). This item shows a drawing of the well-known Stinnes flag with black, white, and red horizontal stripes and the V ST R flag waving above it, the other flag being the white and red Mathias Stinnes pennant still to be presented.
Jan Mertens, 25 Jan 2008


[Fendel-Stinnes] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 Jan 2008

It was founded as a company in 1899 but entrepreneur Josef Fendel bought his first ship in 1875.  He must have done well as at the end of the century he already owned seven tugboats and twenty three barges. 1912 saw the division into a Baden and a Prussian branch which joined again in 1929 to properly merge in 1943, as mentioned before.  Almost all vessels were lost during WWII.

However Fendel would become the largest inland shipping firm in Germany besides owning substantial parts of Rhenus, Bremen-Mindener Schiffahrt, and several shipyards.
(The above was collected from the Sammleraktien site, and MarCollect.).
Jan Mertens, 1 Jan 2008

In 1973 the no  less famous Hugo Stinnes company took over Fendel, renamed ‘Fendel-Stinnes AG’, Duisburg.
One of the many flags offered on German eBay last year was a Fendel Stinnes item – this clothesline, incidentally, is going to become famous.  Slightly reduced photo from offer no. 330037227141 ended 18 Oct 2006, put up by “lz530”.  Dimensions given as 1 m x 1.60 m, the material being linen and both sides printed upon.

Keeping the Stinnes colours but radically departing from the previous version, the flag has a black field with a saltire divided white over red (lengthwise, that is) and a white oval in the centre, rimmed black, containing the initials ‘F St’.

The Stinnes house flag proper will radically change as well *and* a “unified” house flag resembling the above will be adopted.  Even then the evolution will not be finished.  Watch that clothesline!
Jan Mertens, 7 Jan 2008

Hugo Stinnes

[Hugo-Stinnes houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2008

Not yet finished, the Stinnes house flag saga…  A strikingly modern looking flag – albeit one in the often used colours black, white, and red – is flown by ‘Hugo Stinnes Linien’ (i.e. Hugo Stinnes Lines).  Website (in English): Longish but relevant (edited) quote from ‘About us’ section – as a bonus, the flag is shown on the
same page:
“The Hugo Stinnes Linien GmbH traces its roots back to the year 1820, when Matthias Stinnes (1790-1845) established his first Rhine River Barge Company (…).  Hugo Stinnes (1870-1924) , one of Germany’s most influential and controversial entrepreneurs, founded a Transatlantic shipping company, the HUGO Stinnes Schiffahrts Gesellschaft in 1907, in order to be independent from the European energy resources.
In 1992, the HUGO Stinnes Schiffahrts GmbH placed a 50:50 Joint Venture with the 1952 established Deutsche Seereederei (DSR) . The new DSR/Stinnes West Indies Services operated from its home base Hamburg Services to Mexico and the West Coast of South-America.
Today the renamed Hugo Stinnes Linien GmbH is 100% owned by Interhansa Reederei AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Seereederei (DSR) and Interorient Navigation Co. Ltd Cyprus. It operates a fortnightly multipurpose Liner service from North Europe to Mexico and the Caribbean and a weekly FCL Service to South Africa on slot-charter basis.
In 2002, the headquarters were relocated to Rostock joining the Deutsche Seereederei "family" together with Interhansa Reederei AG, Arkona AG and Deutsche Immobilien AG.”

As stated on the site, three multipurpose vessels bearing pre-Columbian Mexican names constitute the fleet.
The house flag is white, horizontally edged in black, bearing a hook-like logo in the centre made up of black and red rectangular sections enclosing a black square.  This logo touches the black stripes.
This last detail is important, as table flags – that adorable German eBay growth article – show the logo floating freely in the broad white stripe.  For an example see attachment  < de~stinn.jpg> , a picture found in offer no. 290064092908 (mirrored by me; end 25 Dec 2006) put up by shipflag” who presents it as ‘DSR/Stinnes West Indies Service’.

Confirmation of the “official” version is found on the Seeleute (Josef Nüsse’s) site showing a ‘Flaggenwand’ or flag wall with – among many others – the current Stinnes design.
Jan Mertens, 15 Feb 2008

Mathias Stinnes

[Mathias Stinnes houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2008

The pioneer Stinnes company was the one founded by Mathias Stinnes, son of a River Ruhr bargeman, in 1808.  History highlights, found on this page (in German):
From 1808 on local shipping activity (transport of coal); in 1820 ownership of four coal mines and an inland fleet (Ruhr, Rhine) of more than sixty vessels.
Instrumental in obtaining free shipping on the Rhine.  1843: first steamship on the Rhine.  Mathias dies in 1845 and is succeeded by his sons.  1892: grandson Hugo breaks away.  Eventually both companies will merge into Vereinigte Stinnes, 1934.  Company seat was Mülheim/Ruhr.

According to Karl Scherf, Mathias Stinnes’s simple house flag may well have been the first of its kind on the Rhine. It is a simple pennant horizontally divided white over red (source: “Flaggen auf dem Rhein”, 1952 ed).

The above mentioned pennant is rather short whereas a much longer one is seen on attachment of the 25 Jan 2008 message ‘Vereinigte Stinnes R. (DE)’.  In another example, the cover of a book dedicated to both firms shows the Hugo Stinnes flag – with the initialled diamond - and Mathias Stinnes pennant having the same length.

This is a case where clear pictures – preferably photos – would help a lot but I have not yet found any good ones.
Jan Mertens, 20 Feb 2008