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Ottmar Reich Hutfabrik


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Google Translation


The eventful 1938 is coming to an end. To very many it seems the turn to better times. For our house it was the deep satisfactory completion of a hundred years of development, characterized by a toilsome ascent, with its brilliant highlights, by severe crises from the low fraction of the nation, but above all by the tireless hard work and unfailing perseverance of our fathers, through the faithfulness and dedication of our employees featuring in office and workshop.


We have happily done with our 1200 staff and workers of the century celebration while thinking of those who have often devoted their energies to the work of our fathers through an entire, long life and no longer participate in our work. We remember with grateful hearts even of all that have made our home through their advice and prosperity by their confidence a scheduled deployment.


On this occasion, we present to our friends this Festschrift that no far-reaching historical paper constitutes but just wants to be the modest collection of honor leaves for like lonely past accomplishments . She was also the securitization of future cooperation by the principles that have guided us so far so good.






Page 5:


From here, the Riech comes. Still and weltabgekehrt is Motzgatzried, the small hamlet on the north slope of the mountain foliage in Grünenbach in the Allgäu. Eng as a boot-jack surrounds the mountain with its lean dumps the high trough on the homestead rests as on a shoe heel. The slopes are furrowed by cult climbing, lying dormant in the ground the remains of the old raised bog, witnesses that our fathers had a hard bitten through life, before they turned their backs on the poor home and with their savings moved to the market town, college to start a business. From the courtyard of the Reich is nothing more to see: the beams and planks are driven away. Only a few fruit trees are fenced on the old base and inspect the child of a neighbor, when they throw stone diene in the well, which is still as once in a recess next to the road. The children count to five times before they hear gurgling from the tick that.


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Wia, d kingdom hond, Hobba bi üs scho long emadzet SchilMet "says Keller's Basle, confirming only what and: we know from our grandparents that at the time, in which the brothers Ottamar and Konrad Reich, the modest foundation for their put hat manufacture in Lindenberg. braiding braids and sewing easier harvest hats already industry had become a kind of hat in place.


Men, women, and children cut at this time in all the villages around straw, sorted the stalks, fries and wove between them according to the way they had the horse enslave their horse transports learned to Italy. There are still people of every class in our city who are proud of it. braided in her youth with her mother to the bet and there, until the day not forgotten how to have. Our fathers and mothers are among them.


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So they went through the country, our first travelers. While braided at home, sewed ad on primitive forms the straw hats were pressed, hiked the most eloquent men of homestead to homestead, all over the country, from market to market, sold directly to the consumer, met trainers and connections to Me resellers and received their orders. They were purchasers and sellers at the same time, organized trade, strengthened and widened so that the foundation for the Lindenberger straw hat industry. It is the merit of our fathers, recognized the importance of paragraph control early and to have organized the sale from the ground up alongside the development of more powerful braids markets that it worth see, the convert with too little Okonomie producing homework to the tighter factory work.


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Correct as hobbyists our ancestors straw plaiting . Knitting bag and straw hat making started . With the enthusiasm of hobbyists they soon increased their craft and had a look around the world where something had to learn. Italy was far ahead of our people ; Switzerland also provided good goods, but superior to all China and Japan proved . So pure , pale - colored and capable as the stalks there was the crude wheat straw from the northern slope of not Vorpfänders ! So even in the work. so suitable for sewing machines as the Lindenberger Boschen this straw were not goods ! Therefore extinguished even after seventies with the importation of cheap China and Japan all borders gradually plaited together Drodeln in town and country , and all the forces turned to the production of sewn hat to . The company Ottmar Reich was the first company to purchase its borders needs directly in China and Japan Transacted in the knowledge that grow with the venture and the prospects of success. What is not won on Shopping , brings no more a diligence , our fathers were wont to say, and the development has proved them right.


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If bread is time , then here Ossetia , the young workers from the pressing plant in the sun and tease the girls hurrying . The old house , where our fathers began the construction of the company , is close to the factory and looks through the windows of his street facing away from the pediment as old eyes the bustle and parts of humans and machines . From time to him a press inserts a Panama Peru to the final bleaching in the sun on the garden fence and then remembers the old Hales of the times in which the owner of the company braider , Presser, Faktoristen and merchants had been in one. Compared with resting the " villa" of the Lord Kommerzienrates , which had housed the storerooms of Ottmar Reich in its ground floor the first factory system and on the upper floors . Whereas previously the hand held carts because today curves , the trucks in the factory yard and have the chestnut trees in the summer of trouble , to keep on a dusty vortex . Ten steps led within 2 people aging from a one-story house one of the largest business enterprises in the world.


