Johann Weiß & Sohn

The beginnings, 1809-1840

Johann Weiß was born on November 19, 1788 in Reckartshausen in Bavaria. He learned the joinery, then worked in Germany and Prague before coming to Vienna in 1809. There he found a job in Franz Gruber's tool factory. 11 years later, in 1820, he had saved enough capital to start his own business as a toolmaker. From the same year, the first entry in an address book, namely as a carpenter in Vienna, auf der Wieden No. 579 comes from. In the course of a new numbering in 1820/21, house number 579 became number 55 Alleegasse, this was Franz Gruber's house and factory. Weiß started his own company in the house of his previous employer.

 

On Sep 22 In 1822 Weiß married Cecilia Rapp from Stetten. The couple had three sons: Vinzenz (born 1823), August (born 1825) and Johann Baptist (born July 9, 1829). Vinzenz became a technician, August learned toolmaking in his parents' company, Johann Baptist began an apprenticeship in the commercial area.

 

In 1826 an advertisement of the “k.k. privileged cast-steel-edge-toolmaker” Michael Feugl from Senftenberg near Krems appeared in the Wiener Zeitung, in which he announces to have his branch in Vienna with the (bürgerl.) master joiner and toolmaker Johann Weiß in Josephstadt (note: actually St. Ulrich), Neudeggergasse No. 84 (note: today 8th district, Neudeggergasse 12). This enables Weiß to offer his tools, like Franz Gruber, with plane blades “plated with cast steel”. Gruber had received his own patent in 1823 and produced his plane irons and other cutting tools himself. Weiß, as a bourgeois joiner, was subject to the restrictions of the guild. So this collaboration with Feugl was of the utmost importance for him. Privileges and factory rights played a major role in the entire process of industrialization from the late 18th to the late 19th century. (More on this in a separate article).

 

Probably in 1828, Johann Weiß moved his company to Lumpertgasse 715 (today Kettenbrückengasse 4, 4th district). The first advertisement appeared in the Wiener Zeitung in October 1837, in which Weiß described himself for the first time as a woodworking tool manufacturer, no longer as a joiner. Another move took place in 1839, Johann Weiß bought a house in the Laimgrube, Gärtnergasse 87.

Planes 1820 - 1842 from my collection

While the 1930s were characterized by a slow but steady upswing, the 1940s became a difficult and groundbreaking decade for the company. The years 1842/43 and 1847 proved to be particularly fruitful.

 

On October 17, 1842, Johann Weiß's son August died suddenly at the age of only 18 years of typhus. A heavy blow for the father, since August was already very involved in the business and intended to take over the business. Vinzenz, the eldest son, then gave up his studies in technology, became his father's companion, and the company was recorded in the same year as Johann Weiß & Sohn. However, the first address book entry as Weiß und Sohn is only found in 1845.

 

On March 28, 1842 Anton Gruber, who successfully continued the factory of his father Franz, who died in 1838, died of nerve fever at the age of only 24; and without a successor. Finally, the same year the man who became an almost overwhelming competitor for the Weiss & Sohn company for the rest of the century also appeared on the scene: Franz Wertheim, merchant from Krems an der Donau. With a privilege on "steel-plated tools" (together with the stuff smith Georg Gleischner) he founded a privileged plane iron factory in Rehberg near Krems. At the beginning of 1843, he first became a partner with Michael Holzer, who had bought Gruber's factory and its valuable privilege, in mid-1843 he took over the Gruber factory in Vienna and also the hammer mill in Scheibbs alone. He was 28 years old, active, energetic, through several trips to England, France and Germany a self-taught specialist for tools and a marketing genius when the term did not even exist.

 

Vinzenz Weiß recognized the threat posed by Wertheim. Weiss & Sohn did not yet have their own privilege, nor a factory right. The company was essentially still a craft business and as such was still bound by guild restrictions.

