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The Upper Silesian ironworks as regional growth sector, 1741-1860

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Siemaszko, Nikolaus Olaf
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The Study’s subject: The industialization has changed the people’s way of life profoundly. Siemazko’s study makes a contribution to the research of the industrialization-period between the 18th and 19th century from regional perspective. The study’s focus is on the Upper Silesia region, which was one of the key growth drivers of the German economy at that time, as well as the main industry of the region, the iron and steel industry. The researcher’s aim is to consider the technological change more accurately. Here the use of the energy source coal is of particular significance for industrial production, since previously charcoal was used. Territory of investigation: The focus of work is the economic development of the region Upper Silesia. Upper Silesia has been for a long time one of the three most important mining regions of Prussia and later of the German Reich. Thus, this region was beside the Saar and the Ruhr region of central importance for the early phase of industrialization in Germany. Only in the second half of the 19th century Silesia was overtaken by the Ruhr. Already Sidney Pollard has noted that industrialization was a regional phenomenon that took place in smaller, definable regions. Hence the concept of regional industrialization has developed. Various studies have already used this concept as a basis for their own analysis. Important studies are: • Banken, R.: Die Industrialisierung der Saarregion von 1815 bis 1914. 2 Bde. Stuttgart 2000: Franz Steiner Verlag. (The Industrialisation of the Region of the Saar-River 1815-1914) (GESIS Data-Archiv, Cologne. histat. Study-No. 8148. Datafile Version 1.0.0) • Berger, A.: Die Industrialisierung im Hagener Raum zwischen 1815 und 1914. Dortmund 2009. (Industrialization of the region of Hagen in the period between 1815 and 1914) (GESIS Data-Archiv, Cologne. histat. Study-No.8517 Datafile Version 1.0.0) • Kiesewetter, H.: Regionale Industrialisierung in Preußen im 19. Jahrhundert, in: Kaufhold, K.H./Sösemann, B. (Hrsg.), 1998: Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Bildung in Preußen. Stuttgart: Steiner, S. 91- 110. (Regional Industrialization in Prussia in the 19th century) (GESIS Data-Archiv, Cologne. histat. Study-No. 8572. Datafile Version 1.0.0) • Kiesewetter, H.: Industrielle Revolution in Deutschland. Regionen als Wachstumsmotoren. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2004. (Industrial Revolution in Germany. Regions as growth drivers.) (GESIS Data-Archiv, Cologne. histat. Study-No. 8575. Datafile Version 1.0.0) • Pierenkemper, T., 2002: Die Industrialisierung Oberschlesiens im 19. Jahrhundert. In: Die Industrialisierung der europäischen Montanregionen im 19. Jahrhundert. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, S. 151 - 178. (The Industrialisation in Upper Silesia (Oberschlesien) in the 19th century) (GESIS Data-Archiv, Cologne. histat. Study-No. 8261. Datafile Version 1.0.0) Definition of the region ‚Upper Silesia‘: Upper Silesia is a part of Prussian’s larger economic region. Immediately behind the Prussian border in the Dąbrowa-territory an important industrial region developed, too. Between the Dąbrowa-territory and the Prussian Upper Silesia there were also economic ties. Due to the different availability of sources only Silesia, but not the Dąbrowa region was for analysis. Furthermore, the study area of Upper Silesia was further restricted in terms of the spatial distribution of iron and steel industry. Since the focus of the work lies on the production of the commercial and industrial raw materials and iron bars, this has the consequence that the territory of Upper Silesia with its production facilities for raw and bar iron is the study focus. In addition to the modern iron industry the pre-modern ironworks industry is taken into account, too. Because of the regional distribution of the modern iron industry and the pre-modern inronworks industry a distinction is made between a narrower Upper Silesian industrial district and the Upper Silesia region. In the narrow Upper Silesian industrial district the modern iron industry focused. The Upper Silesia region covers the entire territory, which contains also the pre-modern iron and steel industry beside the iron industry. Places or ironworks of modern iron industry in the narrow Upper Silesian district are: Antonienhütte (Antonien-Ironwork), Beuthener Schwarzwald, Byttkow, Bobrek, Domb, Gleiwitz, Königshütte (Kings Ironwork), Myslowitz, Ruda, Rudzinitz, Schientochlowitz, Siemianowitz-Laurahütte (Laura