History


 As (European) history is one of my main interests, consequently a part of this website is featuring articles and blog entries of those and related topics as well.

 

The themes will mostly cover Austrian History, old customs, arts and antiques together with a focus on military and strategic history, antique photography, review of exhibitions, books and many more.

 

Since some of my articles and research, especially on Austrian History is written in German, those parts of the homepage will be as well, but I am providing english summaries.



History Blog Entries


Die Riesen - Skizzen

Während der Phase zu Hause, hatte ich nun endlich Zeit ein wenig umfassender Aufzuräumen und durch zu soriteren. Hierbei vielen mir weitere Skizzen, Vorstudien zum Gemälde "die Riesen" von Wilhelm Dachauer in die Hände. 2 Skizzen und das Gemälde selbst waren 2019 im VKH Ried ausgestellt gewesen, damals kannt ich diese noch leider noch nicht.

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Topothek's Gloria

Visiting friends during the days between Christmas and New Years Eve, with my focus on ideas and projects instead of talking about persons, I heard about something I wasn't aware until now - the Topothek project.

 

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Bohemian Uranium

My interest in old glass, especially early and mid 19th century Bohemian glass told on another blog entry already, as well as the challenge of making a good photo, I want to add a new aspect. I have confessed, that the joy of looking for and collecting is difficult to describe. Objects, great or small, rare or ordinary, you will always find something. I'm looking on different flea markets for various historical things of interest, some of those on my list are bohemian glasses and while Czech collectors are offering good money, in rural Austria or small towns you can still find something. Over time I managed to concentrate scattered objects to a small collection.

 

 

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Der Steyr des Präsidenten

Kaufvertrag Bundespräsident hainisch über einen Steyr Lastwagen für seinen Bauernhof - Bill of Sale president austria Truck farm

English summary below

 

 

Als der spätere Bundespräsident Michael Hainisch 1858 in Schottwien, Niederösterreich, als Sohn eines wohlhabenden Baumwollspinnerei-Besitzers geboren wurde, war die Welt eine völlig andere als sie der studierte Jurist und Volkswirt Mitte der 1920er Jahre um sich herum vorfand.

 

Weder Automobil, noch eine Republik Österreich waren einst vorstellbar. Nach langen Jahren im Staatsdienst machte Hainisch nach 1918 Karriere, zunächst Generalrat der Nationalbank und am 9. Dezember 1920 wurde er schließlich sogar Bundespräsident. Heinisch, nach Seitz der zweite Präsident der jungen Republik, war ein Kompromiss zwischen den Parteien, wird als beliebt und bodenständig beschrieben, 1924 auch wiedergewählt und setzte 1928 nach Ende der 2. Amtszeit zunächst als Handelsminister die politische Karriere noch weiter fort, eher es sich ins Privatleben zurückzog.

 

 

Im Jahre 1925, erst kurz zuvor wiedergewählt, kaufte Bundespräsident Dr. Michael Hainisch, wie die Rechnung belegt, der „Automobil-Abteilung der Österreichischen Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft in Steyr“, also noch bevor diese zur Steyr-Werke AG wurden, ein Fahrzeug ab. Doch anders als man es erwarten könnte, keine (Luxus-)Limousine, sondern einen Lastwagen.

 

Wie der Kaufvertrag vom 18. Juni 1925 knapp spezifiziert einen „Lastwagen“ beschrieben mit: „Sechszylinder, Nutzlast 2.500kg“ um 17.000 Schilling. – man darf wohl vermuten, ein Steyr III, womit aus den 6-Zylindern mit zusammen 3325 ccm Hubraum die aus der Literatur bekannten rund 34 PS bei 1700 U/min zur Verfügung standen.

Im Kaufpreis übrigens inbegriffen „Bosch Licht mit Anlasser, ein kompletter Satz Werkzeuge, Ersatzteile, umklappbare Bordwände, Chauffeurssitz mit Lederkissen und Regendach, Spriegel für Plateaudach und ein Reserverad.“

Doch wofür brauchte der Bundespräsident einen Lastwagen und noch dazu mitten während seiner Amtszeit?

 

 

Die kurze Antwort lautet, um Milch ins Tal zu bringen. Die längere Antwort mit Hintergrund muss zumindest so weit ausholen, dass der sozial- und agrarpolitisch aktive Hainisch ein 651 Hektar große Areal nahe Spital am Semmering besaß und dort das „Mustergut Jauern“ schuf. Ein Komplex aus mehreren Höfen, welche auf etwa 1200m Höhe spezialisiert auf alpine Vieh- und Milchwirtschaft waren und sowohl als Vorbild wie als Testgelände für modernisierte, teils elektrifizierte, Landwirtschaft diente. Der vielfache Ehrendoktor und Mitglied der Akademie der Wissenschaften sorgte hier für eine genau erfasst der Ergebnisse, gleichzeitig auch für eine regelmäßige medial verbreitet. So sind Durchschnittsmilchmengen von etwa 4000L Milch pro Kuh und Jahr ebenso bekannt, wie Bella, eine Kuh die regelmäßig mit Rekordmilchmengen in den Zeitungen präsent war. 

 

Während einer Präsidentschaft mit Handelsverträge und der Aufbau von Beziehungen mit den nun neuen Nachbarländern, der Einführung des Schilling, Elektrifizierung der Bundesbahnen und nur ein paar zu nennen, war Jauern stets präsent und Hainsich ein Herzensanliegen.

