Poster: Berliner Gewerbe-Ausstellung (Great Industrial Exposition of Berlin) 1896
Ärmel hochkrempeln und zupacken (Roll up your sleeves and get down to work!): poster advertisement produced by the Dietrich Reimer publishing house for Otto Eckmann’s work: Berlin und seine Arbeit. Amtlicher Bericht über die Berliner Gewerbe-Ausstellung 1896.
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig


The A-Z of industrialisation

Printing and book binding were “art forms” - one had to first acquire the necessary skills in accordance with the rules and conventions of the professions. But was book selling an art form? It was an unregulated trade without guilds and guidelines, without customs or rules in terms of the length of an apprenticeship and with no standards for proving one’s training or educational background in the profession.

Johann Goldfriedrich, Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels, 1908

Businesses refer to commercial activities in the manual crafts and industry that are operated on their own expense to make a profit (Capital). Economic freedom means having the right to freely choose one’s profession, a training facility and a place of work. Businesses can not only be operated in factories (Factory), but also in the open air (agriculture, forestry, haulage companies) or at home.

Industrial exhibitions were, from the early 19th century on, important platforms for showcasing technological innovation and the potential of skilled crafts and industrial labour. At the first General Industrial Exhibition in Berlin in 1844, over 3,000 exhibitors displayed their work, while at the legendary Great Industrial Exposition of Berlin in 1896, 3,800 enterprises exhibited at a show in Treptower Park with over 7 million visitors in attendance.