Friday, December 27, 2019

Industry in Ottenbach

1836  Changes in Occupations
In the report "About the popular payment of 1836", the occupational structure in Ottenbach, which at that time had 130 inhabitants, was described as follows: "Agriculture predominates; the number of weavers and weavers' wives is large, as is the number of craftsmen in Ottenbach, which is also significant for the number of handicraftsmen and women.

The data of 1850, when Ottenbach I had 169 inhabitants and thus between 500 and 600 persons capable of gainful employment, included 338 male and 12 female gainfully employed persons: 1 pastor, 2 teachers, 1 female teacher, 1 doctor. 217 silk weavers, 4 silk winders, 10 cotton weavers, 15 servants. 1 seamstress, 7 spinners, 2 washerwomen, 1 cobbler. 12 cobblers, 9 carpenters, 7 bricklayers and 7 wainwrights as well as various other craftsmen, including I bookbinders, painters, rope makers and clockmakers - the total number of craftsmen was 71, 2 commercial travelers, 6 hucksters, 1 basket maker, 1 mouse fan, 1 roofer, 1 driver, 4 carters and I dairyman were also employed.

The main occupation was the operation of industrial trades. The fragmentation of the farms had progressed so far that although many households still ran a little farming, thanks to which they could at least live through times of unemployment, not a single full-time farmer was found. This may, of course, be strongly related to the methodology of the survey. For some of them, the occupation indicated may have meant only secondary employment. At least one sideline activity was spent by almost every farmer at that time.

If there was enough space, households were often shared between siblings or between parents and married children. If this was no longer possible, the size of the individual households increased. In the 16 years from 1454 to 1470, the population grew by more than half.

In the 19th century, the proportion of those who cultivated a small field on the side continued to decline. More and more people from Ottenbach lived completely without income from agricultural activities.  A compilation of Ottenbach's commercial enterprises from 1868 clearly shows the coexistence of agriculture and textile industry:

Berti, Jakob, Mooegewer and Biickerei. Funk, David, in Rickenbach, cake and pastry
Hegetschweier, Hans Jakob, goat-distillery.
Hegetschweiler-Lutert, Heinrich, Spezerei, cloth and weaving
Kleinert, Johann Jakob, cloth goods shop.
Sidler-Funk, Heinrich, cloth and spice shop.
(Ottenbach's population In the course of time by Bernhard Schneider)

1784 Textile Industry
In Ottenbach, for example, only 287 of the 430 registered employees work as spinners throughout the year. They supplemented their income from agriculture by working from home in winter.

Since the end of the 18th century, the textile industry had expanded as a home industry. Putting-out system in Ottenbach: In 1784, the cotton spinning mill employed 49% of the local population (430 people, 287 of whom worked all year round). At the beginning of the 19th century there were around 350 weaving looms and the Zurich Mechanical Silk Weaving Mill employed more than 200 people in Ottenbach from the village and the surrounding area.

With the increase in population in the 17th and 18th centuries, the cottage industry spread in our area in general. Ottenbach was strongly affected by this. The extent to which the population became dependent on cottage industry in the course of the 18th century was shown in the crisis following the French invasion of 1798/99, when Ottenbach had many unemployed people (Table 6). But it was not only the completely unemployed who were in an unenviable situation. Many half farmers also lacked a substantial part of their earnings, as the Stallic priest reported in 1799: " ... until now, no one is completely without earnings; but from ... in al/em 336 workers, it can be said that many are often without work, that none of them is able to earn the rest or to earn their livelihood, that the most skilled and diligent worker earns only 26 s, but most of them do not earn 20 s per week. In Ottenbach, the situation was similar for a large part of the not fully unemployed.

Table 6 Unemployed in the parish of Ottenbach 1799
Households   inhabitant   unemployed
 167                  865              154

18th Century Population
Since on the one hand the village district and on the other hand the extent of the arable land, wheat, vineyards and woods could not be changed significantly, the quadrupling of the Ottenbach population from the middle of the 15th to the middle of the 16th century meant both a quadrupling of the living space and a quadrupling of the average food per inhabitant. At the turn of the Middle Ages and the early modern era, this reduction of living space took place so rapidly that it was immediately perishable. Since the end of this phase, the people of Ottenbach have made a strong effort to prevent emigrants from moving into the civil community. This tendency continued into the 19th century. (Ottenbach's population In the course of time by Bernhard Schneider)

A wool theft.
In 1711 a trial for wool theft took place in Ottenbach, which gives various hints on the situation of the homeworkers in the early 18th century. The 60-year-old Helena Riggert von Gersau was caught on 21 March 1711 in Knonau with ten pounds of wool "and a little syden" and arrested "for dangerously woolen and silk tolerant". She had "become orphaned in her youth". Her husband was no longer alive. Two of her children had reached adulthood, but she did not know "where her two children might be currently". She herself moved throughout the German-speaking world! of Europe, "like the poor people clever thugs". Throughout her life she had lived on begging.