The first step took place on April 18, 1843: Johann and Vinzenz Weiß acquired a privilege on a machine for producing iron taps. White was now also a k.k.-privil. tool manufacturer, the guild restrictions no longer applied.

The second step came in July 1843: Joseph Herrmann, the former foreman at Anton Gruber's steel goods factory in Scheibbs, had (also in April) acquired his own privilege on steel-plated tools and thus founded a privileged factory. Weiß & Sohn participated in this privilege as companions. On July 10, 1843, the collaboration was published in the Wiener Zeitung in a full-page advertisement, not without reference to the fact that Joseph Herrmann was Gruber's only master craftsman and only he was able to produce cutting tools of genuine Gruber quality. This was a response to the corresponding advertisements from Wertheim in the previous months. Vinzenz converted his father's company into an industrial company, the fight against Wertheim was opened. On March 29, 1844, Johann and Vinzenz Weiß finally acquired their own privilege to improve the manufacture of cutting tools coated with cast steel.

 

In 1845 the Austrian general industry exhibition took place in Vienna. This was the third such exhibition in Vienna after 1835 (594 exhibitors) and 1839 (732 exhibitors), but neither of them contains Gruber or Weiss in the exhibitor directories. This time, 1830 exhibitors were listed in the catalog and provided an impressive picture of Austrian industry. Wertheim immediately recognized the value of such exhibitions; as early as 1844, he received a silver award medal in Ljubljana. In Vienna, both manufacturers were awarded the silver medal. According to newspaper reports about the exhibition (Der Wanderer, Journal des Österreichischen Lloyd) Wertheim employed 80 people, Weiss 35 in his factory and 50 outside. In just three years, the small merchant Franz Wertheim became one of the largest tool manufacturers in the monarchy, and thus Europe. Vincenz Weiss had correctly assessed him.

 

In 1846 Johann and Vinzenz Weiß bought a privilege from a certain Leopold Gruber to "improve steel-plated cutting tools", which was extended a year later to the third and fourth year.

 

On September 3, 1847, Vincenz Weiss died unexpectedly from the consequences of an operation after an inguinal hernia.

Years later, Johann Baptist Weiß wrote: “It was a serious catastrophe, which the business that he raised suffered. It was Vincenz who introduced factory production into the business, he did successful studies and introduced sweeping reforms. He expanded the business far, introduced accounting, and especially increased sales in the provinces. In 1845 he won the first prize at the Vienna exhibition. He was already working on machines for the more advantageous production of tools, when death took him away. The business lost its leader, Wertheim his rival. ”

On the very same day, Johann Baptist Weiß entered the company at the age of 18 as an authorized officer. Half of the privilege (Leopold Gruber) that the parents had inherited from Vinzenz was assigned to the remaining son.

The chaotic revolutionary year followed in 1848. Johann Baptist was too young, too inexperienced, he was more concerned with the national guard than with the company. The name Johann Weiß appears in an "explanation" that is true to the emperor and which was published in the Wiener Zeitung. (Note: It is not clear whether that Johann Weiß is the father or son, or whether it is the tool manufacturer at all). In any case, Weiss & Sohn could no longer stand up to Wertheim. To make matters worse, the economic situation was generally bad as a result of the turmoil of the revolution. "Victory became Wertheim," said Johann Baptist later. Only the world exhibition in London was to bring about a change.

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1850 - 1860

The large international exhibition took place in London in 1851. Johann Baptist Weiß had not yet been willing to run a business, and he still had little idea of ​​tool making. But his ambition woke up. He decided to personally attend the opening in London. It was his first big trip abroad. He took the opportunity to visit tool factories in Berlin, Stuttgart, Paris, London, Sheffield, to see and learn. Wertheim was victorious at the exhibition itself, he was awarded the prize medal, Weiß & Sohn achieved an honorable mention with a smaller selection of tools, and the Illustrirten Zeitung also published one   report   About the firm.