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Then came the war. When we speak German war, we mean only this has been one recorded at the eve of this picture of a sunset, as no one out before, no one has seen afterwards. Idea heavy staring people in the gangrenous sky whose extinction hope after another sank into darkness and uncertain night over time. Eactual too much has been written about it than that, we also list the effort and expense at this point under which to suffer along with our operating all the people at that time and many years later was the meantime, the men and one would soon tell the boys before were enemy. came to the house the girls and mothers, children and old people in their place, did the factory work and wept in silence their dead. We want to remember them and especially with the 'dead the living honor in gratitude.


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Have peace and quiet! We all remember you. Wear bold the bay! We all remember you. Floats our heads! We all remember you. Are our example! 'We all remember you.


From "The Fallen" by Josef Weinheber "Late Crown" Albert Langen I Georg Müller, Mchn.


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In 1920, two years after the revolution, we echo the operation back on the amount. the loss of specialized workers was balanced, the connection with the supply markets return, the production mainly hat reoriented in men and children. The highly respected Strasbourg straw factory M.E. Glunz & Co., whose owners had been expelled from France, had found subsequent to the manufacturing program. Other straw hat factories took accordance with Ottmar Reich. So it happened. that the Firm: on the first exhibition of the Reich Association of German Hat Shops had organized after the war in Stuttgart, glossy sections. This exhibition was seen outside the starting point for a tremendous effort of the company: while the domestic business stepped up and operation of the fine specialty business was promoted, the house unfolded simultaneously in almost all countries of the continent its activities.


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Towards the end of the 70 strength Labre they cut here almost universally ceased to work to stock. The rapidly changing fashion, the pursuit of risk freer production hew out for sale for patterns. The first place representatives and the first home of the traveler Lindenberger hat industry, the firm Ottmar Reich in 1882 or 1887. Had one been discontinued domestic products to Switzerland, France and England, which allowed the company processing predominantly Chinese borders, the introduction of the sewing machine and steam press next to it. tireless diligence of our people to compete in overseas.


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The company Ottmar Reich had developed in this way to drive across the continent in 1914 , a significant export business. After the collapse of 1918 , it was time to start over. Stunning foot from the development history of the house , we aimed immediately at the connection with the lost export areas. The most significant attempt in this direction was the establishment of a factory in Rio de Janeiro, which prepares an enclosed together with us in the Algovia company in 1922 (see at picture) . Foremen , Budikener , Bleicher , Overcoat, Presser, seamstresses , Garniererinnen , Appreteuze machines, even a house print shop with specialists were sent over there . After 2 years of colonists came back , the company had to be abandoned under the pressure of circumstances . Parallel to these efforts, the efforts went in the house to develop export generated hats here . We even conceived soon walk and won , GUIDING of a carefully executed advertising itself in a classic country straw hat , USA , rapidly gaining ground. but we experienced here the Black Friday of the global economy to some go earlier than , for example, the men in Wall Street. But we survived it , albeit with sacrifice . Some catalogs, posters and hat models are in any case you kindest memories of that time .


There was once a mystery to bleach the hats in addition to the conventional stoving still with clover salt. Our home bleaching has left this method early. Away from traffic, without closer contact measure for the large-scale industry, our company resorted to a method which stop short on the still completely untested peroxide, for eg 8 the textile industry had no opinion. Years of testing, failure Suggest a lost war, inflation, the wasting away of the straw hat fashion in our country and the almost total collapse of the straw hat industry crossed the path that took over the development carburettors bleaching; but they could not prevent even the severe crises led to beautiful success.


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Had to liquidate the local competitors and burst into our reshaped to bleaching AG Department, which from then on worked with two works that are a number of patents brought orders from France, England, USA, Switzerland, etc., that the exact working methods of our peroxide bleaching later proven also in the refining of cane, raffia palm, loofah vines and nuts that were landmarks of development; but that one is looking to go repeated applications from abroad label oriented braids one sent with the remark that this particular estimated bleaching is desired (the labels bore the inscription "Made in Japan - Bleached in Germany." and were those marks which we ourselves our now had attached conditions), that means for us a recognition that we are looking forward honest.


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A factory worker hit the accepted sense is neither our nor our seamstress Garniererin; both go up with us in their factory because already worked the mother in it. From 300 Garniererinnen but wit only employ 200 of 450 seamstress only 300 at the factory. We have also experienced times when had to be driven in trucks to garnish in the villages and spots around the hat. So in 1922, where the hat shape stretch of road, the head sizes warden house number as distributed. But now comes the like hardly ever. The factory garniererin and seamstress dominating the field at least in the finer hat classes. At our worker this has changed little: she sings during his work as to house, afraid to even occasionally a Schabernark (prank, hoax) and we are satisfied that it is so.


