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 Geschichte Bayerns > Economics > Arts and Crafts I
Arts and Crafts I

A highly developed level of industry has existed in Franconia and Swabia since medieval times. Old Bavaria, in contrast, was primarily agrarian in structure. Typical products included toys, objects of carved wood, woven and printed cloth, glass, porcelain and also goldsmith and silversmith work from the trading centres of Augsburg and Nuremberg.

The goods were primarily produced in craft guilds, or as part of cottage industries. The guilds had strict rules, and fixed prices and training for their craftsmen. Guilds were only disbanded in favour of a free market economy in the 19th century.

In remote locations of Bavaria, cottage industries were often the only means of earning extra income. In Oberammergau, for instance, carved goods were produced at home and then distributed all over Europe. In 1851 the firm of "Georg Lang's seelige Erben aus Oberammergau" took part in the first World Exhibition in London with a large assortment of carved goods.