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Porzellanfabrik Johann Kronester

THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN GERMANY

This old porcelain factory ‘Porzellanfabrik Johann Kronester’ was founded in 1906 by Johann Kronester. It was managed as a family business for four generations.

Johann Kronester received his training as a mechanical engineer in his father’s iron mill. Eventually, in 1906, he founded the open trading company ‘J Kronester & Co.’ with relatives Gottlieb Pfeifer and Christof Merkel. The construction of the factory started the same year and progressed rapidly, consequently production could already start in 1908. Initially, the company only had two round ovens, instead of the usual three. At that time, Kronester produced both household dishes and electrical porcelain.

The business concentrated on the production of used porcelain after the Second World War. The closure could be averted, presumably also because the ‘Reichsarbeitsdienst‘ and the ‘Wehrmacht’ were two important customers.

Ulrike dinner set

The brand Ulrike, conceived by Hans Achtziger, became a hit for the factory. The ‘Ulrike Dinner Set’ remained a bestseller until the 1980s. During the 1950s’ economic boom, the factory expanded its administration building and constructed new facilities for a generator plant, as well as coal and clay storage. By the 1980s, the production lines had been automated.

Mergers and Challenges

Because of the industry crisis in the 1990s, the company merged with ‘Schirnding AG’ and ‘Johann Seltmann GmbH’ in 1993 to form ‘SKV-Porzellan-Union GmbH’. As a result, the white chine business and parts of the colored china business were moved to the Schirnding location in 1997. A little later, the Kronester family withdrew from the holding company. ‘Porzellanfabrik Johann Kronester’ was abandoned not long after the merge. I visited the factory in 2019. The company is still active today under the ‘Arzberg’ brand.

Built 1906
Abandoned 2010
Endangered