 

Johann Baptist now wanted to continue the path that Vincent had taken. He asked for permission to build a steam engine in his small factory, but the authorities refused to do so. But he found a way out. In 1851, following the bankruptcy of the Viennese master builder Carl Pranter, his land on the new Wieden 667 was offered for sale . White seized the opportunity, bought a piece of land and built a completely new, larger factory including a 4 HP steam engine. Three years later, in July 1854, the move to the new factory took place, through advertisements has been made public in several newspapers. At the major exhibitions in Munich in 1854 and Paris in 1855, Wertheim was able to consolidate its dominant position, although Weiß & Sohn were only represented with a smaller selection of tools in Munich, but not at all in Paris, but White was involved in terms of production capacity & Son now in the fast lane.

 

In the meantime, Johann Baptist Weiß had become a respected company boss. In my own collection there is a acknoledgment for the receipt of the annual fee of the Lower Austrian Business Association including the personal admission ticket to the meetings for "Johann Weiß junior" for the year 1855.

 

In 1856, Johann Weiß father completely withdrew from the company, from then on Johann Baptist ran the business "for his own account".

 

In July 1858 there is a report in the "Fremden-Blatt", according to which the municipal council granted Johann Weiß civil rights, that means most probably Johann Baptist Weiß. Also in July 1858 the 4 HP steam engine was replaced by a larger one and the first machine was offered for sale.

 

An impressive testimony to the bitter rivalry between Wertheim and Weiß is provided by a "duel via advertisement" in the "Grazer Zeitung" in December 1858: Weiß & Sohn had opened a major branch for their tools at the tool dealer Josef Jungl in Graz and announced this in several advertisements. In these advertisements, Jungl claimed that Weiß & Sohn “acknowledgedly delivers the best tools in the Austrian monarchy for a guarantee” . This provoked Wertheim's anger, who trounced Jungl, who had previously been Wertheim's customer, with counter-advertisements and pointed out the greater success of his establishment at the previous exhibitions in London, Munich and Paris .

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Weiß & Sohn, Fabriksansicht, Wien Wieden, 1861

At the beginning of 1860, Johann B. Weiß registered his first own privilege, namely on an "adjustable plane". The new design was intended to allow easy parallel adjustment of the guide rails on adjustable planes and was used on several models (Ex1 ,Ex2). Weiss therefore tried to put Wertheim under pressure with innovations.

In April of the same year District Council elections were held in Vienna, Johann B. Weiss thereby reached the runoff election for a seat. Whether he also won that, I do not know, but he was later than 1863 in the municipal council for the district Margarethen represented .

At the beginning of 1861, Johann B. Weiß managed to beat marketing genius Franz Wertheim with his own weapons for the first time. He released the "Atlas of Austrian tools for woodworkers, written and edited by Johann Baptist Weiss containing 42 tablets with 700 illustrations of tools", published by Gerold' Sohn in Vienna. Wertheim had already written a similar work in 1854, but only as an addition to the tool collection he had sold to the Fürth trade association after the exhibition in Munich. With his publication as a book, however, Weiss got ahead of his competitor. It was not until 8 years later, in 1869, that Wertheim's "Werkzeugkunde" appeared, but then as a very comprehensive and impressive work with colored lithographs.

A review of the book appeared in the Grazer Tagespost in November 1861, another one in Dingler's Polytechnisches Journal. Dingler already described Weiß & Sohn as the largest woodworking tool factory in Europe.

In 1862, Weiß & Sohn won the price medal at the London World's Fair. (Note: Wertheim, who, as a jury member in the tools section, exhibited in London out of competition, used 3 pages in his official 9-page report to present his own factory but dedicated only one single sentence to his competitor Weiß.)

Subsequently, Johann B. Weiß received the golden cross of merit.

Weiß & Sohn were also represented at smaller exhibitions, for example at the "first agricultural exhibition" in the district of Amstetten in 1862 .

Also in 1862, a new house numbering resulted in the new company address Margarethenstrasse 65, V, Margarethen.

