Shipbuilding: The building of wooden ships by master ship builders organised in guilds began in Austria as far back as the Middle Ages. Braunau became the centre for Danube shipping and the Salzkammergut district was the centre for salt transportation. War ships were built in Vienna from the early 16th century onwards. When the Donau-Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft (DDSG) was founded in 1829, the building of steamships also began ("Franz I" steamer, 1830) and shipyards were established.
The Linzer Werft shipyard was established in 1840 by Ignatz Mayer, and was taken over by the state in 1946 (nationalisation). Mayer built the first Danube freight crane made of iron in Linz in 1840; until 1990 the shipyard constructed a total of around 1,500 ships. In the wake of the privatisation of state-run industries, the Linz shipyard was taken over by Auricon Beteiligungs AG in 1992 and has since then carried on business under the name ÖSWAG Werft Linz Ges. m. b. H. Since 1999 it has been part of Waagner-Biro Binder AG. Today it mainly repairs and reconstructs ships and overhauls passenger ships in the winter month.
The shipyard in Korneuburg was founded in 1852 as a repair wharf for the DDS; from 1938-1945 it was extensively enlarged and was then placed under Soviet control until 1955 (USIA). In 1959 it was hived off from the DDSG group and founded as an independent joint-stock company. In 1974 it was merged with the Linzer Werft, and in 1993 the Korneuburg shipyard, which had been responsible for building ocean-going ships, refrigerated vessels and passenger ships for the Soviet Union, was dissolved.
Literature: F. Pisecky, 150 Jahre Eisenschiffbau an der österreichischen Donau, 1990.