The Dotzauer History

1984 : The Circle closes (S2E7)

But there was much to do not only with the international customers, but also with clients at the national level. After the company Stölzle had ceased the production of crystal lights at the beginning of the 80s (company founder Franz Dotzauer worked there until 1964), a short time later it was decided to include chandeliers in the range again. And who was the perfect partner for that? Of course the manufactory Dotzauer. The beautiful showroom in Vienna’s Liechtensteinstraße was equipped with exquisite lights. The selection took place after arrangement with the new management of the company Stölzle as well as Irene and Manfred Dotzauer. Of course, due to the many stories that Franz Dotzauer has narrated, both of them already knew a great deal about the wishes and demands of this traditional company. And so closed the circle and for many, many years, the magnificent Stölzle showroom in Vienna was equipped with lights from the house Dotzauer. Where the company founder had started to learn the Luster business, crystal lights now hung from his own production. But not only the great Stölzle relied on quality from Dotzauer, but also Austria’s oldest mirror factory, the Waldviertler mirror glass producer Lachmair. On the Schweglerstrasse in the 15th district, less than five minutes from the first shop, Dotzauer crystal lights glittered again. Together with Lachmair, not only luminaires were developed, but also decorative frames for the great mirrors. It was exhausting times for all and the comfort and the common was not neglected. Again and again, everyone in the beautiful garden was eating, drinking and above all chatting. Togetherness with the entire team is important to the success of the company. At that time like today. [widgetkit id=205]

1983 : The Journey to Switzerland (S2E6)

The wonderful crystal lights from the factory in Brunn am Gebirge were very well known, but nevertheless there were some white spots on the map especially in the immediate vicinity. Switzerland was such a white spot and that’s why Irene and Manfred set out on a big tour and showed the skills and abilities of the workshops live on site. In the Jelmoli department store in Zurich, there was a huge exhibition of lamps and they showed the interested visitors for almost a whole week how traditional chandeliers were made in Austria. There were many, many sample parts, the fine crystal hangings were assembled live on site to beautiful crystal chains and of course countless questions were answered to the different products. It was like a small sensation to see such a kind of production and opened many eyes (then and now) and it was all very impressed by the many necessary steps to the completion of a single lamp. Of course, the sales consultants on site also benefited from this training and this was very clear in the subsequent sales. Expert advice is immensely important and has always been one of the great pillars of our success. [widgetkit id=204]

1982 : The Trucks are lining up (S2E5)

It went on cheerfully, because at the beginning of the year, one truck lined up after the other and all were loaded with many, many boxes and crates. The many partnerships and contacts proved to be just right and gave the factory an excellent order backlog. In fact, it was so fast or had to be worked so fast that there was little time for more and the workshop was almost lost in the chaos of the delivered components. There piled up packages, here prefabricated brass rings. In the middle of the workshop, the next order was waiting for the pickup and even the raw stock of brass and steel was emptied. In the new assembly hall, one lamp hung next to the other and the ladies of the Maria-Theresia department did a great job of fulfilling all customer requests almost simultaneously. Of course, work had to be done in the office under full steam, because orders, invoices, delivery notes, forwarding orders and Co. were not written by themselves. Whenever a large consignment was picked up and the truck was loaded, there was a small come-together to toast the success together. Many of the former employees were with the company until their retirement and can look back on an exciting time. We are very proud of it and say thanks again for the loyalty! [widgetkit id=203]

1981 : The Reward of Work (S2E4)

