Industrial Heritage of CorfuDespite its longstanding, mainly agricultural and commercial character, Corfu developed from the 19th to the end of the 20th century significant industrial activity with positive economic and social results for its population.

Unfortunately, after the Second World War, principally because of the increased cost of transport of raw material and products due to the island’s position, its formerly successful industrial businesses were subject to a progressive decrease in their activities, resulting in the fact that hardly any remnants from that period exist today – and what does exist is almost exclusively in the memories of the few that lived during that period and of those who undertook the study of the subject, producing valuable evidence through their dissertations and publications.

That is the reason why our society took the initiative to include this year the subject of Corfu’s important industrial past over the past two centuries in the context of the events it has regularly organized under the general title “Corfu remembers…”

As usual, the publication of an album was included in the other activities of the event, to remain as a permanent reference to the specific period of local industrial evolution and ultimate decline.

We asked for, and were grateful to receive, contributions from experienced researchers and authors who have dealt with the subject, successfully covering a variety of relevant cases concerning which documented data was available. During the editing process, which was done in close cooperation with the authors, as well as for their translation into English, special care was taken to preserve the basic meaning of the contents, but also each author’s personal form of expression.

During the long months of preparation of this collection no reliable data was found about a few of the more well-known cases of local industrial activity. We would have wished, for example, to have obtained texts about shipping, olive oil presses, as well as about other industrial businesses for which no data seems to have been preserved. We consider, however, that the articles included in this collection do cover the major part of Corfu’s industrial history and provide local readers, as well as other friends and visitors to Corfu, with a comprehensive and interesting memento about that time.

It should be noted that, despite the unquestionable validity and usefulness of the collection’s articles, the text does not claim to have a principally scientific character, nor that it fully covers the subject. Its role is clearly informative, with well-documented contents and interesting illustrations.

We would hope for this collection’s contents to provide its readers, and especially the relevant private and public bodies, with food for thought. If not about the now obviously impossible revival of Corfu’s industrial past, at least about taking advantage of available contemporary initiatives for making use of the primary resources available to this island of ours – one especially blessed by nature: principally Corfu’s olive groves and, in addition, about the promotion of other modern possibilities, like the highlighting of Corfu’s industrial heritage, so that this important part of our island’s past would remain alive and productive.

We hope you enjoy reading what follows.

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