Ironwork), Tarnowitz, Quarkhammer und Zabrze. Königshütte, Schwientochlowitz und Siemianowitz-Laurahütte The modern Ironworks has been located in the following districts: The mainpart of industry was located in the county Bytom, the smaller part was settled in the district Gliwice-Toszek county. Under the wider region of Upper Silesia the space with commercial production of raw iron rod is identified. Therefore, Upper Silesia is not identical to the administrative district of Opole, but covers only a part of the district of Opole. It is the geographical part, where charcoal blast furnaces, refining forges, pick hammers, and later coke furnaces, puddling and rolling mills has been located in. It is the area containing the districts: Bytom, Creutzburg, Cosel, Great Stehlitz, Lublinitz, Falkenberg, Rosenberg, Opole, Pless, Rybnick and Gliwice - Toszek. Subject of investigation: The iron and steel industry was one of the key sectors for the first phase of industrialization. Therefore, the process of industrialization is specifically analyzed in terms of the development of this industry. Under Ironworks the author subsumes the commercial and industrial production of raw and iron rod. Pre-modern iron-industry: The production of pig iron was made in blast furnaces, which were operated with charcoal. The further processing of the intermediate product to forgeable iron and to bar iron was done in refining forges, which where affiliated with hammers. Modern iron-industry: Row iron was produced using coke blast furnaces, fired with hard coal. The production of bar iron took place in modern puddling and rolling mills. Here the pig iron was melted by coal and rolled into bar iron and railway material. The focus of the study is the technological change, i.e. on the one hand the displacement of the premodern charcoale powered blast furnaces by modern coke blast furnaces, on the other hand, the displacement of traditional refining forges fire by the progressive puddling and rolling mills. Period of investigation: The investigation is concetrated on the period between 1741 and 1860. 1741 Silesia has been conquered by the Prussian Monarchy. 1860 is the year of emergence of modern technology of coal firing system and modern ironmaking. The first Upper Silesian coke blast furnace was taken into operation in 1769 and triggered a first small wave of modernization. In the period from 1832, the technological change received a new quality, so that the decisive technical changes in time took place from 1832 to 1860. The sources: There have been analyzed both quantitative and qualitative sources. This is mainly the archive materials from Polish state archives for qualitative evaluation, and the acts of the Silesian mining authority in Breslau (OBB) and Katowice for the quantitative evaluation. Data-Tables in HISTAT (Subject: Industrie (Industry)): A. Broad lines of the iron and steel industry development: production, companies, technical development, and geographical spread (Grundzüge der Entwicklung des Eisenhüttenwesens: Produktion, Unternehmen, technische Entwicklung und geografische Ausbreitung) B. Introduction and spread of the coke furnace in the private sector 1805-1860 (Einführung und Ausbreitung des Kokshochofens im privaten Sektor 1805-1860) C. Development of private puddling and rolling mills 1832-1856 (Entwicklung der privaten Puddlingswerke (Puddel- und Walzwerke) 1832-1856) D. Development of state ironworks in Upper Silesia Entwicklung der Staatlichen Eisenhüttenwerke Oberschlesiens bis 1850 E. Data on individual blast furnace plants (Daten zu einzelnen Hochofenbetrieben – Anhang) F. Data on individual puddling plant (Daten zu einzelnen Puddelwerken – Anhang)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1741-1860
Geographic Coverage
  • Upper Silesia, especially - Places and ironworks: Antonienhütte, Beuthener Schwarzwald, Byttkow, Bobrek, Domb, Gleiwitz, Königshütte, Myslowitz, Ruda, Rudzinitz, Schientochlowitz, Siemianowitz-Laurahütte, Tarnowitz, Quarkhammer und Zabrze. - Regions with the places and ironworks: Bytom, Creutzburg, Cosel, Groß-Stehlitz , Lublinitz, Falkenberg, Rosenberg, Pleß, Rybnick, Tost-Gleiwitz. - Administrative district of Opole (Parts of the administrative district)
Collection Mode
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 484
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8536 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Siemaszko, Nikolaus Olaf: Das oberschlesische Eisenhüttenwesen 1741-1860. Ein regionaler Wachstumssektor. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 19 | Registration Date: 2015-06-08

Siemaszko, Nikolaus Olaf (2015): Das oberschlesische Eisenhüttenwesen als regionaler Wachstumssektor, 1741-1860. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.