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Compagnie de Navigation d'Orbigny (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: compagnie de navigation d'orbigny |
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Presentation of Compagnie de Navigation d'Orbigny

Société A. d'Orbigny & E. Faustin was founded by Alcide Dessalines d'Orbigny in 1865 for the importation of coal from the British Isles to France.
The company owned it first vessel in 1869, the three-mast schooner Phoenix, and rapidly expanded its activity to the transportation of iron (1870) and trawling (1874).
D'Orbigny bought its first steamers in 1880 and was granted an exclusive privilege on the Algerian lines by the French government in 1890. These lines were abandoned in 1892 and the company was dissolved in 1899 due to bankruptcy.

In 1905, the company was reconstituted for bulk transportation between Bristol and the French ports of the Channel, and took the name of Compagnie Maritime d'Orbigny in 1909. D'Orbigny launched a series of ships bearing names of famous people from ancient Greece. The flagship of the company was the Platon, inaugurated in 1925, captured by the Germans in the beginning of the Second World War and sunk by the allied Navy in 1944.

Like many other French shipping companies, d'Orbigny could not recover from the Second World War and definitively lowered its houseflag in 1950.

The founder of the company was most probably a relative of Alcide Dessalines d'Orbigny (1802-1857), a paleontologist and malacologist, disciple of Cuvier and author of the Paléontologie française, and his brother Charles d'Orbigny (1806-1876), a botanist and geologist, author of the Dictionnaire universel d'histoire naturelle.

Ivan Sache, 7 December 2003

House flag of Compagnie de Navigation d'Orbigny

[Orbigny house flag]by Ivan Sache

The flag of Compagnie Maritime d'Orbigny is shown on a colour plate of houseflags of French shipping companies, probably included in a Larousse dictionary published between the two World Wars. The flag is horizontally divided blue-red-green (1:2:1).

Ivan Sache, 7 December 2003

[Orbigny house flag]by Jarig Bakker

Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies [wed26] shows the house flag of Compagnie d'Orbigny with three equal red-white-green stripes and a black O overlapping the red and green stripes.

Ivan Sache, 12 January 2005