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The Speed of Early Modern Shipping in the Baltic – a Tentative Exploration using STRO

Chapter in book
Authors Klas Rönnbäck
Published in Jan Willem Veluwenkamp and Werner Scheltjens (eds.), Early Modern Shipping and Trade: Novel Approaches Using Sound Toll Registers Online
Pages 177-187
ISBN 9789004371774
Publisher Brill
Place of publication Leiden
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Economic History
Department of Economy and Society
Pages 177-187
Language en
Keywords Shipping, early modern period, speed, Sound Toll Registers Online, Baltic Sea, North Sea
Subject categories Economic History


This article studies the speed of early modern shipping using data from the Sound Toll Registers Online. Information on passages through the Sound are linked, based on the name and domicile of the shipmaster and the port of destination and origin, respectively, using both identical and fuzzy matching of the name. The resulting dataset (including 105-184,000 datapoints, depending on matching routine) enables a rough estimation of the time between two passages by the same shipmaster. The results show that the time between passages decreased over time on virtually all major routes studied, suggesting improved speed in shipping or in the ports. This change occurred well before the transport revolution of the nineteenth century.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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