The new year went straight ahead and the next big order could be realized. Once again, it was a customer in far-away Asia who appreciated the quality goods made by Dotzauer. The small manufactory in Brunn am Gebirge had already made a name for itself and was sometimes acted as a treasure by the help of very active contact persons. Of course, there were many other manufacturers as well but in the past, as today, it was the personal collaboration that was highly valued by customers at home and abroad.
Even before the summer holidays there was again a huge container in the backyard and had to be loaded. The cartons were organized by Manfred Dotzauer from the then neighbor, the company SEW Eurodrive, who was able to help out quickly and unbureaucratically with large and solid boxes. One can not imagine how hectic it was often when such a large truck with container stood in front of the door. Packing lists were still written with the typewriter and had to be handed over to the driver in multiple copies and also attached to the inside of the container doors. Only one wrong information which box was in which container and the whole list could be typed again. But the team became better and better and the initially unknown processes were quickly becoming routine. As a reward for the great achievement, they thought of something very special, namely a joint trip by boat to Dürnstein and back by bus. Not only were all employees present, but also the children of the two Dotzauer families. Already at the ship on the way to Dürnstein the mood was exuberant and happy and everyone enjoyed the friendly distraction. In Dürnstein they then ate and drunk very well, before everybody went back with the ordered bus to Brunn am Gebirge. An absolutely successful trip and certainly the highlight of many employees for many years. Freshly motivated then many other orders were delivered this year and in the end could be drawn an absolutely positive conclusion. The operation developed splendidly and the closed partnerships proved to be very productive. Business national and abroad was excellent. [widgetkit id=201]

1980 : The big extension (S2E3)

The plans for the extension were already forged at the end of last year, but was built only in spring of 1980. Another workshop was to house the new building, as well as a small showroom and a new beautiful office. The old one was in the middle of the workshop and often due to the noise of saws, drills & Co. not optimally usable. The street-side extension is still today the well-known facade of the manufactory Dotzauer is almost unchanged. But before that happened, the construction workers often had to carry out the necessary work by hand. Digging holes, building brick walls, erecting piers, etc. Construction work at the time was largely manual labor and quite a challenge. The young Christian Dotzauer was already there with enthusiasm. What could be nicer for a 10-year-old boy than walking around a construction site and constantly discovering new things. It is still quite impressive today with what speed built and how quickly the windows were used in the new showroom. But not only in Brunn am Gebirge extension was going on. Almost at the same time, the opportunity to take over Lörner Lighting’s business arose in Vienna on Gumpendorfer Straße. A shop in the city, also already known for lamps and lights was a wonderful idea and quickly it was agreed to implement this project. Anyone can imagine what that meant for the Dotzauer families. Decision after decision had to be taken, but at the end of the year the expansion of the production area in Brunn am Gebirge was almost complete and the shop in Vienna was rebuilt just a little. In order not to upset the existing customers, the shop was named “Leuchtenstudio 93” and the outer facade hardly changed. Irene took over the responsibility for the lighting studio and the two brothers for the now expanded production. The addition was also very well received by all employees and everyone worked 100% to be successful in the future as well. [widgetkit id=200]

1979 : The place is getting tight (S2E2)

It got close in the house Dotzauer, because the business ran better than ever before. Frame after frame was produced and at times jammed the space so much that goods even had to be placed in the parking lot in front of the company. A dream for every manufacturer and an unbelievable confirmation for the whole team.
Especially the specialty, the typical Maria-Theresia crystal chandelier, was very much in demand and the locksmiths barely coped with the production of these beautiful lights. At the beginnig of the year a separate VW bus was purchased for the deliveries and on one side proudly praised the words “Kristalluster Dotzauer” / „Crystal Chandeliers Dotzauer“ (unfortunately, this great car is no longer in our fleet). Everyone should know where the sparkling crystal lights come from. Thousands of glazing glas filets and crystal rosettes were processed for it. Kilometers of fabric cable attached to the arms and then put together the individual arms to one of the most famous Austrian chandelier. Leading the way was Mrs. Pamperl, who was with the company almost from the beginning and only retired a few years ago (thank you also for many of the great photos from that time). Due to this sensational order situation, serious thought was given to expanding the company building. However, there was much disagreement between the brothers in many details and there was a lot of discussion in which dimension and for what purpose it should be built. Towards the end of the year, however, were already detailed concepts such as the expansion could look on the table and everything ready for the big step. It was an exciting year and by the end of December everybody was happy to celebrate Christmas in peace. This recovery was also urgently needed, because the next time will bring many tasks for the families Dotzauer. [widgetkit id=198]

1978 : The Big Change (S2E1)

