According to the book, Heimatkries Tetschen-Bodenbach, Städte und Gemeinden[1], the 1800s were the age of growth and expansion for Steinschönau and its glass firms.  At the start of the century, there were 267 houses – a 20% growth in less than 15 years.  This growth would continue throughout the century – however, the growth in the number of Hof’s remained relatively the same.  By 1833, there were only 34 of those – an addition of one to the number that had existed 120 years prior.


The largest glass firm at the start of the century, 1804, was Franz Vogel, which was established in 1760.  The firm employed 162 people as follows:


é    50 Vergolder

é    43 Glaskugel

é    25 Scheifer

é    22 Glass cutters

é    2 Glass painters

é    7 Stöopseleinbonrer

é    4 Speigelmacher

é    9 Tischler


The concept of community investment also continued in this century.  In 1810, a home for the elderly was established at Haus Nr. 287.  Eleven years later, Florian Vogel established the City’s health facility with an investment of 1,000 florians.  In 1866, a similar establishment was created by the Helzel family in Haus Nr. 416.


By this point, there existed twenty great glass houses in the City.  These were:


Gebr. Krause & Co. (est. 1720)                            Clemens Knechtel

Ignaz Palme König & Co.                                     Franz Anton Knechtel (est. 1780)

Josef Zahn & Co.                                                 Anton Schimmel

Czerny & Co.                                                       Florian Hoch

Ignaz Ullman                                                       Johann Muller

Josef Conrath & Co.                                            Sebastian Weidlich

Krisler & Co.                                                        Franz Palme König

F.A. Kittel                                                            Rudolf Müller

F.A. Zahn                                                            Josef Heinrich & Sohn

Brüher Stelzig u. Elias Palme                              Handschke


While the glass industry would continue to grow, the City also had to deal with its first disaster – fire.  In 1868, a fire swept through the town destroying 48 buildings and displacing 84 families.  The City would rebuild over time.


In 1879, the Steinschönau glass houses joined with others in the region to form the Union of the Northern Bohemian Glass Industrialists – a trade union to promote the region.


Towards the end of the century, development in infrastructure continued.  In 1886, the glass houses guaranteed the sum of 22,000 florians for the construction of a rail spur to Steinschönau from Böhm-Kamnitz.  With the completion of that railway, the glass industry and the town boomed.  In the final decade, a boys and a girls school were built, as well as an electrical plant.  All of which lead to a rapid expansion of the City.  1900 would find over 640 houses, over two and half times the number that were in existence at the start of 1800.  The population was over 5,000 people – twice as many as there were in the town at the start of the 1800s.


[1]   Herr, Alfred, ed. Heimatkries Tetschen-Bodenbach, Städte und Gemeinden, Heimatverband Kries Tetschen-Bodenbach e. V., Nördlingen, 1977.  Steinschönau information is found on pages 199-224.  Also, special thanks to Heinrich Lerch from Fulda for help with a rather complex sentence that was beyond my ability to translate.