1902 Encyclopedia > Germany > Germany - Industries

(Part 6)



Some account of different industries has already been given in connexion with the production of the empire. The principal textile manufactures have still to be noticed.

Cotton Manufacture.—Before 1871 the production of cotton fabrics in France exceeded that in Germany; but as the cotton manufacture is pursued largely in Alsace, more than 2 million spindles being employed there, the balance is now against the former country. In 1873 there were about 5 million spindles in Germany and 4,611,000 in France. From the subjoined table of imports (gross weight, the net weight being about 4 per cent. less) of the raw material, it will be seen that this industry has been improved since 1873:—


Cotton spinning and weaving are not confined to one district, but are prosecuted in Upper Alsace (Mülhausen, Gebweiler, Colmar), in Saxony (Zwickau, Chemnitz, Annaberg), in Silesia (Breslau, Liegnitz), in the Rhine province (Düsseldorf, Münster, Cologne), in Erfurt and Hanover, in Würtemburg (Reutlingen, Cannstadt), in Badem Bavaria (Augsburg, Bamberg, Baireuth), and in the Palatinate. The number of hands occupied in the mills in 1875 was 68,555 (34,385 males, 34,170 females) and in the weaving establishments 186,496 (124,732 males and 61,764 females). Of these 98,188 were in Saxony. The production of cotton yarn is not sufficient for the home demand, and for some years back the imports of the article have exceeded the exports by about 200,000 cwts., till 1878, when the excess was only 117,000 cwts.

Woollen and Worsted.—In the class of manufactures Germany is far behind France. First of all, the home production of wool is not sufficient. In 1873-75 the imports of wool exceeded the exports by 300,000 cwts. per annum, and in 1876-78 the excess amounted to 800,000 cwts. In 1875 there were about 1,200,000 spindles for carded woolen yarn,—about 700,000 of them in Prussia, and 320,000 in Saxony. For worsted spinning there were 450,000 spindles,—Upper Alsace having 180,000, and Saxony 110,000; nevertheless the production falls short of the demand, and from 150,000 to 250,000 cwts. must be obtained from foreign countries. The manufacture of woolen cloth is well developed, and is prosecuted for exportation. The cloth is valued as being well woven, durable, and cheap. The centres of its manufacture are the Rhine province, Brandenburg, Lower Silesia, Magdeburg, Thuringia, Saxony, Würtemberg, and Alsace. In 1875 there were altogether 192,452 persons engaged in the woolen industry.

Linen, Hemp, and Jute—Germany, although linen was formerly one of her most important articles of manufacture, is now left far behind in this industry, not only by Great Britain and France, but also by Austria-Hungary. In 1874 there were 326,538 spindles at work in Germany for flax, hemp, and jute spinning, while there were 415,000 in Austria, 663,000 in France, and 1,670,000 in Great Britain. About 300,000 cwts. of linen yarn are imported into Germany annually, whereas Austria exports about 100,000 cwts. Hand-loom weaving is practised all over Germany, but centres principally in Saxony, Silesia, and Westphalia. In recent times also power-loom weaving has been extending. In 1873 there were 68 establishments in Germany, principally at Elberfeld and Barmen, with 3473 power-looms, including 7 factories, with 546 power-looms, for jute. The line industry employed 187,793 persons in 1875. The demand for linen is nearly covered by the home production.

Silk.—Raw silk can scarcely be ranked among the products of the empire, and the annual demand has thus to be provided for by importation. It amounts to about 50,000 cwts., there being some superior silk-weaving establishments. The main centre of the silk industry is Crefeld and its neighbourhood; then come Elberfeld and Barmen Aix-la-Chapelle, as well as Berlin, Potsdam, Chemnitz and Annaberg. Munich, Stuttgart, Saargemünd, &c. The exports of silk stuffs always exceed the imports.

General Census of Industries.—In 1875 a census of industrial occupations was taken in Germany. The following table gives the numbers of the different establishments and of the persons engaged in them:—


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