Model of a cigarette factory, 1925-1930

Bild
© Technisches Museum Wien, Foto: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Bild
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
Collection
Food, Beverages and Tobacco
Exhibition
AT WORK
Epoch
1920 - 1929
Tobacco satisfies all kinds of needs, whether it’s taken as snuff, smoked, or chewed. The soaring commercial success of cigarettes began in the late 19th century.

Changes in the culture of smoking and the ensuing steady demand for cigarettes combined with rising production figures meant that the tobacco goods manufacturing sector had to be industrialised. Austria’s tobacco monopoly Österreichische Tabakregie donated this impressive model of a cigarette factory to the Technisches Museum Wien in 1930; it is not thought to represent any particular factory. It illustrates the phases involved in processing tobacco, from raw material to product packaging. The model consists of four elements depicting the following production stages: 1. preparing the raw materials for cigarette tobacco; 2. packaging the cigarette tobacco; 3. manufacturing the cigarettes; and 4. packaging the cigarettes.

The model features the very latest array of high-performance machines available at the time for cigarette manufacture, i.e. strand, tamping and casing machines, pack and packing machines, grinding machines for sharpening tobacco cutters, and a pneumatic tobacco conveyor system. Only the Vienna-based companies Hofherr & Schrantz and Friedrich Lerner are mentioned here as machinery manufacturers.

The model was built in the late 1920s at the arts and crafts workshop of Otto Völkl in Vienna’s 5th District. The hand-carved figures are remarkable. However, what might look like a doll’s house at first glance is deceptive. The employees dressed in uniform-like clothing are working in a highly Taylorised environment, with distinct hierarchies between the genders. The organisation is almost military in structure. And while the vast majority of employees was on low wages, the fact that the monopoly was state-owned did at least ensure a certain continuity. More than 80 per cent of the employees were women.

This vivid, newly restored model on a scale of 1:10 is on show at the AT WORK exhibition.

Manufacturer: Otto Völkl, Kunstgewerbliches Atelier für Modelle, Vienna
Production date: Late 1920s

Inv.Nr. 11586/4

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