- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /
176

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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ships, with a tonnage of 271,000 tons, and only 261
steamers with a tonnage of 47,000 tons. It may
also be mentioned that nowadays pine as a building
material has been to some degree superseded by
oak, which is not common in Finland. Part of
this marine, including the steamers, consists of very
small ships used chiefly between the inland ports, and
especially on the lakes. Small steamers, or launches,
are owned here by most of the larger proprietors. On
the sea in 1899 there were 1759 ships, with 271,000
tons; on Lake Ladoga 107 ships, with 16,000 tons, of
which seven were steamers with 400 tons; and on the
Saima Lake 415 ships with 32,000 tons, of which
seventy-two were steamers with 4,000 tons. Most of
the sailing ships are owned by men living on the
coast outside the towns. In modern times numerous
very small and very large ships and fewer middle-sized
ships have been built. But on the whole the
sailing ships of Finland are now antiquated, and it
is an extraordinary commercial chance which during
recent years has allowed some old valueless wooden
ships to earn during the year the whole value of the
ship. If Finland desires to maintain her position on
the sea she must acquire steamers. While on the
whole shipbuilding has been inconsiderable of late,
relatively more steamers were built during the years
1889 to 1891; and again during recent years a
greater number of steamers have been built. But
according to the whole tonnage Finland does not now
stand high in the ranks of ship-owning nations. In
present circumstances, and in imitation of other
countries, there has naturally been a question of State
subsidies for certain lines of steamers, especially for the
export of butter to England.

It is in consequence of the slower progress of the

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