Ferdinand Laeisz

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Ferdinand Laeisz
1801 - 1887
The maritime transport company F. Laeisz was founded in 1828 by Ferdinand Laeisz, born 1801 in Hamburg. Initially as the sea transport activity of his main business, hat manufacturer, it soon turned into general transport company.

His first ship was the brick Carl, built by J. Meyer in 1839.

Carl Heinrich Laeisz
1828 - 1901
She was christened from the first name of Ferdinand's son, Carl.

When Carl started to assist his father in 1852, other ships had been built and the company was growing quickly.

In 1857, a barque was ordered and delivered by the Stülcken shipyards.

She was named Pudel (poodle) as Carl's wife, Sophie, was nicknamed Pudel by the family members.

Sophie Laeisz
1831 - 1912
After that, all the new ships built for Laeisz had a name starting with the letter 'P', from which the nickname "flying P-line" came. They were ordered half on the Elbe river (built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg) and half on the Weser river (built by Tecklenborg in Geestemünde, later Bremerhaven).

The most famous " P-liners " were their only five-masted barque, the Potosi, the enormous five-masted (full rigger) ship, the Preussen, and finally their last ships, the eight sisters serie of four-masted barques.

Laeiszhof, Hamburg

After 1880, the ships bought on a second hand were also renamed with a name starting with 'P'.

Carl Laeisz put his ships on the south american nitrate trade. " Meine Schiffe können und sollen schnelle Reisen machen " My ships can and will be able to do the faster voyages Carl Laeisz said. And his ships were fast, strong and very well fitted. These ships are among the largest ever built. They were built for the hardest voyage, the Cape Horn passage from east to west.

Carl Ferdinand Laeisz
1853 - 1900
In 1879, Carl's son, Carl Ferdinand became the third partner and the company was managed by three generations of Laeisz during eight years.

At the begining of the century, Carl Ferdinand prematurely dead, Carl set up a directoire to manage the company until the majority of his grand- sons.

Erich Laeisz
1888 - 194?
In 1912, the sons of Carl Ferdinand, Herbert Ferdinand et Erich Ferdinand took over the control of the company, but Herbert was a victim of the First World war, so that Herbert managed the company alone between the two wars.

Paul Ganssauge
1866 - 1937
In 1923, he partnered with Paul Ganssauge, one of the three agents in charge of the interim directoire until his majority. He died soon after the Second World war.

At the end of the 20's, Paul Ganssauge decided to give up the chilean nitrate trade, in competition with the industrial production, to turn the fleet into steam ships (the first Laeisz steam ship was the POSEIDON in 1923) and to change some sail ships into sail-training ships.

The four masted barque Padua, built by Tecklenborg was the last cargo sailing ship built and she had already accomodations for cadets. The Depression in 1931 forced Laeisz to lay up some of his ships.

Willy Ganssauge
1901 -
This was the moment for Laeisz to sell some of his older ones, among them the Pamir sold to Gustaf Erikson in 1931.

In 1936, the partnership was extended to his elder son Willy Ganssauge. At this time, the company had restarted its business of banana transportation with her subsidiary African Fruit Company, owner of plantations before the First World war.

After the war, most of her ships destroyed of seized, the company restarted her activity in fruits import- export and passengers transport.

The Parma II, 1967

Christine Von Mitzlaff-Laeisz
1916 -

In 1954, Christine Von Mitzlaff-Laeisz, Willy's daughter, became a

The Laeisz compagny still exists.

The end of a glorious era

Gustaf Erikson

Laeisz fleet

F. Laeisz

The Pamir