There were so many things to do, so many little things to handle, and all this had to happen alongside the normal work. The two brothers also had to find a new order of duties. Manfred was responsible for the operative business and the sale, Heri for the production and the procurement of the raw materials. The quasi “new” in the team was Irene and thank God helped her business education to find their way quickly. The young team succeeded in the year one after Franz Dotzauer to keep the company on the road to success and was able to conclude further good deals. For all three new of course was standing in the front row and representing the company to the outside. Like all successors, they were measured over and over again by the father and first had to fight for their position and reputation with the longtime business friends. It helped, of course, that no one was too bad for the smallest work. Where they had to be tackled, they were right in the middle instead of only there. Apart from the manual work, the discussions with the customers were often not the problem, but the much less frequent meetings with authorities, offices or even banks. Here it was necessary to learn this language, to understand what is required and not to tell too much and not too little at the right moment. With all these challenges, the year flew by and the signs for the future were still very positive. The change was successful, the company name contained the addition “descendants Herbert and Manfred Dotzauer” and all negative companions of a better instructed. [widgetkit id=197]

1977 : The End and the Beginning (S1E14)

The new year was just 24 days old and already the family was surprised by a sad event. Franz Dotzauer, the company founder, died after a heart attack in the hospital. Only a few years after the tragic death of the mother, the brothers now lost their father. But Franz Dotzauer was not only a father, but also the head of the now small business grown company in Brunn am Gebirge. They had to act quickly and partially reorganize the tasks in the company. Franz’s second wife Hilde took over the payroll. Manfred’s wife Irene, who still looked after the two small children at home, now took care of the bookkeeping and almost the entire administrative part of the company, and Heri’s wife Mathilde helped in the production. When task areas have to be taken over so spontaneously, of course, there is chaos and it took the utmost effort of all involved to overcome this difficult time. The competition did not make the situation any easier either. As so often the demise of Dotzauer was predicted, now that the company founder was no longer there and no one gave the company great chances of survival. Of course this spurred the young team even more and the success is still more than clearly visible. As you know, you grow up with the task and as true as in this case. Existing partnerships were deepened and long-standing customers visited in person. Much time for mourning was therefore not, because now had to prove the 2nd Generation and lead the company further into the future. The third generation was still very young and went to kindergarten and school, but was a very important reason to take all the effort and suffering. Franz Dotzauer has achieved a lot in his life and many of his crystal lights are shining signs of his work. One of the most well-known hangs in Vienna in the hotel Intercontinental at the city park. The huge crystal chandelier above the Intermezzo Bar is known far beyond the borders of Vienna and is still a popular meeting place for young and old. Highly recommended is one of the jazz evenings that take place there regularly. It would certainly make him very proud to see you in the light of his luminaire. [widgetkit id=195]

1976 : The Sultan of Kelantan (S1E13)

1976 was a landmark year in many ways. Working with Mr. Linau, a very experienced export man, has not always been easy and a new experience for everyone. Business on the doorstep is one thing, but that had and has its own laws beyond the borders of Austria and that these are often not in line with the existing structures, was in some places of the company more than clearly noticeable. Nevertheless, or maybe even because of that, the still young team managed to get the biggest order in the company’s history and deliver it to the complete satisfaction of all involved. The customer was none other than the Sultan of Kelantan in Malaysia. Over 50 different crystal chandeliers in various sizes were produced, hung, packed and loaded. It was the beginning of a great story of many more exports that are still going on today. You have to love your business very much and be fully behind it in order to fulfill the tasks and duties of such projects. The communication was not usual only through visits or telephone calls, but often also via teletype and sometimes poorly translate notes. What was true tonight was outdated every now and then the next morning, because the time difference made direct communication virtually impossible. Messrs. Dotzauer pushed to their limits and were more than required by their partners. When the specially made wooden boxes and cartons were then loaded onto the truck with a borrowed forklift truck, calm came for a little while, and general satisfaction showed in the faces of everyone involved. The moment when something is done, another hurdle was taken, is always a very special and even in this case made you want more. And another passion was established this year. Swarovski launched the first crystal figure on the market. This “original mouse” was made from existing crystal components such as ball, drop and rosette. Here, too, the foundation was laid for a naturally much larger success story. But one thing the Dotzauer Family combined with the members of the Swarovski family back then: The love for crystal. Without this very special trait many later successes would not have been possible and we are happy and proud that Dotzauer and Swarovski more than 40 years later, are still satisfied partners. [widgetkit id=194]