Johann B. Weiß's daughter Sophie died on January 26, 1863.

In 1863, Johann Weiß took part in the industrial exhibition in Constantinople. Two articles refferring to that appeared in the Wiener Zeitung ( June 2 , June 6 ).

On October 3, 1863, the company was entered in the register for sole proprietorships. Johann Baptist's wife Sophie acted as authorized signatory.

At the beginning of 1864, Johann B. Weiß received the royal prussian medal 4th class, on May 28, 1864, the emperor allowed him to accept and also carry the medal (note: accepting and carrying foreign medals required the emperor's approval!).

In 1865, Weiss ran again for the municipal council, a short presentation of the candidates appeared in "Die Presse" in which Weiss was assigned to the (liberal) Progressive Party, his responsibilities were the the sections for construction and for the poor.

On August 23, Weiß & Sohn received a privilege on setting boards for book printers, the range was expanded to include equipment and tools for book printers. Already in September 1865, Weiß participated in the exhibition of the agricultural district association Mödling in Brühl with the expanded range, which the Neue Freie Presse reported . Corresponding advertisements appeared in several newspapers in October.

In November 1865, the "Neue Freie Presse" reported that Johann B. Weiß was awarded the "Medschidie Medal" (fourth class) by the Sultan of Constantinople. On January 9, 1866, the emperor approved the medal.

In May 1866, Johann Weiß then had to face a settlement procedure . It is not possible to reconstruct from the newspaper articles what the reason for these economic troubles were. A connection with the political events of this year, the German War and the defeat of Austria at Königgrätz on July 3, 1866 is conceivable simply because of the proximity. As a result, the window manufacturer Markert had to file for bankruptcy in Vienna. The related announcement in the "Neue Freie Presse" on May 24 states that the company has a stake in Weiß & Sohn of 96,000 guilders. (Note: This most likely means participation in compensation as a creditor, as Weiss & Sohn were a sole proprietorship, but the sum of 96,000 guilders does not appear in the list of the largest creditors in "Die Presse" on May 8th.)

The reason for the abolition of the settlement procedure in March 1867 is then also interesting : it is done "with due regard to the mercantile reputation of the company owners and its innocence in the numerous accidents recognized by the imperial regional court".

Shortly after the settlement procedure had been overcome, Weiß & Sohn was then represented at the large exhibition in Paris in 1867. Several articles in various newspapers reported on it, mostly in very great detail (Die Debatte , Die Presse , Wiener Sonn- und Montags-Zeitung , Gemeinde-Zeitung). The medal awarded to Johann B. Weiss in Paris is now in my own collection. 

 

In May 1867 Johann B. Weiß was elected to the board of the cooperative of machine manufacturers, mechanics etc.

 

In the course of the Hietzinger exhibition in 1868, short reports appeared in several newspapers (Die Presse , Neues Wiener Tagblatt , Die Debatte , Gemeinde-Zeitung).

In 1869, Johann B. Weiß was awarded the Knight's Cross for the Stanislaus Medal by the Russian tsar for his success at the Paris exhibition. On this occasion a big company party was celebrated in March. The staff thanked them publicly with a letter of thanks (Neue Freie Presse , Gemeinde-Zeitung). In May the emperor officially approved the award.

Privilegiumsveröffentlichung Wiener Zeitung, 2. März 1860
Inserat Weiß & Sohn 1863
Weiß Auszeichnung London 1862
Johann B. Weiß Verdienstkreuz 1863
Todesanzeige Sophie Weiß 1863
Weiß Eintragung Einzelfirma 1863
Weiß preuß. Kronen-Orden 1864
J. B. Weiß Kandidat Gemeinderat 1865
Weiß Patent Setzbretter 1865
Weiß Anzeige Buchdruck 1865
Weiß Medschidie Orden 1865
Inserat Weiß & Sohn 1867
J. B. Weiß Genossenschaft Maschinenfabrikanten
J. B. Weiß Stanislaus-Orden 1869
 
 
 
 
 
J. B. Weiß Orden Portugal 1870
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Weiß & Sohn Anzeige Neuigkeits Welt Blatt 1876
Weiß & Sohn Privilegium Dekupiersäge 1879 (erloschen)
Weiß & Sohn Privilegium Universalzirkel 1879 (verlängert)
Weiß & Sohn, Sydney, 3. Preis, 1879

The next award for Johann Baptist Weiß followed at the beginning of 1870: the Knight's Cross for the Royal Portuguese Order of Christ.

