Fabrikanten & Manipulanten

For English-speaking people, part of the title of the exhibition may strike a chord. Not the first word, which is local dialect and means as much as “threaded” (as in needle), but the second and third words: Fabrikanten will easily be decoded as “manufacturers”, which makes sense, and Manipulanten as “manipulators” – but then who would manipulate what in the textile industry, and quite officially into the bargain? The question is soon answered, for the term – which actually even sounds curious in modern German – used to denote the contractors, without whom the other protagonists of the exhibition, namely the workers, designers, inventors and entrepreneurs, would have found it difficult to operate at all. (more…)