The Boundaries of Industrialization
This engineering works in Landquart was building installations as well as various machines and tools. From 1868 onwards they also built bicycles in very limited numbers. Our exhibit is a so-called „Little Landquarter“, a bicycle made of metal and wood with its pedals fixed to the hub of the large front wheel. The Maschinenfabrik in Landquart thus became Switzerland’s first bicycle manufacturer.
For topographical reasons alone Grisons was generally badly suited for the Industrialization. There were no large cities acting as consumer hubs, and the many secluded valleys made it difficult for companies to establish themselves. Only on the plains in the Chur Rhine Valley and several other towns connected to traffic infrastructure did various small to medium-sized industrial businesses gain a foothold. Yet whether they were tobacco factories, cotton spinners, brick works or food factories – not many survived in the long term. Similarly unsuccessful, albeit costly, attempts were made in Grisons to intensify the mining of iron ore, or gold and silver deposits for a profit. Thus Grisons took the leap from an agricultural way of life directly to that of a service-based economy, without the interlude called «Industrialization“.
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