Before the war Austria was part of a vast economic organization, in which the various industries were distributed differently, according to technical and environmental opportunities. Today, for many of its industries, Austria has to resort to a foreign market, both for imports and for exports, which hinders the arrangement of the new industrial life.
Present-day Austria had, in 1924, about 7,975 industrial entities (of which over 400 joint stock companies), which used 7,900 steam boilers, with an annual consumption of 3,266,000 tons. of fuel and had employed more than 300,000 workers. 45% is represented by the iron, metal and electricity industries, 30% by the textile and clothing industries, 15% by the wood and paper industries, the rest by other products. Large industry is concentrated especially in three regions: the Vienna basin, especially on its southern side, Upper Austria and Vorarlberg. In addition, there are 38,300 industrial entities engaged in small local industry, mainly the minute metallurgy of the eastern Alpine valleys, which already prevailed in medieval times on the northern edge of the Alps centered in Steyr, as well as in the valleys of the Mürz, Mur and in Lungau and in those of Gurk and Lavant, up to the Klagenfurt basin. Today only the small small parts factories remain, which are still developed in the Steyr and Enns valleys and in Styria, where however they are decreasing (still 161 in 1830, there were already only 63 in 1906). There remain the small industries of wood, kitchen objects, frames, inlay, sculpture (known those of Bleiberg and Rosental in Carinthia, of Salzkammergut and Gmunden in Upper Austria, and of Vorarlberg), more or less extensive, for the local consumption, in all the small valleys of the Alps. where, however, they are decreasing (still 161 in 1830, there were already only 63 in 1906). There remain the small industries of wood, kitchen objects, frames, inlay, sculpture (known those of Bleiberg and Rosental in Carinthia, of Salzkammergut and Gmunden in Upper Austria, and of Vorarlberg), more or less extensive, for the local consumption, in all the small valleys of the Alps. where, however, they are decreasing (still 161 in 1830, there were already only 63 in 1906). There remain the small industries of wood, kitchen objects, frames, inlay, sculpture (known those of Bleiberg and Rosental in Carinthia, of Salzkammergut and Gmunden in Upper Austria, and of Vorarlberg), more or less extensive, for the local consumption, in all the small valleys of the Alps.
Among the large industries, the steel industry is almost entirely in the hands of the Alpinen-Montan Gesellschaft, which also includes Italian capitals; it supplies highly renowned and widely exported manganese steels. In 1925 three blast furnaces were in operation in Austria, in Donawitz, Eisenerz and Hieflau, with the production of tonnes. 1,004,000 of cast iron. In addition, 23 Martin and 12 electric reduction furnaces worked, which produced tons. 463.500 steel and 351.800 tons. of drawn or forged iron. The production capacity, however, has been reduced by 40% since the war, due to the cost and transport of fuel, which while before it came from Silesia, within the same borders of the monarchy, now comes 4/5 from abroad. Heavy industry in Austria is almost entirely concentrated in Styria, and precisely in the furrow of the Mur and its tributaries, near the great iron deposits of the Eisenerz. The metallurgical industries, on the other hand, and above all the factories of steam and electrical machines, industrial machines, machine tools, agricultural machines, cars, etc., are mainly distributed in the eastern areas, especially in the foothills, around the railway centers. In the western areas they are only sporadic in Vorarlberg (cars) and in Jenbach (small metal parts). On the contrary, they flourish in Linz and Wels, in Steyr (wagons and cars), in Ybbs (metal trusses), in Scheibbs, in Lilienfeld, in Traisen, in St. Pölten, etc., but above all in the Vienna basin, where in Wiener -Neustadt, Leobersdorf, Neunkirchen and Ternitz are the major metallurgical industries and machinery factories;
The industry of wood and its derivatives is very prosperous, due to the great forest wealth of the country: it has about 260 steam and 5000 hydraulic sawmills, the latter mainly in the alpine valleys of Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Styria, Carinthia, which produce large part of the timber for trade (planks, sleepers for rails, telegraph poles, etc.), of which they were exported abroad, in 1925, for 5,213,000 q. But also the manufacture of furniture is very developed and perfected, especially in Vienna, where, together with other secondary wood industries, it employed about 14,000 workers; it has extensive fame and feeds a large export abroad, which in 1925 reached 368,000 quintals.