 

In 1872 a public acknowledgment of the carpenter Josef Hieke appeared in the "Neues Wiener Tagblatt", in which he thanked Johann B. Weiß for the letter of thanks he got on the occasion of his 25th anniversary of service and the amount of 100 guilders.

 

The great Vienna World Exhibition took place in 1873, Weiß & Sohn were awarded the Medal of Merit for tools and machines and the Progress Medal for tools and machines for bookbinders. In addition, a large company portrait appeared in the Vienna World Exhibition Newspaper .

 

In 1874, Weiß & Sohn acquired a privilege for a scrollsaw, which was not renewed a year later.

The book printer tools awarded at the Vienna World Exhibition were specifically advertised in the "Buchdrucker-Zeitung" (a newspaper for bookprinters).

 

In 1875 a trade exhibition took place in Teplitz, to which the Vienna Ministry of Commerce sent a 10-cassette collection of woodworking tools from the stock of technical and commercial teaching aids. In addition to austrian tools from Weiß & Sohn, these cassettes also contained tools from Denmark (Peter Ibsen), America (Stanley), England (John Benyon) and unspecified Japanese. A short report about it appeared in the Teplitzer Zeitung.

The collection of the Ministry of Commerce had caused a friendly dispute between the Vice President Wilhelm Franz Exner and Franz Wertheim a year earlier in the Lower Austrian Business Association , who complained that his tools were not part of this collection.

From 1876 onwards, advertisements by Weiß & Sohn appeared regularly in the "Neuigkeits Welt Blatt".

Weiß & Sohn were not represented at the world exhibition that took place in Philadelphia in the same year.

 

In 1877 two privileges were acquired: on a universal compass (in August ) and again on a scrollsaw (in November ).

 

Johann B. Weiß received a high visitor in April 1878: Archduke Karl Ludwig visited the factory in the run-up to the Paris World Exhibition accompanied by the President of the Lower Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Johann Gögl. The "Neue Freie Presse" reported . At the he exhibition Weiß & Sohn won the great prize medal , in addition, the company was  also awarded a bronze medal for "furniture material", and employee Georg Bidal(e) received an honorable mention.

 

At the beginning of 1879, Johann B. Weiß received the Golden Cross of Merit with the Crown for his success in Paris .

The privilege on the scrollsaw was no longer extended in April after one year, while that on a universal compass was extended by 2 years in October.

At the large industrial exhibition in Sydney, which also took place this year, Weiß & Sohn won the 3rd prize. The official list of the winners only appeared in "Die Presse" the following year.

1880 - 1890

1870 - 1880

1860 - 1870

On the way to industrial production 1840 - 1850

 
J. B. Weiß Präsident Möbelausstellung 1881
J. B. Weiß Prokura 1883
Weiß & Sohn Anerkennung 1885
Weiß & Sohn Arbeiterjubiläum 1885
Weiß & Sohn Feuer 1886

A world exhibition was held in Melbourne in 1880, with Weiß & Sohn receiving the first prize. A list of the Austrian winners was only in May 1881 published .

Weiß & Sohn started the decade with an innovation offensive, starting with a new improvement to adjustable planes, the corresponding privilege was granted on January 29, 1881. This was followed by a privilege on the improvement of slicers on May 19 and a privilege on improvements on screw clamps on May 21 . The privilege of the universal circle, however, was no longer extended in December .

