Sant Bertran quay. Port of Barcelona (1912) by A. CasalsMuseu Marítim de Barcelona
The watercolor, which forms part of Barcelona Maritime Museum's collections, gives a detailed insight into the work that went on in the port in the early 20th century.
These machines, popularly known as "bicycles," were used for loading and unloading coal in Barcelona’s port.
Overhead cable system
The overhead cable system essentially consisted of a cable track fixed to one side of the vessel with a pontoon. Metal buckets filled with coal were suspended from the cable, and attached to the machinery on the dock that provided the momentum.
The strategic location of Montjuïc hill on the edge of the Mediterranean made it ideal for the construction of a fortification that included a watchtower at its highest point.
Over the centuries the watchtower was rebuilt several times and, as can be seen in this painting, was transformed into a communication tower that emitted signals using a code based on balls and flags.
The steamship "Puerto Rico," registered in Barcelona, on one of its visits to the city.
Several years later, now renamed "Joaquin Mumbrú," the steamship was torpedoed by a German submarine during the First World War.
Loading derricks or cranes.
Derricks or cranes were used for loading goods from barges or docks into the ships' holds.