TAMH: Trading Ports

Centuries - 16 | 19

Libau in the 19th century

(Liepaja, Latvia)

Like Memel, Libau became an important centre for shipping flax and hemp to Tayside in the 1820s, running about third equal with Memel in export of these materials to Dundee in 1829, behind Riga and St Petersburg. It was also an important source of skins, accounting for around 75% of the horsehides imported to Dundee in 1829, important to upholsterers, and ranking second, behind St Petersburg, for kipskins. Timber also came from Libau though why it should principally have been oak (although this was plentiful around the Baltic) rather than wood from the huge pines which grow around Libau is something I should like explained. Libau became even more important as a port with the opening of the Libau-Romen railway in 1870 and, in 1887, the Russians decided to build a military harbour here (see article).

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