1975 : The large Department Stores (S1E12)

In the middle of the golden seventies the economic upswing in every area was felt. It was a great time for diligent entrepreneurs and of course the locksmith Franz Dotzauer benefited from this boom. The first ten years were over and a solid basis was created. The economic situation was still tense, but with the opportunities available, looking to the future was very positive. And so it turned out that the two then largest department stores in Vienna, Herzmansky and Gerngross, expanded their assortment with crystal lamps from Dotzauer. Both houses were then owned by the Swiss Jelmoli Group and the Creditanstalt Bank Association. Large quantities of chandeliers were supplied for all areas. From the antechamber to the living room to the bedroom sparkling chandeliers were very much in demand. To call such a chandelier was something special and absolutely not self-evident. Even then, the artisan artworks were valuable individual pieces and not affordable for every family. The deliveries to the two houses not only laid the foundation for a later cooperation with Jelmoli in Switzerland, but also created the basis for the ensuing decade-long partnership with other department stores and furniture stores. Especially Manfred Dotzauer was able to prove his talent and skill in sales here. The cooperation with such large partners was relatively new and took some time to get used to, but already quickly the hoped-for success was established. Flexibility in production and responding to customer wishes are important pillars for the operation then and now. Moreover, nothing is better for a producing company than medium term or even long term planning. Purchasing and many other areas can be streamlined and optimized. Another plus was the increased awareness and the resulting new opportunities for sale. As so often before, on one of his many visits to Mariahilfer Strasse, Manfred met Mr. Linau by chance, who will be very helpful next year in another breakthrough on a completely different market segment. [widgetkit id=193]

1974 : The Life is beautiful (S1E11)

In addition to all the strenuous tasks around the management of the manufactory, there were always wonderful moments and 1974 even a very, very beautiful. Daughter Evelyn was born in February and Manfred and Irene were overjoyed with their small family. Since time immemorial, two children have been the dream of the young Dotzauer family, and it was very gratifying that this was fulfilled so quickly.
And the business continued to develop, and soon the original workshop in Goldschlagstraße was only listed on the business card. In Brunn am Gebirge one crystal lamp after the other saw the light of day and the workforce grew constantly. More and more people have been hired to meet the growing demand for beautiful chandeliers. It was also the year when, for the first time ever, a lady of her own was hired just for the crinkling of the crystals. She has been with the company for almost 30 years, making her one of the company’s longest-serving employees. In addition to the work but also had to be a little relaxed. Excursions were made to dear friends in Austria and festivals were celebrated in the company, such as the baptism of the newborn daughter Evelyn or birthdays within the family. It was a great time spent together and the two brothers and their dad were a great team. It was impressive how often changes in the company were noticeable and how rapidly developments on the markets took place. The need was huge and the people longed for the beautiful, the noble and a crystal chandelier was a sparkling symbol of fine taste and success. [widgetkit id=192]

1973 : The new Center of Life (S1E10)

The new factory in Brunn am Gebirge was the pride of the Dotzauer families and gradually the hall was filled with many different machines, as was to be expected of three men in love with technology. There was finally enough room to organize and rationalize the production of the crystal chandeliers. The new company headquarters was not only the central place of professional life, but became more and more the basis for all private activities. The rare free time spent in the countryside was new for the families and was extensively used. Almost the entire private life took place from now on in the backyard of the workshop and many great festivals were celebrated there. This “tradition” has not changed until today. The company headquarters in Brunn am Gebirge is a popular starting point for various activities and gathering point of the “new” families. The business was very good and more and more customers were supplied. The expansion made it possible to plan very differently and there were completely new possibilities in production. Of course, there were no roommates left who could complain about the noise. In the industrial area there was very little neighborhood and a lot of green meadow. Today we are glad to be located at one of the major junctions of the Vienna periphery with the best connections in all directions. For a flexible company like us, it is immensely important to be able to react and act quickly, and Brunn offers us the perfect infrastructure. However, everybody was still living in Vienna and big celebrations such as Christmas were, of course, celebrated together at home in the Wienzeile. In addition, the next great surprise for the year 1974 was announced under the Christmas tree. [widgetkit id=191]