About four years ago a woman in Ottenbach asked her if she could use money. She answered that she had "vii vonnothen". The woman then told her to go to a "poor husli". There she had sold her six pounds of wool, the pound for 8 lbs. In Zug and Baar she, Helena Riggert, had sold the wool for 10 lbs. At the shop in the "Husli" in Ottenbach was attended by a second woman, who later sold her wool and silk for the same pound price, with which she was then caught by the bailiff. Helena Riggert was obviously punished by being bred and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The trial records show that the two women in the "husli" were only intermediaries. They bought wool from Ottenbach wool spinners in small quantities, which they had stolen from the raw wool supplied by their client and processed on their own account. According to the bailiff of Knonau, this was "to the greatest detriment of the masters fabricants". The spinners received four shillings (1.6 lbs.) per quarter of a pound of stolen wool. The middlemen beat a quarter on top of that and Helena Riggert as a saleswoman charged a margin of another quarter.

The profits of these women varied, but were in any case very small. Helena Riggert, who took the biggest risk from alien participants, for which she earned the most for every pound sold, explained that it was "done out of dead poverty and (she) felt sorry for hunt". There is no reason to doubt this statement. If she was not caught by the bailiff on 21 March 1711 where in the course of four years, she had just earned four pounds of the 16 pounds of wool in question. Since she was caught, she lost a total of 8½ pounds, was obviously humiliated in Zürich, and was given a life-long expulsion. Hardly anyone who had enough to eat took such a risk. (Ottenbach's population In the course of time by Bernhard Schneider)

1566 Wood
"If one looks at the stock of community goods, it becomes clear that the
Municipal property usually consisted mainly of land. The common woods were the main asset of many municipalities and therefore they were the centre of the municipal administration. As wood was used in many ways as a building material and fuel, as well as a raw material for handicraft products, the demand was very high. The use of wood was mostly common and has been subject to certain descriptions at least since the 15th century.

In 1566, the Zurcher council granted the coveted collection increase, combined with a wooden order. This included the following commandments and prohibitions:
1.) Whoever illegally fell an oak tree had to pay a 3 pound fine, who
a pine, fir, ash, beech or cherry tree fell, 1 1⁄2 pounds. The wood he had to either "liggen lassen" (litigate) or pay the civil community "according to billigkeyt" (pay even cheaply).
2.) Whoever fell a young oak, ash, hazel, cherry or other timber in a fenced young forest had to pay a fine of 1 pound and either "liggen lassen" the illegally felled wood or buy it from the civil community.
3.) Whoever needed wood for the construction of a fence had to report this to the four sworn village masters. These showed him which wood he was allowed to cut for it. Holly, hawthorn and blackthorn were called "zunholz" by name.
4.) For the construction of "all sorts of construction equipment", i.e. for carts, pushcarts, ploughs, harrows and other devices, every citizen of the community was allowed to cut wood for his own use, "where he finds it most convenient". But it was forbidden to sell any of it.
5.) The firewood was distributed by the village masters. Each burger received a share according to the size of his household.
6.) The village mayors were personally responsible for the observance of this order. Since half of all fines went to the authorities, the bailiff was responsible for them,  let them also be collected. A lenient village mayor had to expect a fine of 5 pounds.

Until the end of the early modern period, one could neither cook nor
The articles on the use of wood point to a social aspect in the use of the community property: Each household had its own demand for wood. A large farmer with his own house and such! A large farmer with his own house and a lot of land - a part of which he was allowed to fence in all year round - and one or more teams of oxen received a multiple of lassen (let) wood, which a day laborer without his own land, without animals and only with a house cart could claim. The owners of justice were therefore not all equal. Also in this respect the full farmers were privileged. Such advantages of the rich peasants over the rest of the village population weighed far less than the differences concerning private land ownership.

By the way, the composition of the forest is determined by the timber regulations. The oak was the most precious tree. Scots pine, silver fir, ash, beech and heat. Also for the field work one was dependent on wood. The building of houses is not mentioned in the wood regulations. Large quantities of wood were also needed for this. (Ottenbach's population In the course of time by Bernhard Schneider)