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Sophia Austral

On-line version ISSN 0719-5605


MATEO, José Antonio. From the sail to the steam, from the steam to the engine. Transitions in the propulsion of ultramarine navigation in Argentina (1921-1966). Sophia Austral [online]. 2018, n.22, pp.183-207. ISSN 0719-5605.

Ultramarine navigation has been the mechanism that allowed the conformation of an ecumenical world market. From the fleets of galleons of the colonial period in the Americas to the diffusion of steam and the hegemony of the engine to explosion then, no transport system has managed to displace the navigation of its dominant position. Navigation has been perfected to incredible levels and increased to surpass the figure of 100,000 merchant ship immense circumnavigating the world. In this paper we analyzed the two most recent transitions in the modes of propulsion, of the sail to the steam and of this to the engine to explosion, starting from the presence of ships in the ports of Argentina; country that has historically been dependent on navigation in its foreign trade. The sources of information used are integrated with specialized texts, published national statistics and a series built for Puerto Quequén, an important grain port in Argentina. It has been possible to verify both the beginnings and the end of the transitions, slower than what is supposed, and the periods of coexistence of different propulsion systems.

Keywords : navigation; vapors; engines; Argentina.

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