Netherlands - Expo Antwerp 1930

Netherlands at the Exhibition Expo Antwerp 1930
© Hersleven

With a surface area of more than 12,000 square metres, the Dutch pavilion is one of the largest in the world.

One of the most interesting exhibits from the Dutch government is the Department of Water.

The first thing that catches the visitor's eye is the section representing the reclamation of the Zuiderzee, comprising
1° A mural on a scale of 1: 25,000, showing the general plan for the isolation and partial reclamation (225,000 hectares) of the Zuiderzee, with the main details;
2° A map of the Zuiderzee and the Waddenzee, on a scale of 1:50,000, showing by means of light effects the progressive works, year by year, carried out since 1920, as well as, in the same order, the works to be carried out until 1948;
3° A diorama of the large Zuiderzee breakwater (more than 30 kilometres long), seen from the eastern tip of the former island of Wieringen, in the direction of the Frisian coast.

In the foreground are models of 15 drainage locks (covering a total of 180 square metres), a lock (2,000 tonnes) with bridges for railway and general traffic below the separation, as well as part of the dike of the first polder (Wieringeiheerpolder), including one of the mills (a two-pump diesel system with a capacity of 250 cubic metres) and a small lock for access to the new polder.

In the background, you can see an artificial island with two construction sites in the middle of the separating dike, at the so-called "Breezand". Next, the connection of the breakwater to the Frisian coast, with its locks and bridges, can be seen.

Another model shows the new Ymuiden lock, which provides a sea link to Amsterdam.
This lock is 50 metres wide (the locks of the Panama Canal are 30.5 metres wide), 40 metres long and 15 metres deep below the normal Amsterdam water level (N.A.P.). It allows the passage of ships of up to 100,000 tons. At present, ships from the North Sea can reach Amsterdam via the "Noordzeekanaal" by passing through four locks, 12, 18, 25 and 50 metres wide respectively.

The model can be seen in the Amsterdam City Pavilion.

In addition, a diorama shows the maritime traffic through the Suez Canal, highlighting the proportion occupied by Holland.

In 1928, this proportion reached more than 10%, both in terms of numbers and tonnage. The Dutch flag, which before 1914 occupied the third place among the nations using this canal, came second in 1928, where it remained during 1929.

An illuminated map, on a scale of 1; 800,000, shows us the hinterland of the two great commercial centres AMSTERDAM (750,000 inhabitants) and ROTTERDAM (581,000 inhabitants), with all its (illuminated) waterways, by which the goods imported by sea and destined for the various points indicated on this map are brought inland.

A general overview of the existing waterways and some others in progress is provided by a map of the NETHERLANDS, drawn on a scale of 1: 100,000. Some of the main waterways are marked with the maximum tonnage allowed per vessel.

The Ministry of Defence has two sections, namely the Dutch Coastal Lighting and the Hydrography section.

The former is part of the Ministry of Defence, Pilotage, Buoyage and Lighting Department.

Following a decision taken in 1904 to completely improve the lighting of the Dutch coast, which was considered insufficient until then, 7 old lighthouses were replaced by modern flashing lighthouses in the period 1904 to 1912.

In 1909, a test station for coastal lighting was built and equipped in Scheveningen, where the illuminating power of the luminaires was measured and many other tests were carried out, as well as the verification of the equipment, the adaptation of old lighthouses to modern requirements and the execution of repairs of all kinds.

In 1910, a new type of petroleum vapour incandescent lamp with an artificial silk mantle was built in this establishment, which doubled the lighting power obtained until then with the devices in use.

This new system was applied during the years 1911 and 1912 on all the lighthouses kept on the coast, which were not yet equipped with electric arc lamps.

Since then, further progress has been made in coastal lighting technology.

In 1917, the collaboration of the Philips factories was secured for the construction of a new type of high-power incandescent lamps of suitable shape for lenticular devices. The tests carried out in this sense gave an unexpected result. These new electric lamps, which were first installed on the "Brandaris" in Terschelling, hence the name "Brandarislampen", cover a very large area; the lighting power of the light beams is 25 times greater than that of petrol lighthouses. From an economic point of view, they have the advantage of being able to operate without a guard, by means of a precision device which, in the event of a power cut or breakage of a lamp, automatically activates another light source.

As this system was not yet widespread when in 1921 its general application was decided, the execution of the plans and the construction of the apparatuses in question were entrusted to the testing station of the Coastal Lighting Service.

