This roll engraving establishment in Guntramsdorf near Vienna is a perfectly preserved manufacture just as it was at the beginning of the 20th Century, and is unique in western Europe. The visitor sees the original plant. Founded in 1910 it operated till 1986. Experts agreed that it should be preserved and in 1989 the National Heritage Assoc. declared it a “Cultural Property”. The whole workshop is still complete and in working order. The central transmission (central drive) on the ceiling still functions using leather belts to drive the different machines.

The background:
When Johann Endler came with his family from Warnsdorf, a small town north of Prague on the Czech-German border to build this factory in Guntramsdorf, this region, adjacent to the Vienna Woods, was already very industrialised in the textiles, metal and paper-industries. This manufacture of engraved rolls perfectly complemented the already existing textile printing, paper embossing, glass and metal sheet industries. Because Johann Endler did not agree to change his production to war production in WW II, he had to lease his manufacture to a German firm. Engraving activities were resumed again in 1945 when Johann Endler repossessed his factory. At its peak up to 25 persons were employed. In the 1950-ies photoengraving was the new technology - an investment too expensive for this factory, which consequently lost its textile printing clients. The last engraver managed, single-handedly, to maintain the plant, as well as its history and its traditions, manufacturing embossing rolls until the factory finally closed in 1986.

The working process:
To explain the procedure, let us take - as an example - a big roll which the textile industry would use for the printing of cotton fabric. First, the client submits his design for the new collection. The engraver then prepares a small roll of steel, called molette which fits the size of the design and through a special process, he copies the pattern on this roll and starts to engrave it by hand. This work could take between 1 to 3 weeks. This matrix or female piece is then tempered. Then with the help of a machine and using a pressing and etching process the original engraved molette will then produce a negative of itself (male). This takes about one day. In turn this male piece is also tempered and again through the etching and pressing process repeatedly reproduced on the eventual final product: a metal roll of 1 m to 1,50 m length which is then completely covered with the design. After this procedure the big roll is delivered to the client.
Each colour requires a separate roll. More than a thousand of these hand engraved molettes are on view in the museum together with a rich collection of printed proofs on waxed paper with artistic patterns from the original rolls.

How to get there
Events and cultural activities

The museum can be visited by groups of at least 8 persons. Please contact us for arranging an appointment.

Please contact:

Postal address:

Gesellschaft zur Förderung und Erforschung der NÖ Industriekultur im Viertel unter dem Wienerwald
Steinfeldgasse 4
A - 2353 Guntramsdorf