Manufaktur (from English "manufacture"; derived from the Latin word "manus" = hand; made by hand), German name for an early form of capitalist industrial enterprise. The emergence of "manufactures", which were particularly prevalent in the field of textiles production in Austria during the 17th and 18th centuries, was partly influenced by Mercantilism. Parts of the work (spinning and weaving) were done by outworkers, while the employees of the manufacture were in charge of the preparation of the yarn and the spools, the dyeing of the cloth and the final stages of production. Machines played only a minor role in the production process. Around 1780 the wool clothing manufacture, which had been founded in the town of Linz in 1672, employed 800 factory workers, as well as 40,000 outworkers resident in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria and Bohemia. Similarly to the manufacture at Sassin (Saštin, Slovakia), the chintz and cotton manufacture set up at Schwechat in 1724, was granted an "exclusive privilege" until 1764. In 1752 it employed 494 factory workers, 5,000 outworkers who lived nearby, as well as 20,000 outworkers resident in the northern parts of the Waldviertel (one of the four main regions of Lower Austria). The most important cotton manufactures of the Habsburg lands, as well as the residential areas of their outworkers, were to be found in Lower Austria (at Fridau, St. Pölten, Kettenhof bei Schwechat and Enns-Himberg), an area in which several dozens of smaller manufactures were also established. Textiles produced on a large scale were at first made of lamb´s wool, then of cotton. The English invention of the automatic spinning machine at the beginning of the 19th century heralded the end of the era of manufactures. Only a few manufactures kept up business. They were active in the fields of metal processing (needles at Lichtenwörth), mirror production (from 1701 at Neuhaus, Lower Austria) and china production (since 1718 in Vienna).
Literature: G. Otruba, Zur Geschichte der Frauen- und Kinderarbeit im Gewerbe und in den Manufakturen Niederösterreichs, in: Jahrbuch für Landeskunde von Niederösterreich 34, 1960; E. Bruckmüller, Handel und Gewerbe zur Zeit Josephs II., in: Österreich zur Zeit Kaiser Josephs II., exhibition catalogue, Melk 1980.