The same year Johann B. Weiß acted as President of the first Vienna Furniture Industry Exhibition.

The last quarter of the 19th century was characterized by a social upheaval, especially the labor movement changed the working and production conditions permanently. Weiß & Sohn had a liberal attitude aimed at balancing the fronts. On January 1st, the "Pension Association for Employees of Commerce and Industry in Austria" was founded in Vienna. Weiß & Sohn were involved in the foundation as supporting members. The commercial magazine brings a full page article .

On May 18, 1883, Johann Baptist Weiß was registered as an authorized officer in the commercial register for individual companies (note: this is the son of the company boss).

 

In 1884 , Weiß & Sohn donated a bench with tools to the "Kaiser Franz Joseph Jugend Asyl" association, a home for young people who were difficult to educate. It was founded in 1883 at Weinzierl Castle in Lower Austria. Wertheim's successors (either Anton Fanta or Johann D. Flir, or both) also contributed.

In August 1884, the International Motors Exhibition took place in Vienna, and the Crown Prince Rudolph and Stephanie paid an official visit. The Crown Prince showed a particular interest in the exposure of the Weiß & Sohn company, especially in the planes on display, and gave Johann B. Weiß his fullest appreciation .

In January 1885, the "Neues Wiener Tagblatt" reported in a short article about the 25th company anniversary of two carpenters from the Weiß & Sohn company. In the press, the company published a recognition in the advertising section of the newspaper.

 

In 1886 a fire broke out in the factory, but it did not cause much damage.

 

In December 1887, the Weiß & Sohn company, along with other well-known Viennese industrial companies (including the Gebr. Thonet), was a member of a committee to support the regulation of the Vienna River. Floods in the urban area had been an immense problem for decades, the project was realized from 1894 to 1904.

In 1888, the Lower Austrian Trade Association held an extraordinary general assembly on the 40th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Josef, which also marked the end of the anniversary trade exhibition. Deserving employees of the exhibiting companies were awarded club medals. By the company Weiß & Sohn this honor was the foreman Georg Bidale (who won a prize in Paris in 1878) to part .

 

1890 - 1900

In 1891, the workers of the Weiß & Sohn factory donated 1 gulden and 30 kreuzer from their money earned on May 1 to the workers' movement as a so-called "May-sacrifice". This is a first indication of union structures within the tool factory. The first International Labour Day was held in 1890, but the trade unions in Austria were not centrally organized at that time, but only a loose association of various trade union associations, formed from fraternal shops and guilds. Weiß & Sohn was spared the wave of international strikes between 1888 and 1892. In 1893, the first Austrian Trade Union Congress took place, which is the actual birth of an organized trade union movement in Austria.

 

On March 1, 1892, the Weiß & Sohn company was transformed into an open partnership. In addition to the previous sole owner, Johann Baptist Weiß senior, his sons Johann Baptist Weiß junior and Wilhelm Heinrich Weiß were registered as open partners; wife Sofie Weiß received the power of attorney.

A photo from my own collection may come from this year: It shows the workforce of the Weiß & Sohn company, in the middle Johann Baptist Weiß, flanked by his sons. Unfortunately the photograph is neither dated nor labeled in any other way.

 

In July, Weiß & Sohn submitted an application for a building permit for a new tool magazine in Wienstraße 81 (IV district).

In December 1892, Weiß & Sohn registered a trademark in the trademark register. (Note: Apparently this is the company's first trademark register entry, even though the first trademark protection law came into force as early as 1859.)

 

In 1893/94, Franz Bidale (note: possibly the brother or son of the master craftsman Georg Bidale, but proof is missing) transferred two privileges to the tool factory Weiß & Sohn: one privilege on a "conical spokeshave" (on December 12, 1893 ) and one further to a marking gauge (on April 23, 1894 )

In October 1894 Johann B. Weiß sen. and Wilhelm Weiß appeared on a list of members of the Vienna Commercial Association.

