The First Thöner Furniture Factory in Bukovina Cover Image

The First Thöner Furniture Factory in Bukovina

Author(s): Aurel Prepeliuc
Subject(s): Local History / Microhistory
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: Thöner; Rădăuți; furniture factory

Summary/Abstract: A true emblem of craftsmanship regarding woodworking in Bucovina, “The IstThöner Furniture Factory of Bukovina”, as it appears written in the registration documents of the company from the year 1919, was the creation of a professional individual of German origins, Herman Thöner (13.01.1870 – 13.02.1929). After finalizing his studies in Rădăuți, he headed towards the Empire’s capital where he studied decorative painting for three years at the “Hofmuseum” (named “Kunsthistorisches Museum” in 1918), specializing in decorated furniture. He spent approximately 17 years in Vienna, having had the chance to work with the renowned furniture manufacturer Sándor Járay and holding a series of leadership positions at the “Raumkunstgesellschaft”. After finalizing his theoretical studies and having accumulated a vast practical experience, he returned to Rădăuți to establish a furniture factory in 1907. The factory was equipped with the most modern woodworking machines of the time, and the workers were recruited at the highest national and international standard of qualification. The turmoil of the First World War did not spare the city of Rădăuți, the factory being set on fire. On the 18th of March 1919, a new factory was established. The factory was named “I. Bukowinaer Möbelfabrik Thöner”, a joint stock company with an initial production capacity of 100–120 sets of furniture. The company grew exponentially, showrooms being opened in Chernivtsi and Bucharest. The quality of the furniture produced in Rădăuți spoke for itself; therefore, it was promoted by prestigious Romanian and foreign institutions, and last but not least by important political figures and magnates of the time. When Hermann Thöner passed away in the year of 1929, he left behind a blossoming business, as well as six sons who took over. Among the German Bukovinians who chose to leave the country in the autumn of 1940, in accordance to the Romanian-German deal regarding repatriation, were also the Thöner family members. The factory machines were removed and transported to Germany, which meant that in January of 1941 the Romanian authorities declared the permanent cease of furniture production. What was left of the factory was the building, which later turned into the Industrial Highschool of Rădăuți.

  • Issue Year: 60/2023
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 118-128
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Romanian