• FA-122478 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
1800 - 1849

Two-part screen for genuine handmade paper, 19th century.


This screen for making paper by hand was apparently in use right up until 1904. The watermark was incorporated into the sheets of handmade paper as the manufacturer’s mark of quality.

Papermaking entered a new age around 1800. The hand-made product obtained from a dilute suspension of fibres and shaped into individual sheets gradually gave way to the continuous paper reel. We owe that particular invention to Frenchman Louis Nicolas Robert and it was then developed further in England. Demand for paper soared in the wake of the age of industrialisation. By now entire new sections of the population were reading books, brochures and newspapers. The ever expanding administrative apparatus required mountains of office paper, and more and more goods were being packaged. Until the mid-19th century the source material for paper consisted of rags made up of fibres from old fabrics and textiles. They were gradually replaced by the cellulose extracted essentially from wood pulp. Traditional methods of making paper by hand remained in use for niche products.

In 1797 Ignaz Theodor Pachner von Eggenstorf started up a paper mill in Kleinneusiedl (Lower Austria). The water needed was drawn from the Leitha river, with good quality linen rags from nearby Hungary providing the raw material. The business was converted into a public limited company (Aktiengesellschaft) in 1837 and equipped with modern machinery; within a matter of years it employed 380 people. The mill operators began using steam machines early on so they would not be dependent on the water levels of the Leitha river. Further upgrades were carried out in the late 19th century. The factory became part of a larger concern comprised of several sites. Papermaking ceased in 1932 in the wake of the global economic crisis. The oldest production facility and a few other factory buildings have been preserved to this day.

Date of origin: 19th century

Manufacturer: Neusiedler Aktiengesellschaft

Inv.Nr. 14532/1
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