But wood, supplying the cellulose, gives life to the paper industry that was already important in the past, and now much more important in the Republic, which has kept about 2/3 of the Empire’s paper mills. The main factories are located in Upper and Lower Austria, along the pre-Alpine watercourses and to a lesser extent in Carinthia, in the Gail valley and upper Drava. Overall, 1925 production was 19,000 paper wagons and 17,000 cellulose. Many of these products are exported especially to Western Europe and also to Italy, Egypt, India and America (in 1925 for 2,567,000 q.).
Cotton spinning factories in Austria are now disproportionate in comparison to weaving factories, which remained in overabundance in Hungary and Moravia. Hence the crisis that largely renders the spindles (1,200,000) of its spinning mills inactive, capable of maintaining 30,000 mechanical looms, while Austria currently has less than 12,000. Thus, while textile products are not enough for domestic consumption, almost 2/3 of the yarns have to be exported, and then again imported as fabrics. The maximum centers of the cotton industries are at the limits of the state: in the Vienna Basin with 40% of the spindles, and in Vorarlberg, from Bregenz to Feldkirch with 30% of the spindles. In 1925 380,500 q. Were imported. raw cotton and 132,500 fabrics, with an increase of almost a third of the raw material compared to 1922; this indicates that the
The wool industry also imports most of the raw or carded material from abroad (1925: 74,500 q. Of sheep’s wool, compared to 12,000 in the post-war years), and is established (spinning mills) in the Vienna basin and Innsbruck; but the large weaving industry is also lacking for it, except for some loden and local textile factories in Bludenz, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt, so that most of the woolen fabrics come from Bohemia: from it came the majority of the 41,300 q. of fabrics imported in 1925. The same can be said of the linen industry, whose finest and most important production has remained in Czechoslovakia.
On the other hand, for packaged textile products, the center is still Vienna today, from where they radiate above all in the Balkan Peninsula, in the East and in Egypt. Very flourishing before the war, this industry, which then gave work to thousands of workers, is today in sharp decline. However in 1925 2800 q. Were exported. of clothes made, over 860,000 men’s hats and 690,000 ladies’ hats. For Austria 1999, please check estatelearning.com.
The beet sugar industry is also in decline, with only 7 sugar factories remaining in the current Austria, of which 4 in Lower Austria, 1 in Upper Austria and 2 in Burgenland, a certain number insufficient to satisfy domestic consumption (so in 1925 1,781,000 q. from abroad were imported); however from the 1922-23 campaign with a production of q. 324,500, it was reached in that 1924-25 to produce q. 754,000.
The breweries, in 1924-25, amounted to 145, half distributed in Upper Austria (No. 53) and Lower Austria (No. 20), where they are also the largest; these two provinces gave 54.2% of the total production which was hl. 5,053,000, against 3,000,000 in 1923. Internal consumption, equal to about l. 76 per resident per year, only required an import of hl. 4,900.
The production of alcohol in Austria was hl. 251,932 in 1924-25, against hl. 150,605 of 1921-22; it is distilled in 27 large factories, of which the largest number is located in Lower Austria and Carinthia. Beyond these, however, we must take into account the small home distilleries, which are very numerous in almost every agricultural center, especially in the alpine areas of Salzburg, Tyrol, Styria and Carinthia (altogether over 14,000 throughout Austria). The average annual consumption of alcohol was about l. 3.8 per resident, including however industrial consumption.
To these main industries must be added the specialized ones, such as the manufacture of precision and scientific machines and apparatus, glassworks, the industries of rubber objects, which work for 4/5 abroad, that of leather for footwear, and of processed and engraved leathers, which are made especially in Vienna and are largely exported abroad (in 1925 q. 79,500); then the furriers, chemical products, colors, perfumeries, albeit with strong exports (1925: q. 580.916) and finally the luxury industries (jewelery, bronze and silver works, ceramics, lace, musical instruments, etc.), which have the Viennese as unsurpassed architects.
The printing industry, once very flourishing, is up to itself, especially for scientific, literary and artistic publications, which had Vienna as its main center. Having fallen into decline in the immediate post-war period, it has now resumed with great vigor and is in wide competition with scientific, cultural or pleasant literature from all over Europe; favored as it is by the perfection of the systems and the skill of the workers (1925: export of 23,400 q. of books and prints, against 15,100 q. of 1923).