 

In April 1895, Weiß & Sohn took over the privilege of of Adolph Raab for a device for setting saws.

 

Johann Baptist Weiß senior died on June 13, 1895 at the age of 66 in his residence in Hinterbrühl (Lower Austria) of a heart attack. Having entered the company management completely unprepared at the age of 18, he formed the largest tool factory for carpentry tools in Europe.

The "Neue Wiener Tagblatt" dedicated an obituary on June 15 .

 

In September 1895 , Weiß & Sohn donated a collection of tools to the Upper Austrian Trade Association for its trade museum.

In September, Sophie Weiß succeeded her husband as an open partner in the company, her power of attorney was deleted.

 

An interesting insight into the political climate of this decade is provided by a short message in the anti-Semitic "Deutsches Volksblatt" 1896: It was a complaint that the military is supplied from Jewish companies such as Flir (note: Johann Desider Flir inherited the Wertheim tool factory in Vienna in 1883 and was actually Jewish) and Weiß & Sohn. 2 months later the paper corrected this message and found that Weiß & Sohn was a Christian company. In 1897 the anti-Semite Karl Lueger became mayor of Vienna.

In the 1896 in Czernowitz (note: Bukovina, today Ukraine) held "exhibition of hand tools, auxiliary machinery, engines and materials for small businesses" Weiß & Sohn were awarded with the Museum's Gold Medal.

 

1897 Johann B. Weiß II was chosen to the industrial court.

 

In 1898 the company was looking for an apprentice by means of a job advertisement. Interestingly, he had to be a Christian and a German national.

 

The Prager Tagblatt mentioned in 1899 in an article that the permanent exhibition at the Technological and Crafts Museum at the Trade and Commerce Chamber in Prague contains not only tools from J. B. Rott and Ottokar Skrivan but also tools of Johann Weiß & Sohn .

In the same year, Weiß & Sohn submitted an application to obtain a building permit for a house in Inzersdorferstrasse (district IV).

 

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Weiß & Sohn Magazinbau 1892
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J. B. und Wilhelm Weiß Kaufmännischer Verein 1894
Johann B. Weiß Todesanzeige Wiener Zeitung 1895
Johann B. Weiß Todesanzeige Die Presse 1895
Weiß & Sohn Stellenanzeige 1898
Weiß & Sohn Hausbau Ansuchen 1899
 

1900 - 1918

 
Weiß & Sohn Baubewilligung 1901
Weiß & Sohn Austritt Sophie Weiß 1908
Weiß & Sohn Arbeitsunfall 1910
Weiß & Sohn D. Flir Anzeige 1913
Weiß & Sohn Fabrik Oswaldgasse 1912
Weiß & Sohn Fabrik Oswaldgasse 1912
Weiß & Sohn Fabrik Oswaldgasse 1912

In 1901 there was another application for a building permit for a house, this time in the XII. District, Unter Meidling. This is actually the construction of a new factory.

If the company Weiß & Sohn was spared the first international wave of strikes (note: see above), the situation was different for the strike wave in Austria during the economic phase between 1902 and 1912.

In August 1906, the first time a strike of the workers of the factory Weiss & Sohn in the "Arbeiter Zeitung" is reported. Apparently, the working conditions under the new management after the death of Johann B. Weiss sen. fairly worsened, because the strikers' first demand relates to clean drinking water.

In 1907 a seven-week strike followed. In two articles (August 2, 1907 and August 23, 1907) the (socialist) "Arbeiter Zeitung" paints a completely different picture of what is happening than the (conservative) newspaper "Freiheit!" (September 28, 1907). The first article in the Arbeiter Zeitung also mentions both factories in Margareten and Meidling for the first time.

In 1908, Sophie Weiß left the company as a partner.

In 1909 the "Österreichische Forst-Zeitung" published a report on suction systems from the Augsburg-Nürnberg AG machine factory. At the end of this article it is also mentioned that the tool factory Weiß in Vienna has a plant of this company in operation.

