Just came in from my 1 hour walk.... my cheeks are burning! LOL. Ludwig
and I had to tie a few of the arbor vitaes together, their stems were
separated by the snowfall. It thawed today, so we were able to bind two of
them together, the others need to get rid of the snow on the inside first,
or we break them.
I also looked into Graslitz which is a German area, where I knew that a
lot of weavers were living there, and while Graslitz is a small fish, there
were the famous textile mills in Asch, but what I can read in the report of
1850 is not so much doom and gloom, Karen, as you describe, but a success
story. I just wonder if you abstract from Czech sources, because they are
very diligent in translating everything into English from their side -
highly colored too - and they will paint their schools under Austria Hungary
and life as employees of Germans firms as miserable as they possibly can,
otherwise they would not have gotten sympathy to achieve their own country.
Actually Czech labor was as unreliable as the Czech military causing that
you could never use a Czech Batallion for fighting, because they prided
themselves in being Soldiers Swejks walking "backwards for those Germans"
instead of fighting for what was their country too. You may be using similar
sources, so be a little careful and find out WHERE these factories are.
The only really large Textile mills that would have tenements, those were in
Moravia and I have been there, and I saw the buildings and I visited
families there and although they were not of my family's social class, they
were certainly clean and orderly people whom my Aunt trusted implicitly.
So if you report on weaving you may take a good look from where they
were located. As you can see from this article, people were given far more
employment at the onset of industrial weaving, than they had before, and
they were able to ear more money than they earned with home weaving. They
employed 400 Weavers with their looms and the laborers came from the
reservoir of homeweavers in the area. In 1851 they employed an apprentice
from Holland who developed the production of Silk and Velvet and they bought
the plant which was known J.L.deBall.
The entire article is at:
And this German firm is still in existence ... but they had a sister plant
Do not report what textile mills in England are writing about this time,
they were so inefficient, that they sent their wool to Moravia and had their
textiles manufactured there, it was shipped back to England and sold as an
English product. Well the raw material was from there, indeed.
I will look around if I can find more from the Bohemian side, Karen.
"Um 1850 erfuhr Lobberichs Wirtschaft eine erhebliche Wandlung. Man kann
heute kaum mehr mit Sicherheit klären, ob es einem glücklichen Zufall, guten
Verbindungen der Verwaltungsspitze oder günstig erworbenen
Industriegrundstücken zu danken ist, daß um diese Zeit unvorhersehbar und
plötzlich die örtliche industrielle Revolution ausbrach, die das Dorf
aufweckte und im Laufe der folgenden Jahrzehnte zu großer Entwicklung
Zunächst gelang es dem betriebsamen Bürgermeister Kessels, die Gebrüder
Felix und Victor de Ball, deren Vater Johann Ludwig in Geldern eine
Samtfabrik unterhielt, nach Lobberich zu holen. Schon Ende 1845 etablierte
sich am Hinsbecker Weg (spätere Bahnstraße) die Fa. J. L. de Ball & Cie,
Stücksamt und Samtband, mit 400 Stühlen, wobei die Arbeitskräfte vor allem
aus dem Reservoir der Heimweber kamen. Das Unternehmen ließ sich sehr
erfolgreich an, auch die 1848 auftretenden Differenzen bei der Entlohnung
für Stücksamt konnten im allseitigen Einvernehmen beigelegt werden. Um diese
Zeit zahlte die Firma an Gewerbesteuer jährlich 19 Taler 15 Silbergroschen;
die Betriebsinhaber Felix und Victor de Ball wurden mit je 12 Talern zur
Klassensteuer veranlagt. Um 1849 wurde der Kaufmann Hermann Reifenstuhl in
die Firma aufgenommen, der mit Felix de Ball einen Zweigbetrieb in Leipzig
Im Oktober 1861 kam es aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen zum Verkauf der Firma de
Ball an den Schwager und bisherigen Mitarbeiter Hermann van der Upwich aus
Nunspeet/Holland (1835-1922), der 1851 als Lehrling in die Firma eingetreten
war und nun zusammen mit Reifenstuhl den Betrieb zu weltweiter Bedeutung
führte unter der Firmung: J. L. de Ball & Cie Nachfolger, Seide- und
Samtbandfabrik. Felix und Victor de Ball wurden als Associés beteiligt.