With two exceptions, all the major lights on the coast are now equipped with "Brandarislampen" and a number of other, smaller lighthouses have been electrified.

Whereas in 1903 the total duration of visibility of most of the large lights within their geographical range was at most 25% of the year, and no lighthouse was able to increase this to more than 40%, this proportion, which may rightly be called the utility factor, has now been increased by eight of the major lights to an average of 75%. For the other devices in use the proportion is never less than 55%.

It is also the use of electric arc lamps, with high lighting power, which has made it possible to increase considerably the range of action of the lightships. In the period 1921 to 1927, the oil lamps and reflectors of the old lightships were replaced by 500 watt electric arc devices. A new lightship, the "Maas", with a suspended and movable lenticular optic and a so-called "Brandarislamp", was launched in 1923. A similar lamp had been installed in 1920 on board the "Noordhinder", which at that time was already equipped with a modern optical system. All units were also equipped with powerful sirens of modern design as well as underwater sound signal devices.

Comparing the new system with the old silver reflector oil lamps, we notice that the lighting power was increased from 8,000 to 1,000,000 hundred candle units. Similarly, the chance of visibility at the geographical limit has increased to 82% from 55%, and the minimum distance for 90% visibility of the year has been extended from 4.8 to 8.3 nautical miles.

In addition, the great progress made in radiotelegraphy in recent years has led to several applications of this invention in the services of the "Nederlandsche Kustverlichting" (Dutch Coastal Lighting). These various applications have contributed greatly, on the one hand, to the safety of navigation as well as of the personnel of the light-ships and pilot-boats; on the other hand, to a reduction in costs and a saving of time in the services of navigation, pilotage, buoyage and coastal lighting. In addition, they have greatly reduced the monotony of life on board the lightships. These improvements include the installation of : ,
1. Beacons with radiotelegraphic signals;
2. Radiotelephone links between lightships and the coast;
3. Radiotelephone communications with pilotage, beaconing and lighting units;
4. Equipment for the reception of transmitting stations on board the lightships.

Out of four radiotelegraphic signal beacons, the installation of which was decided upon, two were placed in 1929 on board the units "Maas" and "Noordhinder". Two

Two other lightships will be equipped with them within a few years.

On 1 January 1930, three coast stations and six lightships were connected to the radiotelephony, which will soon be extended to two more coast stations and three ships. All the lightships are already equipped with receivers.

As far as the Hydrography Section is concerned, the following should be noted:

HYDROGRAPHY means: the location, charting and description - for navigational use - of seas, coasts, navigable waterways and maritime installations, buoys, lights and signals, currents, tides and weather conditions. The same system also provides all indications useful for the safety of navigation in all circumstances. All the data obtained are collected in various forms, including about 400 charts, 7 marine guides with appendices, tide tables and a few volumes dealing with the technique of hydrographic surveying, tidal theory, chart study, etc. The navigator is constantly kept informed of any modifications or new indications, by frequently repeated and revised editions of the charts and marine guides and a daily publication for the use of navigation.

The task is arduous, which is easily explained by the constant changes of the alluvial streams, the numerous coral reefs in tropical waters and the thousands of islands which make up the Indian Archipelago, and which total an extent of coastline substantially greater than the circumference of the earth. - It requires the continuous activity of six survey boats with a water displacement of 300 to 1,200 tons. In addition, information is provided by the pilotage service, warships and merchant ships, and port authorities. Other sources are consulted as well, such as the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the Water Department, the Zuiderzee Works Directorate, the Dutch East Indies Navigation Service and the Royal Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory in Batavia. In addition, close cooperation with similar institutions abroad should be mentioned. All of them are part of the International Hydrographic Bureau, of which 22 countries are members.

The Dutch Civil Aviation forms a special service ("Luchtvaartdient"), which is part of the Department of Communications, Ministry of Water Affairs ("Département van Waterstaat").

The Aviation Service is responsible for
1. Maintaining a wireless telegraphy and telephony information service;
2° The construction of refuge areas for forced landings along the usual routes, as well as lighthouses;
3° The tests related to the illumination of the airfields and the service of signals for the use of aviation;
4. The publication of various information for aviators in "Berichten aan Luchtvarenden" (Aeronautical Information), an organ that is also distributed abroad.

All of this was presented in a very interesting way in the first two rooms of the Dutch Pavilion. The next two rooms are reserved for private Dutch companies.

