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Porzellanfabrik Reinhold Schlegelmilch (Tillowitz)

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Examples of the Reinhold Schlegelmilch Porzellanfabrik products

Names / Owners

1894 - 1945: 
Reinhold Schlegelmilch Porzellanfabrik Tillowitz
1946 - 1995: 
Państwowe Zakłady Porcelitu Stołowego
1995 - 2001: 
Fabryka Porcelitu Tułowice

Historical note

When in 1889 Erhard Schlegelmilch, son of Reinhold Schlegelmilch, owner of a porcelain factory in Suhl, came to Tułowice (Tillowitz) as a tenant of the Frankenberg factory, he quickly realized that this is an excellent location for the porcelain factory. The railway line running through this facilitated the transport of raw materials and products, and the proximity of coal mines provided easy access to fuel and manpower. With the financial support of his father, Erhard already in 1891 bought the area from the local peasants in the neighborhood of the railway station, which was an ideal place for the construction of his own factory. Within a few years, he built here a modern factory. In 1904, he was entered into the business register as a branch of his father's company, which in 1905 was transformed into a commercial company with Reinhold Schlegelmilch and his sons: Erhard and Arnold as partners. In 1906, the eldest son of Reinhold, Wilhelm Otto Schlegelmilch, became the partner.

The Reinhold Schlegelmilch Porzellanfabrik started production with two furnaces. The porcelain mass was prepared in a separate building, after which it was transferred to painting and decorating. Great importance was attached to the quality of raw materials and technical quality of products. Kaolin for production was imported from near Halle, and later from Thuringia and Bohemia. In 1910, 600 employees were employed in the factory. Nearly 95% of the production was intended for export to the United States, Canada, South America, France, the Netherlands and the Orient countries. The company had its representative offices in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Vienna as well as the model house in New York at 5th Avenue, and later at 16th Street East.

The period of the First World War was difficult for the porcelain industry. In 1915, Arnold Schlegelmilch informed Erhard about the difficulties at the Suhl factory, and in 1917 he closed it and came to Tułowice, where the situation was also difficult. The workers were incorporated into the army and many of them did not return, among others Max Rüffler, a talented young modeler, considered to be the precursor of esteemed Tułowice porcelain figurines.

As a result of the war, foreign sales markets were mostly lost and the factory emphasized the development of the internal market. Opened a representative office / showroom in Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Freiburg and Cologne Mühlheim. It was not until the mid-1920s that exports reached around 60% of production. It traveled to the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, England and Switzerland. Also new representative offices were opened in New York, Paris, London, Vienna and Basel. Many designs of coffee and tea services, vases, snuff boxes, containers of various forms and decorations were produced, tailored to the tastes of the customers. According to the current fashion, vessels with neostyle shapes were produced and art deco products were becoming more and more popular. Porcelain figurines were also produced, requiring high-quality porcelain and great craftsmanship of modelers.

The global crisis of the 1930s touched the Schlegelmilch factory very clearly. Employment fell by half, and there were huge difficulties with sales. Additionally, at an interval of 4 weeks, the factory owners died - Erhard and Arnold Schlegelmilch, as well as the daughter of Arnold, Christa. The factory management was taken over by Arnold's son, Lothar Schlegelmilch, who was assisted by the cousin Herbert Schlegelmilch - the commercial director of the company. The crisis passed in 1937, and the factory increased employment, acquired new markets in Greece and Italy and launched a representative office in Athens.

The outbreak of the Second World War, in the initial period, did not have much impact on the destabilization of the situation of the porcelain factory. Orders realized for the needs of the army, as well as the obtained consent for export production to the Balkan countries and Scandinavia brought profits to the factory. However, numerous appointments of employees to the army caused the collapse of the personnel structure of the plant. Herbert Schlegelmilch passed away, and in 1940, Lothar Schlegelmilch died at the age of 36. Soon after, the plant was deprived of contracts for supplies to the army. After Lothar's death, the factory was taken over by only 17-year-old Brigitte Koch - daughter of Maria, sister of Lothar, who was the last of the Schlegelmilch family, the owner of the porcelain factory in Tułowice.

In 1945, after passing the front, the factory was devastated, and machines and equipment dismantled and taken by Russians to military magazines. The official takeover of the factory by the Polish authorities from the Russians took place on May 15, 1946. After reclaiming some of the machines and employing many professionals remembering the factory from earlier years, production was started in 1947. Since then, porcelain services, vases, platters, sweet boxes, etc. have been produced here.

In 1977, a new, fully mechanized production plant was started in the immediate vicinity of the Schlegelmilch factory. In 1995, Fabryka Porcelitu Tułowice was transformed into a joint-stock company, and in 2001 it declared bankruptcy.