The Rotunda
The Rotunda


Epilogue to the Viennese World Exhibition in 1873


Another day and one of the most important episodes of Austria's cultural history has happened!

The Vienna World Exhibition will be closed on Sunday November 2nd, the official World Exhibition Correspondence announced in skinny words. With this poor note, a world of thoughts storms on the thinking Austria. Large, overwhelming, all encompassing, justifying the most daring expectations, the Vienna World Exhibition is only a day in the past and the rattling down of the fall gate is a meaningful reminder to us.

Once again we wistfully gaze at the magnificent view of the giant work, the Rotunda, towards the elongated gallery escape, after the delicate, picturesque, grotesque and instructive pavilions and special buildings, after the well-tended meadow and forest areas; once again we commemorate all the beautiful and splendid that delighted us here, the admirable successes of human spirit and creativity, the wonderful results of an enthusiastic wrestling match across the globe; In a hurry, like in a kaleidoscope, we let the inexhaustible impressions of the Vienna World Exhibition pass our minds and say goodbye to her as if from a dear friend. In these rooms we were enthusiastically confronted with the perception that our time applies everywhere the tremendous, irresistible lever of culture, where it is necessary to harness the most hidden natural or spiritual powers to the rolling triumphal chariot of progress, here we have a thousand and it has become clear to a thousand examples that the individual uses all of his or her skills as a pedestal in order to put on it the monument of their own skill; here the perception seized us with delight, that the harmonious union of human forces with incomprehensible, creative violence permeates the whole world with the pulse of intellectual life; here the consciousness to be human among human made us happy and according to our individual strength also having a little contributed to the desired general bliss. Once again look at the microcosm in the Viennese Prater surrounded by the dim evening glow and take the hesitant step out into everyday life. Farewell, you wonderful Viennese World Exhibition, and may the memory of yours warm our hearts in the very last days, to feel humanly pure, strengthen our minds and our hands to a happy deed. May the last, rotten rock of your building still be an eloquent reminder of the exhibition year 1873 and the place where the peoples from east and west, from south and north the best of their culture and industry sent to be sanctified by later generations as an altar-memorial.

Quite a few glaring misstones have pushed their way into the roaring accord of your life, well, some deep wounds have been cruelly damaged by your healthy, splendid body, and appalling events have taken hold of your innermost nerve, only the blessings that flowed from you are so numerous that ours cheering gratitude remains certain. You are like the phoenix that rises from its grave from its ashes in renewed splendor and if the unforeseen unfavorability of the circumstances also kept us from tantalizing all the richness of your fruits, even if our hopes attached to you have been partially broken, with the emergence of a new fate of fate your seeds will also ripen. At your grave we plant the hope of our future happiness and your rich teachings may advance us as a golden flame in the struggle for life. Even those men who made it possible to implement the great idea with advice and action, thanks to every Austrian for dedicating their skills to the company's entry into life. They all belong to history.

The industrialists, who deal with the products of their activity at the world exhibition may feel the awareness that they have benefited the whole of human society. But we, who, with lively enthusiasm and loyal fulfillment of the Vienna World Exhibition, dedicated our journalistic activity, which continued when some journal was swept away by the material emergency, we do not want to put our feathers out of our hands, but, as before, tirelessly in the struggle for Culture and industry. We count on the lively support of our arduous company.

1873 Wiener Zeitung Nr. 293


1873 Vienna World Exhibition

Commerce, Industry, Transport and Agriculture


The sewing machines, knitting and embroidery machines at the world exhibition


The sewing machine industry was represented at the Vienna World Exhibition in the following way:

N. America had 7, France 5, Italy 1, Sweden 1, Denmark 5, England 4, Belgium 1 exhibitor, whereas Germany was represented by 47 sewing machine manufacturers and 3 component factories, Austria by 11 exhibitors.

The official World Exhibition Report (rapporteur: civil engineer Mr. C. Kohn) comments on this in the following way:

All categories of sewing machines can be traced back to two systems, namely the shuttle system and the hook system (rotating hooks). The former was invented by Elias Howe, the latter by Wheeler & Wilson in New York, both now names with a rare international reputation. It is unlikely that an item would have found such a rapid distribution shortly after its invention as the sewing machine. Neither the steam engines nor the indispensable pocket watches have received such general recognition and rapid use twelve years after their invention. The reason for this striking appearance lies solely in the fact that from the very beginning people thought of simplifying the very complicated mechanisms of the first invented sewing machines by Madersperger in Austria, by Timonnier in France, by Howe and Wheeler & Wilson in America. These four first copies could be seen in the additional exhibition of the history of inventions, where Austria had exhibited not only its first but also the first sewing machine at all and in the machine hall where the French version was located, in the Pavilion of the United States, where the the first American machines were brought on display.

The above mentioned simplification of the machine was that, firstly, it was made for every individual, secondly, that the working parts remained unchanged and thirdly, that the prices were set in such a way that the machines were made available to the underprivileged. This was the basis for the rapid utilization of the sewing machines in the home and in trade.

