It was in 1902, at the J.C. Tecklenborg shipyard at Geestemünde in Germany that the PREUSSEN was built, under the direction of W. Clausen and for the Hamburg ship-builder, F.L. Laeisz. The PREUSSEN was the only all-steel square-rigged five master ever built in the world. She was equipped with every novelty of the time and called on technology which was extremely avant-garde for the period. The vessel was the admiration of the shipping world. PREUSSEN's mission was mainly trading between the South American coasts and Europe, via Cape Horn. On the way out, the cargo consisted of coal and various manufactured goods. On the return haul to Europe, the ship carried minerals, mainly nitrate. PREUSSEN was a perfectly reliable sailing ship and her voyages were accomplished with exemplary regularity. The proof of this was the record which she broke in 1903, on the haul from Hamburg to Iquique in Chile, which she covered in 57 days. The PREUSSEN accomplished thirteen return voyages successfully; the fourteenth one started on the October 31, 1910, from Hamburg, and ended on the November 6, 1910 in the Channel, in a heavy fog, when the British steamer BRIGHTON cut across her course. Seriously damaged, she made for the port of Dover but, running into a storm with heavy South-Westerlies, she was driven into the coast to the East of Dover, where she ran aground irrecoverably and remained there for several years.
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