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Story 183 – 1871 – Business model Products

Memorable exhibition with "scenic magic"

Wieland inspired 1871 with a creative exhibition stand

The "Swabian Industry Exhibition Ulm" was not only a "home game" for Wieland, but a welcome occasion to present the whole range of products in a fascinating way. It thus set standards for the future – and inspired contemporaries to poetic contemplations.

Wieland started intensive marketing early on, also at exhibitions. However, none of these exhibitions was as important to Philipp Jakob Wieland as the "Swabian Industry Exhibition", which took place in his home town in 1871 with 1,163 exhibitors from all over Germany, and which he worked hard to bring about. A major event that was also well documented, by a journalist and a writer who dedicated an entire book to the event. They created a vivid picture of how creatively and elaborately Wieland made this trade fair a success.

For example, we read: "The whole back wall of the gymnasium is covered with the products of this company". Among them are not only water level gauges, pumps and taps, mortars, irons, hot-water bottles and cutlery, and – in front of the hall – various fire extinguishers, but also paper rollers, lamp and gas tubes, about which the author noted as remarkable "that this factory produces the majority of its tubes without soldering". He was also impressed by "two copper pipes, polished, drawn, of a diameter that is indeed rare".

The writer Ludwig Walesrode went into a poetic rapture in his review: "On the wall abundantly covered with golden sparkling products, the company inscription 'Wieland & Cie.', engraved in strong, monumental letters on a metal plate, catches our eyes first". The "painterly overall effect" reminded him – not only because of the similarity of names - of the legendary blacksmith Wieland and of the poem "Oberon" set to music by Karl Maria Weber, written by Christoph Martin Wieland. Responsible for this are "the gentlemen Wieland & Cie., … who have exhibited their products not only with decorative taste, but also in such picturesque compositions that stimulate the imagination".

The "deep rich Pompeian brown of the wall covering, from which the shimmering metal splendour stands out all the more dazzling"; an imposing "canopy drapery"; a "formal podium": All of this lends the "Wieland's exhibition the scenic magic" that makes a "court theatre prop maker's mouth water".

But even when viewed objectively, the exhibition set standards. Two years before the death of the company founder, it was also a legacy which all Wieland exhibition stands were subsequently based on.

Nine pages were devoted to a review of the exhibition stand of the Wieland Factory, which "finds an enormous, permanent market for its products in the north of Germany, especially in Berlin".
(Copyright Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Techn. 1361, S. i, urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb11019415-4)