1972 : The Relocation (S1E9)

It has been known for some time that the space in the cellar will be too small and therefore there were always ideas to move the production to another location. Due to the great cooperation with Josef Palme GmbH in Voitsberg and the recently concluded agreement on the purchase of large quantities of rosetted arms for Maria-Theresia crystal chandeliers, a relocation was inevitable. As so often, it is the coincidences that determine the next step and so it was this time. Franz Dotzauer’s first wife met in the hospital a lady from Brunn am Gebirge, who told her about industrial areas, which were sold by the local government. The thought had existed for a long time, but it took some more years until the family stood on a green meadow in the industrial area of Brunn am Gebirge. With much risk and even more trust from the banks, the property was bought and a simple hall built. There was enough space now and the enthusiasm of the whole family was huge. From the narrowness of the city into the generosity of the then little cultivated Brunn am Gebirge was of course a major change. Even today we enjoy the luxury of our location and are always happy to spend just a few minutes in the garden under the trees as compensation to our daily worklife. But it was also clear that this decision was a big challenge for everyone. The small locksmith’s shop in the 15th district became a company that had to be feeded with orders. A regular amount of orders had to be ensured and thus the sales had to be boosted. The Opel Rekord Caravan was now much more on the move and the young Manfred Dotzauer played his strengths in sales more and more and more. [widgetkit id=189]

1971 : The Family Business Grows (S1E8)

Like many formerly small family businesses, the locksmith Franz Dotzauer grew and in 1971 already had four more employees. The purely male-run business since the death of the mother also hired the first female employee this year and for the first time in history the crystal lights were finished by delicate female hands and hung with crystal. But not only this detail is worth mentioning, but also the fact that the cooperation among the Austrian manufacturers of high quality crystal lamps was very good at the beginning of the seventies. Steyr, the hometown of the displaced Dotzauer family, was something like the center of the Lusterbauer and so it happened that the sons of the companies Dotzauer, Kraus and others played together in the sandpit on the main square. Later, the paths parted, but then again lead to each other. For example, it turned out that the grinding boxes of the company Kraus completely burned down and their glass grinding stopped completely for several weeks. The new boxes were made, delivered and assembled by Mr. Dotzauer in Vienna and soon the finest crystals were cut and delivered again. Speaking of crystal, which was obtained exclusively from the company Schöler, Mr. Görner, from Kremsmünster. Schöler is still an extremely important partner for us today and we are still in the best hands. The fine hand-cut hangings have a worldwide reputation and are the hallmark of finest Austrian workmanship. Who has been a supplier to his side for almost 50 years, can justifiably speak of partners and friends. Many thanks to the team of the company Schöler around Mr. Pamminger. [widgetkit id=186]

1970 : The Year of many Extensions (S1E7)

The entire team at the Schlosserei Franz Dotzauer did an excellent job and the order situation was accordingly good. Slowly but surely the place in the basement became a bit cramped and as if by coincidence it turned out that the ice cream shop in the same house was abandoned due to the divorce of the owners. There was not much time to think because the landlord wanted to find a successor as soon as possible. And so it happened that Franz Dotzauer and his sons simply took over the ice cream business, including all the ice machines and the rest of the equipment. Of course, they had other plans than to produce ice and so they tried to sell the high quality equipment piece by piece. Some of them even visited iron tractors in the backyards of the area, which were visited years ago, showed interest and thus the ice cream shop gradually became another permanent establishment for the finest crystal lights. However, the small little shop was also used for the first time to show finished crystal chandeliers and already in the first year a few pieces could be sold. But not only the workshop was expanded, but also the families. By a merry coincidence, the widower Franz Dotzauer met Hilde Alexander months ago. Not only the name parity with the wife of Peter Alexander was unusual, but also that she had the same name as his deceased wife. The two got along extremely well and since a living together in wild marriage was completely out of the question, and so they married on May 22 of the year. Hilde continued to work for Feromontan GmbH where she was responsible for various administrative areas. She will work in the company of her husband only many years later, after her retirement. Shortly before Christmas, there was probably the nicest surprise, if you can call it that, this year. Son Christian was born on December 14 and made his proud parents very happy. Christian was the first child in the entire relatives circle and was thus naturally expected with great joy. The third generation was born, but it will take a few more years for them to get noticed in the company. [widgetkit id=184]