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In contrast, our Zieher, Presser, Buegler, Appreteure in the true sense of the word factory workers, trained skilled workers. We employ 250 men bark for their support added an average of about 300 laborers. As gracefully and easily women's hat may seem so difficult is partly the work that must be made in its manufacture. The one and the digging of the molds, working steam and heat for the summer as in winter requires natures as it provides the Allgaeur tough blow. About This requires straw hat made ​​individuality, a certain amount of contemplation and inclination for independent work in spite of the massive production of standard hat shape in the factory pace, piecework system.


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Pictures of China and Japan, which have proven our business partners for the collection of writings at your disposal.


Seed (China): The sparse image section is possible, after all recognize the care with which here in the hilly country, the field is ordered; it resembles less our ethers, as our vineyards. The not too lean, not too rich sods are fine, high stalks.


Testing the braids (China): The Flechterinnen have tine inclination, less already geratenes straw good wind so that it comes to rest with the individual pieces inside. The inspectors ar-work at all lateral Skylight, priifen dos the purity of the straw, the goodness of the work, sor-animals qualities and accomplish tine amazement values ​​daily output.


Harvest in the plane (China): rice and wheat straw for Flechtzwecke are often cut before maturity of the grains, the daft little woody stalk unit sick fast and beautiful intertwine laest. Reputation of the provinces have Maslienpoo, Sanco estate, Fiuku and Sinchong.


Rustic-braiding (Japan): The career of the straw braid is easy to follow. The left-Seated squeezes the already sorted straws a precisely dimension Senen length in two halves, which provide 3 Middle intertwine with nimble fingers the finished braid to the right OUTDOORS from the end of work, which upholds the precise trade measure in the winding and at the same time the delivered goods to measures.

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Ottmar Reich, measures 58cm, probably 1920s. Interesting bow design and very light weight. I really like this type of Stiff Straw Hat. I think it's a Colombian straw + weave but could be Japanese. Old German Straw Hats are very difficult finds so very happy to find this one. Ottmar Reich was located in Lindenberg, Germany (was a major Straw Hat center) and the old factory building is now the Deutsche Hutmuseum (German Hat Museum).














Old Cork Spacer that was behind the sweatband. Never seen one this wide before.



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Ottmar Reich Lindenberg (Germany) Hat Holders. Ottmar Reich was originally just a Straw Hat Factory but started also making Fur Felt Hats in the 1920s. The first holder appears older and the second and third later. They are all in very good condition.













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Ottmar Reich (Lindenberg), 58cm, Crown Open 5 1/2 inches, Brim 2 1/2 inches, probably late 1950s early 1960s. I am not really sure what to make of this one because it has the feel of an older hat. The felt is really fantastic and easily dry creases. It's very well made with high quality components. The paper label is hand written which is strange and liner is glued in (could have been altered?). The Ottmar Reich Soft Felts I have come across are of a later time period so nothing to compare it to. Ottmar Reich was best known for Straw Boater Hats but started making Soft Felt hats in the late 1920s.


















Natural Light





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Ottmar Reich probably mid to late 1930 to early 1940s. I think the straw type is probably Asia sourced (possibly Japanese Paper Panama) but bleached in Germany. Interesting bow design, brim treatment and form. There is no paper label and I assume it probably had some type of crown tip patch originally. This is definitely a rare find. This came from the same East German (near Leipzig) seller of the recent Echt Velour.









Natural Light







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The following is a translated from "Chapeau, Das Westalgäu behütet die Welt, Die Geschichte der Hutprodukrion in Lindenberg und Umgebung, 2015" (This is a great book that I purchased at the Deutsches Hut Museum Lindenberg).


The following section discusses Post WWII Felt Hat and Felt Hood production for Lindenberg Hat Companies: Masyer Milz, Ottmar Reich and Aurel Huber.  


28.  Deutsche / German Mark and Economic Miracles


The introduction of the Deutsche / German Mark in the three western occupation zones of Germany took place with the currency reform on 20 June 1948. Four days later, on 24 June 1948, there was also in the Soviet occupation zone to a monetary reform, together with the The separate economic reforms of West Berlin, the so-called "Berlin Blokade" 271. The separate reforms promoted the de facto West-East division of Germany, which led to the founding of two German states in 1949. The Federal Republic of Germany and the Germans emerged Democratic Republic (GDR).


In the newly created Federal Republic of Germany, the time of the so-called "economic miracle", personified by the Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard, began, and the West-Allgäu hat industry also participated strongly in the 1950s and 1960s and predefined their ability to export until the end of 1969 Lindenberg was now able to develop into a center of the German hat industry with stronger felt hat production, partly because the competition in the other part of Germany did not have a good start in the post-war period.  Guben on the Lusatian Neisse (a river) in Brandenburg was probably the most important German production center of the felt hat industry before the war. After the war, Guben, now divided into a German and a Polish section, remained only the limited market of the GDR and its friends "Brother countries" of Eastern Europe. With DDR dumping prices starting from the middle of the 1960s the Gubener felt hat industry became in individual market segments a disagreeable competitor of the Westallgauer felt hat industry.


