Steamer Wiesbaden on the Rhine, 1960

SPRING 1960 – Steamer Wiesbaden on the river Rhine at Oberwinter, Germany, on a sunny day. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

This is a photo from the family archive, shot by my mother while she spent three months on job training in Oberwinter, Germany. It shows the passenger ship Wiesbaden cruising the Rhine on a sunny spring day in 1960.

Now you may ask what’s so special about this photo? You are right, this is a snapshot, and looking at it at 100% in Photoshop reveals that it’s not even perfectly sharp. So, why the post? Truth is, when I researched the key visual – the ship called “Wiesbaden” – I found very little: A postcard, and a Wikipedia entry. But this entry reveals a bit of a story: built in 1938 as “Königin Emma”, it was operated by the Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt group on the Rhine until 1989, since 1954 under the name of “Wiesbaden”. The postcard, on the other hand, seems to be from 1960, exactly the year when my mother captured this image.

I really wonder what’s the issue with Rhine ships? When I began researching the topic, I assumed that there must be 100s (if not more) pictures of the ship. Made by tourists, on postcards, by enthusiasts. I think this is strange but am happy that I own such a rare photo.

The high resolution image

Capture DateSpring 1960
LocationOberwinter am Rhein, Germany
Image Source10.5 x 7.5 cm black & white print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, Adobe RGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions8992 x 6016 Pixels
CopyrightScan © by Mark Zanzig/

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