Porto Vecchio Trieste
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Cantiere San Marco

Gaspare Tonello was born in 1798 in Venice, where he studied naval architecture. Moving to Trieste in 1820, he taught Practical Navigation and Shipbuilding at Trieste’s Academy od Commerce and Nautical Sciences and worked with Cantiere Panfilli.

In 1839 the San Marco shipyard, a large modern facility that launched its first ship in 1840, opened near the mechanical workshops of Sant’Andrea. These were the years when steam navigation and the propeller became firmly established.

Partnered by his brother Giuseppe, Gaspare moved Trieste shipbuilding from artisan operation to industrial construction methods. He built on innovations introduced abroad, especially in England. His clients were private shipowners and the Navy.

After Gaspare’s death in 1849 Giuseppe continued the business. In 1850 the shipyard was partially requisitioned by the Navy until the new Pola Arsenal was opened in 1858. Giuseppe continued to work for the nascent Austro-Hungarian Navy, as shown in drawings on display. He died in 1869 and the shipyard was taken over by Societ√† Navale Adriatica which in turn was absorbed into Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino in 1875. In 1930 it was incorporated into Cantieri Riuniti dell’Adriatico.

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Civic Maritime Museum

Porto Vecchio Trieste