My Vienna: Schneekugelmanufaktur, home of snow globes since 1900
Above/featured:“Greetings from Vienna.” Vienna-themed snow globes, 25- and 45mm sizes.
The five-year old boy sat transfixed, flipping the paperweight then back the other way, watching the “snow” slowly float and settle. My fascination with snow globes didn’t wane, long decades after that very first memory.
In the Austrian capital city of Vienna, I’m visiting a small shop and accompanying museum to learn about the production of the “original snow globe” whose story begins with Erwin Perzy in 1900.
Perzy who produced surgical instruments was tasked to improve the output from the recently invented electric light bulb and further brighten hospital surgery rooms. He realized that a water-filled glass sphere containing loose reflective bits could provide a solution, except that the materials kept sinking. Flakes of white semolina tended to stay afloat longer; this experiment reminded him of light snowfall. After registering an official patent for the “Schneekugel” (snow globe), Erwin and his brother Ludwig created a shop to produce and sell small snow globes whose early designs included churches. Today, the 3rd generation of the Perzy continues to produce snow globes of various sizes; what material the “snow” is and how it continues to “float” remain secret.
Snow globes in the 17.
• BBC News 2013, 3m50s video in English.
• DW Euromaxx 2021, 4m10s video in English.
One of the very first and surviving water globes appeared as a souvenir at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. The globe fitted with a tiny model of Paris’ Eiffel Tower is attributed to postcard editors Léon and Levy. This water globe is part of the collection of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in the United States.
Public transport with Wiener Linien: tram 9 to stop “Sommarugagasse”, or tram 42 to stop/terminus at “Antonigasse”. Admission is free to both shop and museum; check their website for hours.
( View map location at OpenStreetMap )
My visit to the Schneekugelmanufaktur was neither requested nor sponsored. Except for one image, I made all other images on 9 Jun 2022 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-n25.
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