The largest sewing machine factory in the world is that of Wheeler & Wilson in New York, which alone has sold over 900.000 sewing machines. The mass production in divided work by means of machines is set up in such a way that every single sewing machine on the market could be used as an exhibition object. The named company (W&W) already produces 600 adjusted sewing machines per day, has set up its own sewing thread spinning mill for the consumption of its machines and has set up over 100 sewing schools, where machine sewing was taught free of charge, only for machine sewing in all circles of the population and spread rapidly in all countries. This company also invented the buttonhole sewing machines that are used today. The latest invention of this company, which the Vienna World Exhibition was able to admire, is the sewing machine W&W No. 6, which has been worked on for six years with an experimental effort of 200.000 dollars. This universal machine sews the strongest leather horse harnesses and the finest vapeurs with a barely noticeable pearl stitch. Wheeler & Wilson won the highest prizes at all world exhibitions and was also honored in Vienna. The American companies Howe, Singer, Secor and several others now supply machines using the two systems listed above, just as English, French and German factories of sewing machines.

The glove sewing machines exposed by the Henriksen company in Copenhagen, as well as the machines from Nörholm, Bergmann and Hüttenmeier, are characterized by particularly hard work.

Germany, France and England have exposed their outstanding achievements in the field of the sewing machine industry without, however, appreciating all the beauty and efficiency of the achievement to have created something new. Germany mostly impressed in Vienna with its fabric.

In Austria the first factory for sewing machine, based on Grover & Baker chain stitch system,  was built by Louis Bollmann in the 1850s. L. Bollmann later founded a new factory for gripper machines, set up according to the Wheeler & Wilson system, which has an output of 60.000 machines per year.

The Anger company in Hernals near Vienna only produces shuttle machines for heavy work, for shoes and clothes.

After all prejudices against sewing machines have already vanished and have become commonplace everywhere, it is not difficult to recognize the progress in the individual circles of the textile industry, the security of employment for women and girls, the improvement in the health relationships of entire working groups who are no longer forced to give up their health for the seam of a shirt.

Another attempt, which was made to take the knitting needle out of the hands of the women and girls and also to have their knitting done by means of knitting machines, has led to some favorable results, especially in America, although the spirit of invention has not yet created the best in this direction. At the exhibition, mostly 22 straight knitting looms as round knitting looms from Germany alone were shown, which showed significant performance.

Particularly noteworthy are those from Hilscher in Chemnitz, Terrot in Stuttgart, Fourquet & Franz in Rottenburg near Stuttgart and Ferdinand Groeber. All of these round knitting looms produce knitted fabrics smooth and designed as required, from which fabric the items required are sewn or knitted together. However, there was nothing new in the knitting looms on display, because all of these types of knitting machines have already been demonstrated in earlier world exhibitions. An improved knitting machine exposed by Carbonier, according to the "Lamb system", may be considered one of the best family knitting machines, because everything can be created on it without difficulty, without colliding with the needle system.

It is regrettable that the Hinkley family knitting machine was not exhibited at the Vienna World Exhibition. This knits with a single needle, 4.000 to 5.000 stitches per minute, is designed to take up and take off the fabric, is very easy to use and has a price of 25 dollars, while all other varieties cost three to four times as much.

The performance of the above mentioned linear knitting machines from Lamb and Carbonier has been developed in such a way that they supply an average of 20 pairs of women stockings per day, but only from cotton knitting wool No. 16, 18 to 20. The safest and fastest way of working these machines is with sheep's wool yarn. Even if no significant innovations have been found in the knitting looms, it is not to be denied that these machines have been simplified and made more comfortable to use and there have been significant improvements in their implementation compared to the earlier machines of this type. We have not found a noticeable improvement or an innovation in the principle.

The embroidery machines brought to the exhibition belonged to the Chemnitz embroidery machine factory and the St. George machine workshops near St. Gallen in Switzerland. Six exhibitors from this group took part.

The machine that is collectively exposed by these companies is particularly characterized by the fact that it has a very simplified construction, the needle holder cannot be operated incorrectly, the thread cutter is fully functional, and the entire machine is designed in such a way that no foundation is required. She also works twice. The machine has 208 needles, which work precisely in a width of three meters. These machines from the designated factories find significant sales in England. The prices are very cheap. A complete machine including festooning and cutting devices, with stand, cost 1280 fl (florins).

Such embroidery machines, the main principle according to a very complicated nature, already existed in 1839 in Lettowitz near Brünn, in Damböck'schen Tulle Anglais Fabrik. These machines are exclusively manufactured in Switzerland today, for which the embroidery needles are sourced from Aachen. Chemnitz in Saxony also made efforts to manufacture such machines, but they have not yet gained such a reputation that they could enter into a large trade.






-Don't forget-

"Panic of 1873"