1969 : The Marriage of the Year (S1E6)

Of course, a three-man household in the late sixties was not really able to survive, so it was up to the young Irene to spoil the three men. For a barely 20-year-old, this was an almost impossible task. Faster than she thought, she grew into this role more and more and managed to fill the gap created by her mother’s death. Manfred, always a man with a good eye, recognized this of course and decided on the only right thing, he stopped for the hand of Irene. He did this quite traditionally and with great charm by driving to Irene’s parents in Andau im Seewinkel and asking her father for his daughter’s hand. At that time, Irene’s father Josef had to give his written consent and dismiss Irene from the parental household, so she and Manfred could marry. In retrospect, it was probably one of the most important decisions in the company’s history, even though at that time absolutely no one was so aware. Irene and Manfred were and are the foundation and the pillars on which the history of the next decades will be built. There was a wonderful wedding and all the families were happy for the young couple. And so on the 21st of June 1969 not only the summer began but also a new era in the company’s history. Business was good and the small business could look forward to a regular workload. More and more customers trusted in the craftsmanship of locksmith Franz Dotzauer and the tasks became more and more extensive. The small workshop in the cellar was slowly but surely too small. [widgetkit id=180]

1968 : The happiness and the sadness (S1E5)

Although, of course, the company has always been a dominant topic in the house Dotzauer, but there were also events that outshone the business bustle. Manfred Dotzauer had met his Irene Schmidt some time ago in the Tenne in Vienna. The Burgenland monastery student and the Upper Austrian toolmaker were immediately on fire for each other and formed a strong couple even then. After some time, in May 1968, Irene and Manfred announced their engagement. Of course, there was not much time to celebrate, but there was a small party. Irene still lived with her aunt in Vienna and Manfred with the rest of the family in the Wienzeile. Soon, the joyful event was overshadowed by the mother’s deteriorating health. The problems with the heart were already so great that cooperation was unthinkable and even housework was no longer possible. Even then, Irene provided the whole family with the bare necessities in her spare time and was a wonderful support in these difficult days. Hilde Dotzauer’s condition became worse and worse and worse, and so came the unavoidable, she died of heart failure in June 1968 and left the whole family in great mourning. Of course, this tragic incident turned everything upside down and Irene and the three men had to reorganize completely to master these difficult times. [widgetkit id=179]

1967 : The Workshop in the Bedroom (S1E4)

The business was going pretty well and yet there were always problems that no one would have anticipated. So there were always complaints from the house parties when the directly against the wall standing grinding blocks were in operation, because the noise was audible to the highest floors. But it was even worse when the friction press did its job and the flywheel with more than 100 tons was blown down to press the slots into the blanks for the Maria-Theresia lights. Then the whole house and even parts of the neighboring houses wobbled. At the end, it was agreed that the press would only be in operation for half an hour a day. Completely unexpected, Hilde Dotzauer became seriously ill. She has always had a weak heart and that was causing her massive problems now. Work always came first, even in Steyr when she pulled a washing machine through the village on a rickety cart and people were able to wash their laundry for a fee. But now she was tied to the bed and could no longer help the men everywhere. However, the desperation and the indescribable will of the family made them find a solution and so they simply moved parts of the workshop into the bedroom on the Wienzeile. Hilde Dotzauer processed thousands of crystals in bed, put rosettes on the wire and completed smaller parts. Hundreds of boxes carried the two boys up and down the five floors, for the mother was eager to do her part for the survival of the company. Particularly noteworthy was also the idea of Manfred Dotzauer to photograph the first crystal lights. Necessity is also ingenious here and so the apartment was converted into a kind of “photo studio”. There it was clean and the crystal lights could sparkle in the appropriate frame. The first leaflets were created and more and more customers could be reached. [widgetkit id=178]

