Deutsche Tonwaren Fabrik
THE ABANDONED POTTERY IN GERMANY
This is the ‘Deutsche Tonwaren Fabrik‘ an abandoned pottery in Germany. The factory was built in 1909 and closed almost 90 years later in 1996. The factory is in a bad state today, but has all the original machinery and equipment still inside.
The history of this pottery started in the 19th century. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the economy in Germany experienced a great boom. As a result the cities installed water pipes and sewer systems in the cities. The forests in the region was a good source for the clay that was required to manufacture these pipes. This is how the Thonrohrwerke company started in 1873.
Meanwhile in 1909, entrepreneur Heckmann from Meißen asked the city council to issue a building permit for a second pottery. Both the clay stores in the city forest and trained potters in the village, were likely to have been decisive for the location. In October 1909 a company with 10 partners was formed that paid for the construction of the ‘Deutsche Tonwaren Fabrik’.
Production at the new factory started in May 1910. The range of products manufactured was very diverse. The factory produced not only pots, bowls, cups and jugs, but also hot water bottles and coffee pots. In 1911 also terracottas and decorative ceramics was added to the product lining.
After the Second World War production was resumed in 1946. The factory was eventually enlarged and fitted with modern machinery. The plant’s products were also sold abroad, including the countries like Belgium, Denmark and Poland. In 1951 the company had 115 employees. The fusion of the factory and its 78 employees, with the ‘VEB Steingutwerk’ took place in 1963. Later the company merged with ‘FENA-Creation Porzellan und Keramik‘.
In 1996 the company had to file for bankruptcy because of sales difficulties. The last year the factory had only 10 employees left. The facility with its traditional equipment, is now a rarity in the Saxon ceramic industry. After the Elbe flood in August 2002, areas of the property were used as auxiliary and material stores. But the buildings are in a bad state today. Roofs have collapsed and local youth trashed the factory. I visited the ‘Deutsche Tonwaren Fabrik’ in 2019. Follow this link for more abandoned potteries.