Aktien-Gesellschaft Vulcan Stettin (short AG Vulcan Stettin) was a Germanshipbuilding and locomotive building company. Founded in 1851, it was located near the former eastern German city of Stettin, today Polish Szczecin. Because of the limited facilities in Stettin, in 1907 an additional yard was built in Hamburg. The now named Vulcan-Werke Hamburg und Stettin Actiengesellschaft constructed some of the most famous civilian German ships and it played a significant role in both World Wars, building warships for the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine later.
Both yards became members of the Deschimag in the 1920s. The Stettin shipyard was closed in 1928, opened again in 1939. During World War II it exploited slave workers, and after the war, was taken over by the Polish government, while the Hamburg yard was sold to Howaldtswerke AG in 1930 and the Locomotive Department was sold to Borsig in Berlin
A.G. Vulcan Stettin was founded 1851 as Schiffswerft und Maschinenfabrik Früchtenicht & Brock by the two young engineers Franz F. D. Früchtenicht and Franz W. Brock in the little village Bredow, which later became suburb of the eastern German city of Stettin. Its first ship was the small iron paddle steamer, named Die Dievenow for the service between the cities of Stettin and Swinemünde. Several small vessels followed, while the yard continuously was enlarged.
When the yard went into financial problems, in 1857 the company was taken over by some entrepreneurs and politicians from Stettin and Berlin which founded the new company Stettiner Maschinenbau Actien-Gesellschaft Vulcan. Ship construction was continued, but the solution of the financial trouble was expected by additionally constructing locomotives. A subsidiary company was founded, called Abteilung Locomotivbau in Bredow bei Stettin. In 1859 the first locomotive was delivered; altogether the company built about 4,000 units in Stettin until it was sold to the Berlin company Borsig.
In the future larger and larger ships were built, the facilities in Stettin could no longer sustain the scale of the operations. The yard built the Kaiser-class ocean liners.
Thus a new shipyard was built in Hamburg between 1907 and 1909. From 1911, it was named Vulcan-Werke Hamburg und Stettin Actiengesellschaft. The Hamburg yard was the scene of a week-long strike in 1918 which was only brought to a close through the reading of the War Clauses.
Automatic transmissions for motor vehicles
Gustav Bauer, director of the marine engine section, supervised the work of Hermann Föttinger on the Fottinger hydraulic transmitter known as Vulcan Coupling and Vulcan Drive or fluid coupling. In 1924, Vulcan's Hermann Rieseler invented one of the first automatic transmissions, which had a two-speed planetary gearbox, torque converter, and lockup clutch; it never entered production. (The less-sophisticated Hydra-Matic, which used a simple fluid coupling, would only become an available option on Oldsmobiles in 1940.) The original coupling further developed in collaboration with Harold Sinclair of Fluidrive Engineering of Isleworth for Daimler of Coventry and matched with a manually controlled epicyclic gearbox went into production in England in 1929.
In 1928 Vulcan Stettin went bankrupt and sold its Hamburg shipyard in 1930. The AG Vulcan Stettin had been closed.
1939 a new company - also named Vulcan - was founded on the site of the former Stettin-shipyard. Altogether 34 construction numbers were started in the following years, including 18 type-VII C submarines. But because of the war only a few ships could be launched and completed. Among these were two submarines, but only one of them (U-901) was ever in service while the second one (U-902) was destroyed by allied air attacks before.
During the war the yard exploited slave workers and had its own prisoner camp, part of the prisoner population engaged in anti-Nazi resistance, successfully sabotaging several constructed ships
After World War II the slave workers were freed and the shipyard was finally taken over by the Polish government and the new Szczecin Shipyard was started at this site. The Szczecin Shipyard named one of its wharfs "Wulkan" and two slipways "Wulkan 1" and "Wulkan Nowa".
1913, Passenger ship Sierra Cordoba for Norddeutscher Lloyd, supply ship for German raiders in World War I, seized by Peru 1917, renamed Callao, chartered by United States Shipping Board (USSB) and transferred to U.S. Navy 26 April 1919 and commissioned USS Callao (ID-4036), decommissioned 20 September 1919. Sold at auction by USSB, renamed Ruth Alexander by Dollar Steamship Lines.
Armin Wulle: Der Stettiner Vulcan. Ein Kapitel deutscher Schiffbaugeschichte. Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Herford 1989, ISBN3-7822-0475-1
Dieter Grusenick: Lokomotivbau bei der Stettiner Maschinenbau AG „Vulcan“. B. Neddermeyer VBN, Berlin 2006, ISBN3-933254-70-1
Christian Ostersehlte: Von Howaldt zu HDW. 165 Jahre Entwicklung von einer Kieler Eisengießerei zum weltweit operierenden Schiffbau- und Technologiekonzern. Koehler-Mittler, Hamburg 2004, ISBN3-7822-0916-8
Arnold Kludas: Die Geschichte der Deutschen Passagierschiffahrt. Band 1: Die Pionierjahre von 1850 – 1990 (= Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums. Bd. 18). Ernst Kabel Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 1986, ISBN3-8225-0037-2
Arnold Kludas; Die Seeschiffe des Norddeutschen Lloyd 1857 bis 1970, Weltbild Verlag GmbH, Augsburg 1998, ISBN3-86047-262-3
Bodo Herzog, Deutsche U-Boote 1906 – 1966, Manfred Pawlak Verlagsgesellschaft mbh, Herrsching 1990, ISBN3-88199-687-7
Siegfried Breyer, Schlachtschiffe und Schlachtkreuzer 1905 - 1970J. F. Lehmanns Verlag München 1970, ISBN978-3-88199-474-3