National Geographic : 1963 Apr
My Volvo now bore me west to where the Gota River spills into the Kattegat at Gote borg, Sweden's second city and leading port. King Gustavus Adolphus founded Gote borg in 1619, calling in Dutch builders to lay out a fortress city along the lower Gota River. They stamped their trademark on the place with a web of canals. Goteborg flourished in its rocky river mouth. Merchant adventurers moved into the city from Holland, Germany, England, and Scotland. When Napoleon blockaded English ports, Goteborg welcomed British merchants. Englishmen and Scots poured into the Swedish city and hung out their trading shingles. Today the city telephone directory is thick with names like Wilson, Carnegie, Stuart, Chalmers, Gibson, and MacFie. 486 Goteborg's string-bean harbor, really the dredged and widened river estuary, brings in 25 percent of Sweden's foreign purchases and ships out more than a fifth of her exports. A big part of the 10,000,000 tons of oil Swe den buys each year (her No. 1 import) comes by tanker to Goteborg. In the company of soft-spoken Ake Hall, reporter of Goteborgs Posten (the Gothen burg Post), I watched ships being welded together in shipyards which launch three of every five Swedish-built vessels (below). At the Volvo automobile plants, we walked beside assembly lines that hatch two family cars common in America. One is the tough, swift 544, the model that carried me thou sands of miles through Sweden; the other, the sportier-looking 122S, called "Amazon" in Europe. More than half of Volvo's cars are exported (13,950 to the U. S. in 1962).