1869 wurde ein weiteres Fabrikgebäude an der Bahnstraße errichtet, das 1886
ein Areal von 12 000 qm umfaßte. Für 1881 betrug der Feuerversicherungswert
des Betriebes 2,6 Mio. Mark. Inzwischen war zur Erschließung des
österreichischen Marktes ein weiterer Filialbetrieb, und zwar in
Graslitz/Böhmen, aufgebaut worden. "
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: [GERMAN-BOHEMIAN] Serfdom
I should have made it more clear that I was writing about the early days
the industrial revolution when the problems I described were part of the
urban landscape -- I mean well before 1850. it was actually worse than
described because the textile factory owners (as an example) would find
that a new
influx of unemployed weavers and other job seekers from the countryside
willing to work for less than their present labor force so they would lay
off the latter and hire the former at the lower wage. A lot has been
about the plight of factory workers from the countryside during the early
In Bohemia the textile industry seemed to concentrate on machine spinning
and then the factory product was given to hand weavers to produce cloth.
There is a famous drama "The Weavers" that is also about how weavers who
did "contract" work for distributors were cheated and undepaid time after
Have you ever heard of that play? It was about the period before the
1870s when mechnaical looms in factories took over the weaving, too.
Found at: _http://www.iisg.nl/research/austria.doc_
That MS Word doc has a very interesting history of textile industry in
"Textile production still used multifarious forms of labour. Earlier
and combinations, including domestic production crafts, centralized
workshops and activities put out into rural producers’ households, were
supplemented by a new type engendered by the factory system: the
textile worker in spinning or printing mills. At the time industrial wage
in factories involved extreme exploitation._[i]_
(aoldb://mail/write/template.htm#_edn1) The new factory villages
disregarded traditional social norms, and
new conventions such as social bargaining, charity or workers’
had not yet developed. Mills were comparable to military barracks: they
stranglehold over their employees from morning to evening. Workers were
up in the factories, which they only were allowed to leave on Sundays.
Providing food and sleeping-rooms, spinning-mills recruited children and
adults and made them work as many hours as possible until they were
newcomers. Only very few industrial workers, who were skilled and
control over other workers, were offered stable and secure working
_[i]_ (aoldb://mail/write/template.htm#_ednref1) Komlosy Andrea, “Alles
spinnt. Die frühe mechanische Baumwollspinnerei in Niederösterreich”, in
der Industrie. Leben und Arbeiten im Fabrikszeitalter. Katalog zur NÖ.
Landesausstellung 1989 in Pottenstein an der Triesting (München 1989), p.
306; Novotny Karel, Severocestí tiskari kartounu v první polovine 19.
století, 1 (Praha 1993).
In a message dated 11/29/2006 12:33:24 A.M. Mountain Standard Time,
Karen we always can rely on you to fill in the details.... even I
something from it. But I myself have seen tenements at the factories and
mines, and they were really nothing at all like a slum! Each family had
their own flat in a brick house, sort of like townhouse condos here, with
vegetable garden in the back.
In each of the Egerlander villages, Ludwig said, there was a poor house
and they were fed by the community and had free living in a house that
donated to the village by an older person passing away without issue. It
became the "poor house" and was owned by the village. It was not a
most certainly not a slum, because it was always taken care of by the
in the village. Whenever there was a harvest, or when help was needed
wedding, or someone got ill and needed household help, those people in
poorhouse (mostly widows with their children) were obligated to lend a
They were like a "labor pool". Also, the village would provide
of the building, painting and
firewood when they supplied their teachers and the school. It was always
My mother in law told me that the residents of the poorhouse just waited
for the opportunity to help out somewhere, because normally they were
washing or ironing from their house, so getting to help elsewhere was
desirable. They would often receive clothing, shoes or even a generous
besides the packages of leftover food the could take home with them.
The people living in the poorhouse would live there for a long time when
the house was not needed for anyone else. If that came about, then the
church would step in. But it was not the Church, but the people of the
village who took care of their own. They were just a part of their
like anyone else, and their families were known to the rest of the
for many generations. This free shelter helped to put them back on their
feet. They were not obligated to help transients and only people with
"Heimatrecht" had precedent.
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