Between Tradition and Modern World:
Witness of the Industrialisation and Cultural Monument
The Druckwasserwerk (pressurized waterworks) is the only preserved historic building of the Frankfurt Safety and Trade Harbour opened in 1886. With the new efficient harbour, free of of floods and ensuring the turnover with the great trade centres along the river Rhine, Frankfurt took over a leading position in the trade of mass-produced goods on the river Main. The harbour project was the first enterprise of this kind and this scope for making a river in Germany navigable.
The centrepiece of the highly modern technique of the new harbour installation were the pressurised waterworks constructed from 1886 until 1888 by the civil engineering department of the city of Frankfurt. They enabled the operation of all the mechanical facilities in the new harbour area: Crane systems for loading and unloading the ships, the capstan for moving ships and railway wagons in the harbour area, lifts in the store-house. traversers and a mobile corn-elevator were hydraulically driven by pressurised water. Via a ring line over the Friedensbrücke and the Railway Bridge the pressurised waterworks also supplied the cranes of the former coal and petroleum harbour on the opposite side of the river Main, at today’s Theodor-Stern-Kai.