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Site plan with Geyerhammer, main work, Viktoria hut
Opening of the main factory in 1890
Viktoria work
Company-owned Friedlmühle power station, around 1900. The requirements for the development of an industrial company of this size were new forms of energy production and use.
The opening of the Almtalbahn in 1901 was an essential prerequisite for the further growth of the Scharnstein scythe factory.
Until charcoal was completely replaced by mineral coal, company-owned charcoal kilns were also run, around 1900
Construction of the pressure line to the new turbine system at the Viktoriawerk. Completion in 1924
In 1927, the wooden bridge over the Alm, which was in need of repair, was replaced by a modern reinforced concrete structure.
Woodworkers of Redtenbacher
In 1938, the high-maintenance wooden hammers in the Zainerei were replaced by air hammers, around 1907

Industrialization & modernization of scythe production in Scharnstein

Sensenmuseum Geyerhammer
Scharnstein, Austria
  7096 Visits

With the construction of the new main plant in 1890 and the “Viktoria”-work in 1905 the Redtenbacher company installed the first step towards large-scale production. A large water wheel boosted transmissions – belt drives, that were used for power transmission. Later, the factory received a central turbine. In the 1950´s an individual drive for the various hammers and machines was installed. The corresponding current was available through the establishment of three power plants at the Friedlmühle, at the main plant and the “Viktoria”-works. Through the partial use of spring hammers, which ran much faster, and by concentrating the production, the daily production was doubled to 1200-1300 scythes. However, the use of machines in the scythe production had tight limits. Until the end the scythes were made by free hand forging, whereby the skill and attention of the blacksmith determined the quality of the finished product. To supplement the production of scythes and sickles, the Redtenbacher company had its own sawmill, as well as a charcoal burning, a carpentry, and a joinery. The company produced its own charcoal, manufactured boxes for packaging as well as sickle handles and was able to do all repairs on hammers and buildings themselves. The construction of the Redtenbach works also meant a modernization push for Scharnstein. With the construction of the electricity plant “Friedlmühle” the electricity found it’s way into Scharnstein in 1897. The factory facilities and some residential houses were electrically lit and in the scythe factory an electric elevator was put into operation. Of great importance to the scythe factory as well as to the location was the connection to the railway network. On May 23, 1901, the “Almtalbahn” train connection was opened. Scythe and wood products could now be transported more easily and cheaply. The craftsmen, who had carried out the timber transport by water until then, however, became unemployed after the construction of the railway. The products of the Redtenbacher company were taken to Kirchdorf via Ziehberg or even brought to the port of Linz on difficult conditions by horse-drawn carriages until the Almtalbahn was built. The steel for the scythes also came with horse-drawn vehicles from Waidhofen in Lower Austria. On February 25, 1911, an interurban phone line opened.
The Redtenbacher factory in Scharnstein reached the greatest expansion around 1910. In the “Viktoria” work, the “Geyerhammer” and the main work 1,000,000 scythes and sickles were produced per year. In the 1920s a series of investments to modernize the scythe and sickle production were made. After the construction of a new administration building in 1924/25, the company headquarters were relocated to Scharnstein in 1927. In 1928 a cutlery and knife factory were built in Hermannstadt/Sibiu, Romania.