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.