In 1910, an industrial accident occurred in the factory with a seriously injured.

The year 1911 brought a historic event from the point of view of Johann Weiß & Sohn: the takeover of the D. Flir tool factory (formerly Franz Wertheim). The factory in Neustift was bought on February 14, 1911 , followed by the factory in Vienna in June . It is the end of an almost 70-year, sometimes bitter, rivalry.

The D. Flir company was continued under this name until the 1920s, and the trademark was also retained. The full company wording (e.g. in catalogs and on letterheads) was now: "Joh. Weiß & Sohn (D. Flir vorm. Franz Wertheim)".

In the same year a new factory was built in Neustift .

As early as 1912, the former D. Flir factory in Neustift was looking for new employees, as this report in the "Salzburger Wacht" shows. The Social Democratic paper points out that workers should be "unorganized", not union members, and calls on applicants to provide false information.

Also in 1912, some job advertisements point to a new factory (or a factory expansion?) By Weiß & Sohn in Vienna, XII. District, Oswaldgasse. Here is a picture of the new factory from "Musterbuch No. 33" from my collection.

In 1914, Weiss & Sohn filed a patent for a bar attachment for hand saws (frame saws). The original of the German patent certificate is in my collection.

That same year, Josef Plank, workers at Weiß & Sohn in Neustift, was awarded a Medal of Honor for 40 years of faithful service. The article in the "Linzer Tages-Post" was published on July 29, 1914, one day after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

On February 11, 1915, the factories in Vienna (Oswaldgasse) and Neustift were for the duration of the war by decree on state-protected company explained .

1918 - vorläufig bis 1946

Anzeige "Lord-Ski" 1934
Anzeige Nistkasten Weiss & Sohn, 1934
Weiß & Sohn Anzeige 1946

The collapse of the monarchy naturally had a dramatic impact on Austrian industry. As for most industrial companies, for Weiss & Sohn the loss of the crown lands and their conversion to nation states on the one hand meant a massive reduction in the sales area, and on the other hand the loss of important raw material sources (especially coal and oil). In addition, there was extreme inflation and the monarchy's national debt, which was largely borne by the economy. The economy only slowly recovered through a League of Nations bond and the introduction of a new currency in the mid-1920s.

In 1920 the Weiss & Sohn company wanted to expand the hydropower plant in Neustift into an electric power plant. Here is the original project description that was submitted to the Scheibbs district authority. Apparently the generally bad economic situation prevented the realization of this project for a long time. From the historical building records of the Neustift municipality it is clear that the plant was only completed in 1936.

1923, the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Trade gives Weiss & Sohn the right to lead the austrian state emblem.

In 1927, Weiß & Sohn registered a patent in Germany for a new wedge stop for planes, after a two-year opposition period in 1929 in Austria and in 1931 also in Poland. My collection contains the original patent certificates for Austria , Germany and Poland .

Approx. from 1930 the Weiss company tried to expand the product range. With "Lord" a new brand is introduced, alpine skis and garden furniture are produced. In 1932, a "Strecksessel" (a deck chair) was registered for a patent in Austria and England .

A tragic event in 1932 has only an indirect but curious connection to Weiß & Sohn: in a robbery in Vienna, a hammer of the company was used as a weapon. The "Illustrierte Kronen Zeitung", even then a tabloid, reported about it in a lurid 4-page article , the hammer is described in detail, shown in two views and even the company Weiß & Sohn with address as the manufacturer was named.

An advertisement in the supplement to the magazine "Illustrierte Flora" from 1934 shows a nesting box for songbirds made by Weiss & Sohn.

In April 1942, Hans Weiß, public partner of the company Joh. Weiß & Sohn, dies. The only death announcement appears in the National Socialist journal "Völkischer Beobachter".

In 1946 an advertisement appeared in the magazine "Industrie und Technik".

​© 2023 Hobel Austria, Reinhard Pascher

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