After the currency reform, the complicated management regulations in the French occupation zone were abolished. Already in the second half of 1948, the number of hats manufactured in West Allgaeu more than doubled compared to the same period of the previous year. "With the release of the price, markets were again created on which supply and demand produced a realistic price structure With a fixed exchange rate against the US dollar, companies could again capitalize their investments without worrying about the monetary value.


Investment in Production of Felt


In Lindenberg, from the currency reform of 1948 onwards, investments were made mainly in felt hat production and in a separate production of felt stumps. As early as 1946/1947, the company Mayser-Milz & Cie. with their outsourced machines from Ulm to build a hair felts stump production in Lindenberg. The factory in Ulm had been bombed out in 1945. At the company premises in Lindenberg, construction was also undertaken after the currency reform in 1948. In 1948/1949, the 150-meter-long workshop for stump production ("Walkerei / Fulling") was built parallel to the railway body. (On November 10, 1971, the last hat-stump by Mayser-Milz was manufactured in the Lindenberg plant, after which the company moved the hat-stump production back to their factory in Ulm.) In 1950, an extension to the hat production on the Bismarckstraße followed and a 5 story new factory building on the Nadenbergstraße in 1958. The construction of 1958 was completed in 1999, just over 40 years later, with a high-level factory building with a high-bay warehouse Raw materials and finished goods extended.This extension was no longer used for the expansion of production, but for the rationalization of the production process.Thus, the production areas of women's and men's hat were combined and brought to the same level as the fabric hat department.


The company Aurel Huber began in 1948/1949 with its own Felt Stumpen/Hood production. After the end of the war, it was cut off from its former source of supply in the former East of Germany (for example, Ratibor in Silesia) and was now planning its own crude factory in Lindenberg. Unlike the company Mayser-Milz, however, had no own production experience in this field. It compensated for this by recruiting Sudeten-German hat specialists, who had been expelled from Czechoslovakia in 1945. These specialists came from the hat city of Neutitschein in the "Kuhländchen" via the English and American occupation zones, and as early as mid-1946 Huber had obtained permission from the district president and the French governor in Lindau to recruit relevant hat specialists outside the French occupation zone A general freedom of movement between the western zones of occupation had not yet been agreed upon: it was in particular Rudolf Holub (1897-1970), a former executive employee of the hat factory Johann Huckel in Neutitschein, who took over the construction work of a hair-felt hat-stump production at Aurel Huber and In addition, other former specialists from Neutitschein brought to Lindenberg.  From 1948, Huber commissioned residential buildings on Sedanstrasse, later to be built on the Spielermoos site, for these employees.


End of 1948 / early 1949, the hair felts production of the company Aurel Huber went into operation. This raw material also included its own dyeing plant. Here Johann Beier, also from the company Hückel in Neutitschein, had done the set-up work, later he led the entire raw material of the company. On the company premises modern shedhallenve and a new boiler house for steam generation were built for the raw production. The new chimney was probably for reasons of prestige a bit higher than the previously highest fireplace in Lindenberg at the company Ottmar Reich. Also for the hat production itself the factory was extended by new buildings. Most recently in 1950, the connection building with turrets and 1952 a production building in the interior of the factory area.


The Ottmar Reich company had acquired the hat factory Brüder Böhm in 1938 as a branch plant in Vienna and was able to source their felt stumps there. After the aryanized company was "returned duly" after the end of the war, it no longer had its own hat stump production. From 1949, the Bavarian Wool Felt factories K.G. (BWF) in Offingen / Danube became one of the main suppliers. This company had many years of experience in the felt cloth production and began in 1949 with the production of Hat Stumps, possibly already in development cooperation with the company Reich. The hat factory Ottmar Reich had thus set a substantial part on the production of Wool Felt Hats. It was said that the Mayser Fur Felt Men's Hat was the "Mercedes Class", the Reich Wool Felt Hat the (cheaper) "Opel Class". What this does not mean is the "Opel Class" could not make good money at that time.


Ottmar Reich's Fur and Velour Hat Stumps were manufactured by Miesbach Obb company Kohlndorfer. Ottmar Reich then renamed it as an independent Hat Stump manufacturing plant. Hat Stumps were also purchased from foreign manufacturers, in addition to the Ebreichsdorfer Felt Hat Factory / S.J Fraenkel AG in Austria, from large manufacturers in Monza (Italy). In addition, new factory buildings were built on the factory site of the hat factory Ottmar Reich. A large extension, added 1961-1963 to the today monument-protected "Manz" industrial building, reached along the sunny road until almost the Glasbühlstraße.


From "Chapeau, Das Westalgäu behütet die Welt, Die Geschichte der Hutprodukrion in Lindenberg und Umgebung, 2015"

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