Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
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R.R.B. or ‘Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf’ (old spelling; Rotterdam Rhine Transportation Co.) plays a role in Nigoco history as recounted by Haalmeijer & Scholten in their 1995 book ‘Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co’s Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Nigoco)’.
There are two distinct periods in RRB’s history – today the first one,
before the takeover by Nigoco in 1951. As we will see, this event
led to a change in house flag.
In 1929 the Dutch subsidiary of the German-owned ‘Standaard Transport Maatschappij’ (i.e. Standard Transportation Co.) became independent. In 1947, the Rotterdam based ‘NV C.H.W. van Dam & Co.’ (which firm had a seat in Basel, Switzerland, as well) together with ‘Natural AG’ became financially linked to the company, naming the new firm ‘Natural Van Dam AG’. The name ‘R.R.B.’ was adopted after another important Dutch inland operator, Damco, complained about the similarity of names.
Besides transhipment in Rotterdam a regular service linked this port to Basel. During the nineteen fifties the fleet, until then consisting of paddlewheelers and towed vessels, was modernized; the number of ships was reduced from about fifty to about twenty.
In 1951 Nigoco bought RRB (Natural Van Dam went on and would come to fly a distinct flag of its own). List of RRB vessels – from Nigoco’s viewpoint - about end of this page: Shown as a drawing on this Binnenvaart page (and – perhaps – on the photo of paddle steamer ‘Utrecht’), the RRB house flag was horizontally divided orange-white-orange with black initials ‘RRB’ on the white stripe.
Image based on Martin Heere’s drawing, taken from above book. I should add that ‘Flaggen auf dem Rhein’ (1952 ed.) shows the initials with serifs and has the name in modernized spelling (“Rotterdams”).
Jan Mertens, 8 Oct 2008