More than a century Verschoor & Bras

Verschoor & Bras has existed over a century. The history can be traced back to 1907, albeit that the founder is not longer mentioned in the current name.

1907 is the year that 36-year-old, unmarried Siebe Tjeerd de Boer starts to work as an assistant for his brother-in-law, Jacob de Beer, surveyor at the firm Wm. H. Müller & Co. After having worked as an assistant for several years, De Boer decides to start as an independent surveyor in 1911. Although the two go their own way, Jacob de Beer will play an important role in the history of Verschoor & Bras. He is probably the one who brings De Boer into contact with Verschoor in 1915.

In 1915, after his return from Singapore to his hometown Rotterdam, Willem Adrianus Verschoor joins Siebe de Boer as maritime surveyor. They work from the Speelmanstraat 141 (later 135a), the home address of Siebe Tjeerd’s mother. In the telephone directory the new partners are listed as S.T. de Boer & W.A. Verschoor.

An advertisement in the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant of April 1, 1917 (see picture), announces the move of the firm to the Plantageweg 95b, the new home address of Siebe de Boer and his mother. The firm S.T. de Boer & W.A. Verschoor Scheeps-, Werktuigkundige en Motorexperts will stay here until 1931.

In that year De Boer moves to the Maaskade 109b and the firm finds new accommodation at the Korte Hoogstraat 36, possibly above or next to café La Confidance. At the time several persons named Verschoor are registered at this address. The firm will stay here until 1937. De Boer probably left the firm at the time that he moved to the Maaskade. Under the entry Verschoor & Bras his name is mentioned for the last time in the telephone directory of 1933.

In 1935, the name of the second name giver appears in the firm entry of the telephone directory. Johannes Bras, born in Rotterdam, starts his career as an engineer and works for several years in New York. In 1909 he returns to Rotterdam, where he starts working as a surveyor. In 1935 he joins Verschoor.

In 1937 the new partners move their business to the Beukelsdijk 12, Verschoor’s home address. Johannes Bras moves in the same year to the Mathenesserlaan 231 (a future address of the firm). Even though founder De Boer had left the firm in the 1930s, his name will remain in the firm’s name until 1951. The name is first changed into W.A. Verschoor & J. Bras Scheeps-, Werktuigkundig en Motorexperts, and later, in 1953, into the present name: Verschoor & Bras. Johannes Bras had died by then (in 1951).

There are more changes in 1951. The firm finds a new location at the Mathenesserlaan 171. And it’s for the first time that it does not work from one of the partner’s home addresses, but avails over a real office. The firm will stay there for the next twenty years, when it moves to an address a few doors down the road: the Mathenesserlaan 231, former address of Johannes Bras.

In 1980, the firm moves into a new office at the Kinderdijkstraat 63. And finally, in 1990, it moves to its current address at the Burgemeester Hazenberglaan 403.

In the more than hundred years of its existence, a lot of people worked at Verschoor & Bras, most of them for a very long time. Well-known names from the last four or five decades are Joop Lindeman (from 1962 until 1995), Gerard Kriekenbeek (from 1966 until 1992), Frans Baumann (from 1976 until 1997), Pieter De Groot (from 1982 until 2005), Cor Korteweg (from 1982 until 2011) and Henny de Boer (from 1973 until 2013).

As of 2011 Verschoor & Bras is run by the current partners, Roelof Boerma and Frits Vlugter.

In June 2013 Marinco Survey bv was taken over to offer more services.

We would like to thank Leo Gijswijt, Stadsarchief Rotterdam, for his research.