1996 : The difficult first Years (S1E3)

It was not an easy time and especially not for a yet unknown manufacturer of decorative lights and crystal chandeliers. The money was tight and so of course only small steps could be planned and implemented. The machinery had used up all the savings and so sales had to be made urgently so that the new company survived the first few years. But there were other problems that had to be dealt with and one would not have expected. In the backyard next to the cellar workshop, a butcher had his meat processing plant and rats repeatedly tried to penetrate through the walls of the locksmith. Only when another wall layer with metal shavings and steel nails was raised, the problem was solved. Thankfully, Franz Dotzauer had an excellent reputation within the industry and that was of course a big advantage. Many of his customers of the first few hours knew he was reliable and therefore awarded small and large orders to him. While the first two years were mainly producing components for crystal lights, the third year of the company’s existence was completed chandeliers, which were supplied to various dealers. As said, both sons were now working in the factory and were used for more and more difficult work. Leisure was a foreign word and every evening, the three men returned tired and exhausted in the apartment in the Wienzeile at the Naschmarkt. There they were already expected by their mother and eat a little something. The topic of conversation during the dinner together was of course always the company. So there was very little time just to relax. It was a hard year and yet it were the smallest and small successes that gave the whole family the strength to continue and to believe in success. [widgetkit id=177]

1965 : The Family (S1E2)

Franz Dotzauer was now an entrepreneur and the whole family had to help, of course. As so often before, it was fate that dictated the way of life for the little family. The parents of Franz Dotzauer came from Sudeten Germany, more precisely from Rothau, and were expelled from there after World War II. Their house and many other things had to be left behind and the entire family moved to Steyr in Upper Austria. Franz Dotzauer’s father was a violin maker and so it was not surprising that his son took the same path and also used his craft skills for the construction of violins and accordions. The area in and around Steyr was known not only for the construction of musical instruments, but also for the production of crystal lights. Many still existing Austrian manufacturers have their origin there and today’s senior bosses played together in the sandpit at the playground. Franz Dotzauer soon got the offer from the big Stölzle company as the production manager to manufacture the finest crystal chandliers and of course accepted with thanks. A few years later he was transferred to the production site in Vienna and so the whole family moved again. For many years Franz Dotzauer had the opportunity to learn and perfect the production of crystal chandeliers, but here too fate set a decisive turning point again. Due to business decline the company was restructured and Franz Dotzauer’s department dissolved. As a man of action, he quickly decided to become self-employed and put this idea into reality in 1964. His sons Manfred and Heribert were only young boys and still in apprenticeship. Manfred at the well-known model railway manufacturer Liliput as a toolmaker and Heribert learned the craft of the chandelier maker. Of course, both sons had to actively help out in the new company right from the start and did every single step of help they could. It was never easy, but Hilde Dotzauer, the mother, kept the strings in her hands and the family together in those difficult times, and yet she had big problems with her heart. [widgetkit id=176]

1964 : The Opening (S1E1)

„Hereby announce that I am opening a locksmithery today.” With this sentence Franz Dotzauer informed his future customers about his new start as an independent locksmith in April 1964. This was the beginning of an adventurous journey starting in the 15th district of Vienna in one basement workshop in the Goldschlagstraße. He had quit his senior position at Stölzle Kristall and left everything behind him. The last work with his old employer was the production of the well-known crystal chandelier above the Intermezzo Bar in the Hotel Intercontinental Vienna and with this masterpiece he sat down one last memorial before venturing out together with his family to show the world what craft and business skills were in him. It all started slowly so there were only a few machines standing on a damp clay floor, a few tables and shelves and many, many ideas. At that time, there was no question of finished crystal lights, but he focused on the production of components for the lighting sector and of course much more. [widgetkit id=175]

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