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


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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.  There is some very interesting new information presented here especially the transfer of Felt Stump / Hood production from Mayser Ulm (Felt Stump Factory destroyed) to Masyer Milz (until 1971) and the use of expelled J. Hückel and Sons workers at Aurel Huber (and most likely at Mayser Milz and Ottmar Reich).


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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