Another room is dedicated to the ports of DORDRECHT and PLESSINGEN.

Several private companies are grouped around the shipyard of the City of Dordrecht.

Of particular interest is the representation of the new seaport of Dordrecht. This port, which is in the process of being completed, will have the latest improvements, which will allow the handling of 12,000 tonnes of bulk goods in a single 8-hour day. The operation is entrusted to the "N. V. tôt Exploitatie van de Haveninrichtingen der Gemeente Dordrecht" (Public Limited Company for the Exploitation of the Maritime Installations of the City of Dordrecht).

As a transit port for lighters on the Antwerp-Germany route and vice versa, and as a centre of trade and industry, Dordrecht already occupies a very important position in terms of ship arrivals. Indeed, the annual tonnage of inland ships that come to Dordrecht to unload and load exceeds 2,000,000 tonnes. This number includes no more than 300 lighter vessels that have their home port here.

As far as Vlissingen is concerned, this port is known as having one of the largest shipyards in the Netherlands, the "Kon. Maatschappij "De Schelde" (Royal Company "Scheldt"). The city is also well known for its excellent daily maritime connections with England, serving passengers and goods.

But the future of this port is particularly favourable, because of the large maritime installations and locks, the construction of which is being actively pursued at the moment.

Let us move on to the section on the City of Amsterdam, which also contains several items from private companies relating to the maritime movement of this city.

The various models, scale models, etc., give a very clear overview of the port of Amsterdam, both from an international and a colonial point of view.

The model of the new Ymuiden lock deserves special attention. Thanks to this recently inaugurated lock, the largest ships now have access to Amsterdam. It is the largest lock in the world. At 50 metres wide, it is about 20 metres wider than the Panama Canal lock, which is already famous for its large dimensions.

The excellent lighting of the Noordzeekanaal (North Sea Canal), which connects Amsterdam to the sea, makes it possible to make this connection both at night and during the day.

Continuing our visit, we come to the Rotterdam collective section, which is very extensive.

Like the previous ones, this one testifies to a close and very happy collaboration of the Administration of this port with private companies, interested in navigation, shipbuilding and everything related to it.

Rotterdam is, if not the most important, at least one of the main ports on the European continent. Its development is largely due to its very favourable geographical location at the confluence of the Meuse and the Rhine. The latter, in particular, which is navigable several kilometres upstream by the largest river vessels, and which bathes the most important centres of industry in Western Europe, has contributed greatly to this prosperity.

All the basins are in direct communication with the river; the minimal difference in tides makes it possible to do without the use of locks. The easy connection with the sea on the one hand, and with the important industrial centres inland on the other, has made Rotterdam the meeting point of sea and river navigation.
The activity of this port is mainly determined by the needs of the interior and especially of the industrial area along the Ruhr and the Rhine. Most imported bulk goods, such as ores, grain, wood and oil, are shipped back to this region, while coal is the main export item. Taking into account that more than 80% of the total transport to and from the interior is done by ship, it is easy to understand that the transhipment of goods from seagoing ships to lightering ships and vice versa is a very important part of Rotterdam's activity. This operation is most often carried out in the large docks on the right bank of the Meuse, where transhipment is frequently done at the buoy.
In succession, the 30-hectare Rijnhaven, the 60-hectare Maashaven and the 300-hectare Waalhaven were built. New, even larger ponds were planned.

The extension of the docks also extends to the right bank, which is specifically used for the loading and unloading of packaged goods.

The establishments of the major passenger services, as well as the many world-renowned ship repair and construction yards, are spread over both banks.

The equipment in the port of Rotterdam is valued worldwide. The port has numerous electric cranes for handling packaged goods, while bulk cargoes are transhipped using the most advanced fixed and floating equipment. These include numerous overhead cranes, floating grain lifts and the latest models of equipment for supplying coal to ships. It is to this highly sophisticated equipment and the natural advantages described above that Rotterdam is known as the port with the quickest despatch.

Let us return to the Amsterdam section, in order to take the monumental staircase that leads to the vast rooms housing the colonial participation.

Here we find valuable documentation on the Dutch Indies, Curaçao and Suriname.

Dioramas, models and maps show the largest Indian ports, the size, population density and mining industry of the Indies.

The administrative system of the Dutch colonies is briefly discussed. Another part of the section draws the visitor's attention to the commercial movement of India and to the air communications which, although recently established, are developing rapidly.

© Guide Officiel - Anvers 1930