On an Inter-War Market, Town Museum

Sala z dużym zdjęciem tłumu na rynku na ścianie oraz słupem ogłoszeniowych w rogu.

Footwear studs on display at the exhibition were manufactured in the Jaroszowice factory that belonged to Bernard and Salomon Barber. The Barbers, a Jewish family, also had a steam mill and a sawmill. The production of studs was based on water power and when there was a lack of natural ‘fuel’ to drive the waterwheel the so-called ‘steam mobile’ would be launched. The sawmill where timber was processed and cut to smaller parts was an important part of the production process. Such smaller planks were transported to the stud factory where the workers sorted and packed finished studs. Footwear pegs were sold not only to local but also to foreign shoemakers. The Barbers belonged to the Jewish elite of industrial enterprise owners. The group also included Mathias Jakubowicz (the Bone Meal Preparations and Superphosphates Factory in Gorzeń and Świnna Poręba), Tobiasz Einhorn and Izrael Gleitzman (Wadowice Vodka and Liqueur Factory), Samuel Ebel (stationery), Natan Goldberg-Richttman (cement products factory), Chiel Bałamuth (soap factory) and Samuel Rotter (footwear factory) among others.

In 1863, Franciszek Foltyn entered the Wadowice printing and publication market and soon monopolised the local printing industry. The establishment, which had already achieved considerable success as a publisher the 1870s, was modernised by the founder’s son and successor, Franciszek Foltin. The publishing work was continued by Franciszek Foltin’s son, also named Franciszek, who was the last representative of that family of printers and booksellers. Taking advantage of the proximity of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Foltin published Marian songs, Calvary songs and humoresques for pilgrims in his printing house. He also published works by local authors such as Emil Zegadłowicz. The writer once complained: Foltyn fleeced me by issuing a bill for an exorbitant amount; however, having seen the published book, he added: It is a graphic masterpiece, which is a comfort!

The suitcases on display were an integral attribute of travellers coming to Wadowice or using the railway that connected the town with Krakow, Bielsk and Sucha in 1888. In the following years the railway connected Wadowice to Trzebinia from where one could go further to Warsaw. The railway benefited mainly young people who commuted from the surrounding villages to the Wadowice secondary school, as well as craftsmen, farmers and merchants coming to Wadowice for the Thursday markets. Associated with the latter is the second exhibit – the scales. Shops were rare till the end of the 19th century and trading was done mainly at traditional fairs. It was not until the influx of Jewish people, for whom the district town of Wadowice was an attractive place, that numerous shops began to spring up, including shops with groceries, cereals, confectionery, leather and ironmongery. There were more than one hundred shops during the inter-war period, including many shops owned by Jews, and commerce was concentrated around the market square (called the Marshal Józef Piłsudski Square in 1930s) and in side streets.


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