| Faculty of Philosophy, Seminar für Literaturwissenschaft, Knowledge, Spaces, and Media, Research

New publication about messages in bottles

With „Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment“ (Message in a Bottle. Faraway Messages, Early Surveys and a Legendary Experiment) a new book dedicated to the unravelling of the oceans through posts in bottles has just been published by mareverlag. The author is Wolfgang Struck, Professor of Modern German Literary Studies at the University of Erfurt.

In the middle of the 19th century, the geophysicist and polar researcher Georg Neumayer devoted himself to maritime current research. His instrument: the message in a bottle. He wanted to use bottle drifting to understand the currents in the seas and oceans and thus contribute to unravelling the seas. In a large-scale experiment, he asked ship captains to release bottles filled with a form on the high seas. The finder was then asked to fill out this form and return it to the Hamburg Naval Observatory with data on the place where it was found. Neumayer was able to collect more than 600 responses and document them in albums.

In his book „Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment“, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Struck takes a closer look at this collection. He reports on the often mysterious routes of the bottles, but also on the captains and passengers who abandoned them, as well as on fishermen, beachcombers and harbour officials who found them. The volume thus provides an exciting view of the history of science and culture on the message in a bottle as a means of communication.

Wolfgang Struck
Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment

Hamburg: mareverlag, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-86648-673-7
224 pages
36 EUR