Javascript must be enabled to continue!

Galatz


History of industries    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

The beginnings of the local “industry” at Galaţi date back from late 18th century, when a factory of salted meat was established in the Danubian port by the French consul at Bucharest. A pasta factory was functional in 1811, when it produced macaroni, noodles and vermicelli[1]. However, the most important industrial establishment was the local shipyard, which built each year tens of commercial ships and warships for the use of the Ottoman fleet[2].

The local industry witnessed a gradual development in the first half of the 19th century, especially after 1829. According to available data, the number of “factories” increased from two in 1836 to three in 1839, four in 1840, five in 1841 and seven in 1842. For this last year the seven industrial establishments were a factory of salted meat, one of soap, three of macaroni, a brewery and a candles factory. Shipbuilding remained the most developed productive activity, now the vessels being constructed for private owners or by order of the Moldavian state[3]. The number of craftsmen remained high, and in the 1840s there were mentioned 11 local guilds[4].

The most developed industrial branch was the food industry, due to the abundance and cheapness of the agro–pastoral goods on local markets. A large factory was established in 1844 by a British investor, Stephen Goldner, for the production of meat cans, sold to the British Admiralty. In the following decade as much as 10,000 cattle were butchered each year for his factory, which used modern machines and knowhow. The investor was involved in 1852 in a great scandal related to the quality of his cans, but the factory survived and manufactured products until the mid 1870s (under the direction of Alfred Powell and Samuel Ritchie). French capital was used in the 1860s in a similar enterprise[5]. A large number of workshops manufactured suet candles and soap, and British and Romanian capital was employed in several tanneries. In March 1862 “Faulquier Blanc and Co.” established a candle factory which was at its inauguration the largest industrial plant in Moldavia, with 102 workers. It produced 600 tons of stearine candles and 2,220 tons of soap a year. Several steam and wind mills were also opened, so that by 1862 there were functional at Galaţi 86 mills with about 300 employees. Another large manufacture was a brewery, the second in Romania in terms of production[6].

As timber was also available in large quantities, the “Schwab et Prawatke” plant, mentioned in 1869, used two steam machines and modern technology for carpentry works. A Romanian factory of furniture and tapestry was opened in 1870, and a factory for manufacturing matches was inaugurated by the company “Marteaux and Co.” in 1873. A petroleum refinery exported its production to France and Turkey, and the mechanical workshops of the Romanian Railways were established for the maintenance and reparation of roll stock. However, despite many such initiatives the small industry remained predominant, and most employees worked in small workshops that used the traditional ways of production. In 1859, for example, there were 3,632 craftsmen at Galaţi[7].

In late 19th and early 20th centuries the city became one of the most industrialised municipalities in Romania, a fact related to its advantageous position at the Lower Danube, but also to its declining grain trade. In 1902 there were recorded 60 factories, 38 of which were included in the category of the large industry: eight in the metal industry, two in the wood industry, 14 in the food industry, seven in the chemical industry, one in leather, one in textiles, one in graphical arts, one in mineral materials, two in other industries[8]. Altogether, they had 2,836 employees, and 18 of these economic units enjoyed the privileges of the 1887 law for encouraging the national industry. In 1907–1908 the number of factories increased to 72 and that of large industrial units reached 41. In 1912 a total of 22 large industrial establishments were encouraged by the state. Besides them, there were recorded at Galaţi 54 smaller factories and large workshops, as well as more than 1,200 small workshops[9].