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Young Gablenz

 Ludwig Freiherr von Gablenz in young age as Major of a Ulan Regiment around 1850
Ludwig Freiherr von Gablenz in young age as Major of a Ulan Regiment around 1850

 

Bought on the local fleamarket, a photograph of an Austrian soldier in the 1850s. It shows a relatively young Major of a Ulan regiment, dark green tunic with red piping, golden lacing on the collar and the cuffs, showing his rang as staffofficer. He wears the sword for cavalry officers pattern 1850 and the Military-Merit decoration, the Leopold Order and the Military Maria Theresia Order all 3rd class.

 

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Adventus Domini

The weeks before Christmas, the time Christians are awaiting the Lord to come to earth, in latin adventus, therefor we call it this time of year "Advent", has got a lot of traditions. One of which is the chocolate filled advent calendars, to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas.

 

In our small village, with 24 houses, every hause gets a day, a number and a window the decorate. Modern chains of lights are predominant, so this year I started the counter - a classic advent window, a classic Christmas diorama

christmas window classic historical arangement

Eckartsau

Front view of the castle of Eckartsau - Charles of Austria - Last emperor

If you are wondering about this rather strange name, never heard of it before, then you are probably not alone. Even with an interest in central European history or Imperial Austrian history, you will most likely think about Schönbrunn first. But where the main buildings of the Habsburg power are to be found in Vienna, in the near distance there are a lot of small castles, formerly owned by a Erzherzog (Prince). Eckartsau was home to Franz Ferdinand, the beginning of the end, shot in Sarajewo triggering World War I and later the last residence of Charles I, the last Austrian emperor.

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Rolls-Royce Drawings

Ghost Engine - from: https://archive.rrec.org.uk (Sample Drawing)
https://archive.rrec.org.uk Smple Drawings - Ghost Engine

Early in 2000 the International Rolls-Royce Club commissioned a project to scan into a computer database over 50,000 Rolls-Royce drawings relating to pre 1939 cars, to stop further deterioration caused by handling and incorrect storage. Since then there has been an ongoing “in house” programme of scanning into the database the chassis specification and build records of cars which are also held in the archives.

 

Their effords extended above scanning, they created indecies, a prefix system to search for individual components and an online application which will show you all the digitalised drawings according to model, car number and production year. Furthermore every drawing is linked to the corresponding "List of Parts" sheet, with the same reference number, which contains the quantities, material specifications and manufacturer/supplier of the listed parts.

More information about this fascinating project, their efforts and the online database: https://archive.rrec.org.uk

Vivat Alma Mata Rudolphina Vindobonensis

Today,  12th March, will see the celebrations for the  653rd birthday of the biggest and oldest universities in the german-speaking parts of Europe / the University of Vienna.

The so called Dies Academicus (the day of the university) is held every year with the highlight of the promotions of the best student. Their promotion will not only be held on a speacial day, but under the eyes of the president (in former times the emperor) - promotio sub auspiciis praesidentis/imperatores - from whom the students will receive a ring as sign of their achievements.

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Barbara-branches

"Barbarazweige" (Barbara-branches) are branches of fruit trees, which according to an old custom are cut on 4 December, the liturgical memorial day of St. Barbara in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Church. They are placed in a vase indoors. Depending on the area and customs cherry, apple, birch, hazelnut, horse chestnut, plum, elderberry, hawthorn or forsythia branches are used. They should bloom until Christmas Eve and decorate the apartment for Christmas. The warm indoor environment appears to the branches as spring.

 

The custom goes back to a tradition of the Saint Barbara, a branch broke and stuck on her robe on the way to the prison. She put the broken branch into a jar of water, and it bloomed on the very day she suffered martyrdom.

 

According to regional folklore, the blossoming of the Barbarian branches brings good luck in the coming year. It is sometimes the custom that the young girls assign the name of an admirer to each branch. The branch that flowers first should point to the future groom. Written evidence of the Barbara-branches is known since the 13th century.

 

Not only as a religious symbol but as a decoration indoors during the wintertime branches are a long-lasting alternative with tradition to expensive cut flowers from foreign countries.

 

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Petrol driven Reindeer

To get into the holiday spirit, we are talking a look back in time.  Around 100 years ago there are the first sights that the car/motorcycle has come to stay. Not only can we see this in production numbers or the city's street sceneries, but as well on their appearance in artwork and being incorporated into culture  - as seen below on two lovely Christmas cards.

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KuK Cavalry - Colourful into the war

Austrian Officer around 1860 in the traditional white uniform
Austrian officer around 1860 in the traditional white uniform

 

As a result of observations during the Russo-Japanese war and other conflicts in around the year 1900, developed the Austro-Hungarian Army a new standard colour for the army – a light grey-blue so called Hechtgrau. The colour war present at the light infantry regiments called Jäger and parts of the Landwehr.

 

The Austrian Army wore traditionally white uniforms at least since the beginning of the 18th century, changed this after the lost wars in 1866 to a new colour pattern with light and dark blue dyed uniforms.

 

 

 

The Austro-Hungarian Army introduced the new Hechtgrau-uniforms finally in 1908 for everyone except the cavalry, since it was argued that there is no need for a cavalry attack to hide the soldiers.

 

 

The Cavalry of the Austro-Hungarian Army consisted of Dragoon, Husar and Ulan Regiments, those were more or less equally treated in terms of strategies and military power, only dressed differently to pay tribute to traditional and national aspects of the empire.

coloured photograph of a KuK Jäger in the hechtgrau Uniform
Coloured photograph of a Corporal of a KuK (Tyrol) Jäger Regiment in the hechtgrau Uniform

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