​​Georg & Agathe FOUNDATION

PROJECTS Preserve & Share history


& Educate

Preserving Our Collective Past

"We were led by the wish to leave all we had inherited from our ancestors to our descendants as much as possible and in the best possible condition."

- Velid Đekić, MSc
PRO TORPEDO Rijeka, President


It's the right time "... to promote the need of raising awareness of the importance of marking and preserving the past, as well as the present of the industrial heritage."  

- Daina Glavočić, MSc

Rijeka, Croatia's Industrial Heritage
As Drs. Hildebrand P.G. de Boer, Dutch Foundation for Industrial Culture, reflects, "Rijeka’s regional identity is European. That sounds contradictory, yet, when in Rijeka, one becomes fascinated by the tangibility of centuries of European history and ongoing geopolitical changes over the last 150 years that took place under the influence of Venice, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Croatia. Rijeka was also called alternately St. Veit am Flaum, Szentvit, Fiume, and Reka. This is also echoed in Rijeka’s European Capital of Culture 2020 concept of: 'Port of Diversity '." In the past century, the port of Rijeka (Fiume) developed into an important industrial and maritime center within its free-port structure.

Museum Complex & Archive

The envisioned Whitehead Torpedo Factory & Naval Museum and Whitehead-von Trapp Peace Conference Center  would be housed in the existing historic torpedo factory structures on the waterfront in Rijeka, Croatia. The idea is of five (V) complexes, each with its focused history, telling the story of life within and around the Whitehead Torpedo Factory from the initial Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano to the Whitehead Torpedo Factory and finally Whitehead & Co.

Complex I – Whitehead Torpedo Factory buildings encompassing the visitor center and torpedo museum, as well as housing the collected archives for the Whitehead Torpedo Factory, Austro-Hungarian Navy, and Adriatic naval history; Complex II – Existing torpedo launch structure; Complex III – Whitehead employee housing; Complex IV – Whitehead Villa and Hoyos Villa; Complex V – Peace Conference Center, Hall, and Theatre.


PRO TORPEDO Rijeka is a Croatian nonprofit that works to preserve Rijeka city's industrial heritage, as well as to create connection between international networks of researchers and history enthusiasts. To Learn more about the organization, visit: www.protorpedo-rijeka.hr

Photo: Courtesy of Whitehead family

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1900 'Discharging a Whitehead Torpedo'

Industry supplied ships and weapons to the navy of the Habsburg Empire. Raw materials from around the world arrived in its harbor, transported there by ship and rail, to be manufactured into rope, leather, canned fish, paper, tobacco, brandy & spirits, cocoa & chocolate, pasta & rice, soap, furniture, and playing cards by ever-multiplying factories. Oil and sugar refineries sprang up, alongside warehouses and storage buildings. From 1866 onward, Rijeka was the industrial cradle of the torpedo, one of the most innovative weapon systems in modern history, due to the genius of engineer and industrial entrepreneur Robert Whitehead (1823-1905), sparked by an idea brought to him by naval Captain Giovanni Luppis (1813-1875).

Today Rijeka’s industrial heritage covers a broad spectrum, from real archaeological industrial sites in the Rjezina River Area to the modern full functioning enterprises of the oil refinery and the shipyard. There is growing interest that, now is the time to offer the international traveler an experience of historic cultural tourism, by seeing the European story of Rijeka's history through its industrial heritage which is still preserved in buildings and operating industries along its coastal and river waters. Within the structure of a potential Adriatic Naval & Maritime Heritage Network and Rijeka Kvarner Industrial Heritage Network, the proposed Whitehead Torpedo Factory & Naval Museum and Whitehead-von Trapp Peace Conference Center complex could become the keystone to this endeavor, galvanizing the project as a whole and bringing interested travelers to the city of Rijeka for a unique, insightful, and cultural experience of the historically rich and beautiful Adriatic Coast.

[Source: 2016 Drs. Hildebrand P.G. de Boer, Dutch Foundation for Industrial Culture ]

Photo: Courtesy of Whitehead family

Meets our


Last remaining Whitehead Torpedo Factory, Torpedo Launch Tower
2013 video in Rijeka, Croatia


Spread Some Goodness!

Proposed Project: Whitehead Torpedo Factory & Naval Museum and 

Whitehead-von Trapp Peace Conference Center 
within the structure of a potential

Adriatic Naval & Maritime Heritage Network and Rijeka Kvarner Industrial Heritage Network 

and in collaboration with the City of RijekaPRO TORPEDO Rijeka,  and Dutch Foundation for Industrial Culture

Cavaliere (Knight) John Whitehead

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Museum & Peace Conference Center

Whitehead Torpedo Factory circa 1910
Austro-Hungarian Empire  (today Rijeka, Croatia)


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Historic Relevance and Lessons for the Future...
Baron Robert Whitehead's invention of the torpedo in the 1860s has been likened to the engineering leap similar to putting a man on the moon. To preserve the global story of this achievement is important towards understanding our engineering and industrial heritage which connects us to our collective geopolitical past. In its time, the torpedo was hoped to end all warsits potential of 'mutual assured destruction' was assumed would create conditions for detente between world powers.

Both the Whitehead and von Trapp families, despite their military involvement, wished for peace over war. On the site of the world's first torpedo factory in today's Rijeka, Croatia, the foundation proposes the establishment of a museum and peace conference center to hold archives, educate and engage the public, as well as connect the lessons from the failed attempt for peace through weapons with today's global peace efforts. The effort will collect, archive, and preserve information, stories, and items relating to the Whitehead family, multiple Whitehead factories, the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy, and the Adriatic Seas' long naval history. The intent is for the project to become a link in the maritime sites throughout the Adriatic within a potential Adriatic Naval & Maritime Heritage Network and Rijeka Kvarner Industrial Heritage Network.

Whitehead Torpedo Factory Complex 2000s

Rijeka, Croatia

Baron Robert Whitehead

Photo: Whitehead Torpedo Factory, 1910, Fiume, Austro-Hungarian Empire, today Riejka, Croatia

Project Partners

Video: Posted YouTube  May 20, 2009 by CinemaHistory, video by Thomas Edison on May 9, 1900
Note: The Georg & Agathe Foundation  is not affiliated with the video provider YouTube  or CinemaHistory, we are not responsible for content, nor do we endorse any ads.

The Concept

Dutch Foundation for Industrial Culture

The Dutch Foundation for Industrial Culture is a Dutch nonprofit that works to promote and preserve industrial heritage projects and networks within Europe under the leadership of Hildebrand de Boer.

Ways You Can Help

Video: Posted YouTube  December 18, 2013 by Vektra  d.o.o. Varazdin, current 3D scan of  Whitehead Torpedo Factory Launch Tower in Rijeka, Croatia

Note: The Georg & Agathe Foundation  is not affiliated with the video provider YouTube  or Vektra;  we are not responsible for content, nor do we endorse any ads.

FREE: Quarterly updates and history trivia

Photo: Courtesy of Whitehead family



Photo: © City Museum of Rijeka

​Meets our 

mission to:

Museum & Peace Conference Center

Honoring the von Trapp 
​and Whitehead Heritage