The heavy industry was represented by several large plants, among which a special mention deserves the new shipyard, established in 1892 with modern technology under the direction of Gh. Fernic. It repaired during the period 1897–1908 an annual average of 20–24 ships, and it had 200–300 employers[10]. In October 1911 it became associated with “Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino”, specialised in the construction of warships, and the joint venture, with a capital of 1.5 million lei, started to build modern ships. Fernic also owned a metallurgical plant which manufactured metallic objects, different machines, propellers, agricultural accessories etc. In 1908 it had about 300–400 employees, and it later became a simple division of the larger shipyard[11]. A factory of nails was opened in 1894 by Oscar Geldiern and G. Miloc, which by 1907 belonged to Constantin Wolff. It produced nails, wire, barbed wire, chains, horse shoes, etc., and in 1912 had about 200 employees. Other similar plants were “Titan” (which had 60 workers in 1912) and “Leul”, with 120 workers and an annual production of 250 wagon loads of nails and wire. Other factories fabricated iron sheet, such as “Nicovala” or “Albina”, with the latter having in 1908 about 300 workers and 35 employees as technical staff[12].

The chemical industry was also extremely powerful. The “Greierul” factory, established by C. Ressu in 1885, had 138 workers in 1912. Together with “Albina”, they had sections of blacking, shoe polish, car oils, etc. Several of the largest establishments manufactured soap and candles: Konzelman–Bientzle, “Naţionala”, “Apollo”, “Dunăreana”, “Luna”. “Apollo”, etc. “Apollo”, the property of Lipa Braunştein was opened in 1886, and by 1908 had 60 workers and an annual production of 1,200 tons of soap and 400 tons of candles. “Dunăreana” was opened in 1889 and two decades later had almost 60 workers, with an annual production of 250 tons of stearine candles and 300 tons of soap. Oil and plaster factories were also active. “Fleming Mac Dowal et Co.” and “E. Dinerman & Sons” produced industrial oil, as well as 2,500 tons of pasta for feeding animals, products mainly exported to England[13].

The food industry consisted in 1901–1902 in 30 factories and a decade later in 27 industrial units, plus 76 alimentary workshops included in the category of the small and middle industry[14]. Several mechanical steam mills were involved in producing flour, one of the largest being “Steaua” mill, opened in 1909, which could mill as much as 30 wagons of grain in 24 hours[15]. Ludwig Jisiek and Stelian Protopopas operated two establishments for the production of pasta. There were several distilleries of brandy, liquors and other alcoholic beverages, a champagne factory (Muler W. Rass), and a large brewery. In 1908 the champagne factory had ten workers and an annual production of about 30,000–40,000 bottles[16]. Several factories were employed in manufacturing fruit, vegetable, fish and meat cans or in packaging imported spices. Sugar based products (candies, chocolate, caramels, drops etc.) were manufactured in the factory of C. I. Fotiade, established in 1867. In 1908 it had 30–40 employees and produced daily about 500 kg of goods[17].

The textile industry was not very developed. M. Apostolide opened in 1897 a factory for working cotton textile, and a factory of filature, textiles and rope was opened in 1902. “Năvodul” was established in 1909 for manufacturing the same goods, as well as fishing nets[18].

The timber industry was represented by the factory of Manole Mihăilescu, established in 1894, which manufactured chairs and furniture, a similar enterprise as that of the “S. Sternberg” factory of furniture and tapestry established in 1871. The “Goetz” factory, established in 1872, was the largest industrial establishment in Romania involved in working trunks brought on the Sireth River for producing timber. It processed 380,693 cubic meters of wood in 1890–1891 and 561,201 cubic meters in 1900–1901. A factory for manufacturing corks and barrel taps was founded in 1890[19].

Several industrial establishments worked for processing animal hides. Since 1867 the “Bradea and Sons” factory produced soles, shoes, boots, etc. In 1912 it had 48 workers who manufactured 12,000–15,000 pairs of shoes and 5,000 hides each year[20].

