This page is devoted to the first mail carrying steamships which sailed in regular service between the Danish peninsula Jylland (Jutland) and the Danish island Sjælland (Zealand). The first attempt by the General Post Office to establish a regular mail service on the Aarhus-Kalundborg route was made in 1833 when the steamship Dania was tested on the route (1). It was not a mail carrying test, though.
This steam ship was built by S. Rankin, Leith in UK. She was launched in 1823 and named Quentin Durward. Later, on 12 June 1827, she was sold to Denmark and renamed Dania (2). At first, she sailed in regular service between Aarhus and København (Copenhagen). As mentioned above, Dania was tested on the Aarhus-Kalundborg route. The test went well and, from a hand-written circular from the General Post Office, dated on 5 April 1836, we can read that on 22 January 1836 the Danish King, Frederik VI, approved a new Letter and Passenger carrying route in connection with the new mail carrying steamship route. The steam ship route was established on 1 May 1836. Again, Dania was brought into action, now on regular service.
Andreas Laursen has kindly permitted me to use
his beautiful drawing of Dania. (3)
|The Royal Decree
As the illustration to the left shows, the official announcement of the new shipmail route between Aarhus and Kalundborg was dated on 19 April 1836. The route was to be opened on 1 May 1836 as a Passenger and Mail carrying route. In 1836 the postage fee for a letter sent from Aarhus to København did not depend on which route the letter was sent - and after 1 May 1836 there were actually three ways, namely:
and it could be of significant importance to know which route was the fastest depending on which day in the week a letter should be sent.
|The Mail Service in 1836 - The First Year
According to a circular from the General Post Office (GPO) dated on 5 April 1836, the mail service on this route took place in the period 1836.05.01-1836.10.31 where Dania left Kalundborg at 8 am on Wednesdays and Sundays. She was scheduled to leave Aarhus 8 am at Thursdays and Mondays. According to a GPO circular dated on 3 December 1836 Dania this year sailed her last tour of 1836 on 24 December, as she had to have a check of her machinery and other maintenance.
The Route Marking
The above illustration shows a letter sent from København on 25 November 1843, a Saturday, with the "Kallundborg Steamship Post". From the letter, it can be seen that it arrived at Randers on the following day. According to GPO circular no. 5/1843.03.07: The "Kallundborg Steamship Post" which leaves København on Tuesdays and Saturdays has a connection to the steamship leaving Kalundborg, on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
Copyright 1997-2004 by Toke Nørby
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Uploaded on 2 February 1997