 


[1] Paul Păltănea, Istoria oraşului Galaţi de la origini până la 1918, second edition, edited by Eugen Drăgoi (Galaţi: Editura Partener, 2008), vol. I, 158. Details also in Idem, “Unele ştiri despre economia oraşului Galaţi din a doua jumătate a secolului al XVIII-lea”, Cercetări istorice, 4 (1973), 161–175. For all things related to the industry of Galaţi, see these extensive monographs: C. Codreanu, Monografia fabricelor din Galaţi (Galaţi: Tipografia nouă, 1908); Marius Verbiceanu, Monografia industriei şi comerţului oraşului Galaţi. Studiu economic şi istoric (Galaţi: s.e., 1938); Tudose Tatu, Istoria trudită a fabricelor uitate (Galaţi: Patronatul Fabricilor Mici şi Mijlocii, 2008); Tudose Tatu, Adrian Pohrib, Industriaşi şi comercianţi gălăţeni, harnici şi de temut, mărci de fabrici şi de comerţ (1890–1940) (Galaţi: Patronatul Fabricilor Mici şi Mijlocii, 2013).

[2] Ion Toderaşcu, “Construcţii navale la şantierul din Galaţi în ultimul sfert al secolului al XVIII-lea”, Danubius, 2–3 (1969), 95–110; Idem, “Informaţii noi privind şantierul din Galaţi (sfârşitul secolului al XVIII-lea – prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea”, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie şi Arheologie din Iaşi, 9 (1972); Păltănea, Istoria, I, 158–166.

[3] Toderaşcu, “Din activitatea şantierului naval Galaţi în prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea”, Analele Ştiinţifice ale Universităţii din Iaşi, sect. III, History, 16:1 (1970).

[4] Păltănea, Istoria, I, 274–275.

[5] Ibid., II, 10-11; Constantin Ardeleanu, “A British Meat Cannery in Moldavia (1844–1852), Slavonic and East European Review, 90:4 (2012), 671–704.

[6] Details in Emeric and Şara Mihâly, “Din istoria industriei alimentare din Galaţi în a doua jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea”, Danubius, I (1967), 227–243; Idem, “Dezvoltarea industriei oraşului Galaţi în perioada 1859–1878”, Studii şi articole de istorie, 9 (1967), 124–138; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 115.

[7] Ibid., 115–117.

[8] Anuar Statistic al României, 1904 (Bucharest, Imprimeria statului, 1904), 527.

[9] Păltănea, Istoria, II, 167–184.

[10] Codreanu, Monografia, 31–40; Şantierul naval Galaţi pe treptele timpului. 80 de ani de existenţă, edited by Neculai Maftei, Emeric Mihaly (Galaţi: s.e., 1973), 26.

[11] Ibid., 28; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 179.

[12] Codreanu, Monografia, 26–27, 73–77, 103; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 180–181.

[13] Codreanu, Monografia, 44–54, 88–89, 165–166; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 181–182.

[14] Emeric Mihaly, Sara Mihaly, “Dezvoltarea industriei morăritului şi panificaţiei în oraşul Galaţi la începutul sec. al XX-lea”, Analele Universităţii Galaţi, Ştiinţe sociale si umaniste, 3:1 (1985), 18–21; Idem, “Dezvoltarea industriei alimentare în oraşul Galaţi la începutul secolului al XX-lea”, Danubius, 11–12 (1984–1985), 194; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 176–179.

[15] Mihaly, Mihaly, “Dezvoltarea industriei”, 195; Păltănea, II, Istoria, 177.

[16] Codreanu, Monografia, 187; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 177–178.

[17] Codreanu, Monografia, 123.

[18] Păltănea, Istoria, II, 183.

[19] Codreanu, Monografia, 105–107; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 182–183.

[20] Gh. N. Munteanu-Bârlad, Galaţii (Galaţi: Societate de Editură Ştiinţifică–Culturală, 1927), 159; Păltănea, Istoria, II, 182.


References

Websites:

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Galaţi al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Galaţi Branch), Primăria oraşului Galaţi (The Municipality of Galaţi), files starting with 1831.

Bibliography:

Ancheta industrială din 1901–1902, vol. I, Industria Mare [The Industrial Census of 1901–1902, vol. I, The Large Industry (Bucharest: Inst. de Arte Grafice “Carol Göbl, 1904).

Ardeleanu, Constantin, “A British Meat Cannery in Moldavia (1844–1852), Slavonic and East European Review, 90:4 (2012), 671–704.

Codreanu, C., Monografia fabricelor din Galaţi [The Monograph of the Galaţi Factories](Galaţi: Tipografia nouă, 1908).

Descrierea amănunţită a tuturor stabilimentelor industriale din oraşul Galaţi [The Detailed Description of All Industrial Establishment in Galaţi] (Galaţi: Ed. Tipografiei Tim. Nebuneli, 1901).

Mihaly, Emeric and Emeric, “Dezvoltarea industriei alimentare în oraşul Galaţi la începutul secolului al XX-lea” [The Development of the Food Industry in Galaţi at the Beginning of the 20th Century], Danubius, 11–12 (1984–1985).

Mihaly, Emeric and Emeric, “Dezvoltarea industriei morăritului şi panificaţiei în oraşul Galaţi la începutul sec. al XX-lea” [The Development of the Milling and Bread Manufacturing Industry in Galaţi at the Beginning of the 20th Century], Analele Universităţii Galaţi, Ştiinţe sociale si umaniste, 3:1 (1985), 18–21.

Mihâly, Emeric and Şara, “Dezvoltarea industriei oraşului Galaţi în perioada 1859–1878” [The Development of the Industry of Galaţi City during the Period 1857–1878], Studii şi articole de istorie, 9 (1967), 124–138.

Mihâly, Emeric and Şara, “Din istoria industriei alimentare din Galaţi în a doua jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea” [From the History of Food Industry in Galaţi in the Second Half of the 19th Century], Danubius, I (1967), 227–243.

Munteanu–Bârlad, Gh. N., Galaţii (Galaţi: Societate de Editură Ştiinţifică–Culturală, 1927).

Păltănea, Paul, “Unele ştiri despre economia oraşului Galaţi din a doua jumătate a secolului al XVIII-lea” [Some Information on the Economy of Galaţi Town in the Second Half of the 18th Century], Cercetări istorice, 4 (1973), 161–175.

Şantierul naval Galaţi pe treptele timpului. 80 de ani de existenţă [Galaţi Shipyard during the Time. 80 Years of Existence], edited by Neculai Maftei, Emeric Mihaly (Galaţi: s.e., 1973).

Tatu, Tudose, Istoria trudită a fabricelor uitate [The History of Forgotten Factories] (Galaţi: Patronatul Fabricilor Mici şi Mijlocii, 2008).

Tatu, Tudose, Pohrib, Adrian, Industriaşi şi comercianţi gălăţeni, harnici şi de temut, mărci de fabrici şi de comerţ (1890–1940) [Industrialists and Traders from Galaţi, Dilligent and Fearsome, Industry and Trade Marks (1890–1940)] (Galaţi: Patronatul Întreprinderilor Mici şi Mijlocii, 2013).

Toderaşcu, Ion, “Construcţii navale la şantierul din Galaţi în ultimul sfert al secolului al XVIII-lea” [Naval Constructions at Galaţi Shipyard from the Last Quarter of the 18th Century], Danubius, 2–3 (1969) 95–110.

Toderaşcu, Ion, “Din activitatea şantierului naval Galaţi în prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea” [The Activity of Galaţi Shipyard in the First Half of the 19th Century], Analele Ştiinţifice ale Universităţii din Iaşi, sect. III, History, 16:1 (1970).

Toderaşcu, Ion, “Informaţii noi privind şantierul din Galaţi (sfârşitul secolului al XVIII-lea – prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea” [New Information Regarding the Galaţi Shipyard (the End of the 18th – the First Half of the 19th Centuries], Anuarul Institutului de Istorie şi Arheologie din Iaşi, 9 (1972).

Verbiceanu, Marius, Monografia industriei şi comerţului oraşului Galaţi. Studiu economic şi istoric [The Monograph of the Industry and Trade in the City of Galaţi] (Galaţi: s.e., 1938).


Back