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Working Class Houses in Austria.

M. Arthur Raffalovich, in an article to * ( the ' Economiste Francaise' on the houses of " tho working classes in Austria, says that ? although information on this subject abounds n with respect to France, England, Germany, *' Belgium, and the United States, the data E are more scanty concerning Austria-Hungary. P This subject, he continues, is, however, i 1! attracting some attention at Vienna and 11 Pesth, and the reports of the factory inspec- j ° tors and the works of economists and statis- v ticians give some interesting particulars. In 1888 a large industrial exhibition was held at Viev.na in order to celebrate the fortieth j c anniversary of the accession to the throne of j c the Emperor Francis Joseph; social economy j * found a place there. The catalogue of ; J the twentieth group embraced industrial ! ; hygiene and the establishments erected for j ' the working classes. The large manufac- ' ' turers and employers of labor in Austria ' have not been behind other countries in im- ' proving the condition of the workmen they ' ' employ; they have organised superannua- ; ] tiou funds, schools, infirmaries, and they I ' have provided dwellings by constructing !' either separate houses or barracks where the j ; system of concentration (dormitories, dining , halls, kitchens) prevails. These dwellings I are either let or given gratuitously. Com- I petent parsons pronounce in favor of the ! rented dwelling in preference to the free j dwelling, which has always the character of charity. The large mills and factories have constructed the moat and the best. The difference is considerable according to the provinces. Moravia, Silesia, and Galicia are in the last rank. That which leaves, perhaps, the most to be desired is the temporary dwelling which is offered in certain ; branches (textile, sugar factories, brickfields) : to the workmen living at a distance. j THE SUBURBS OF VIENNA. I M. RaflFalovich calls attention to some \ interesting works on the subject by M. j Mischler, on which his information is ' based. According to the latter, the diffi- j culty of, securing a dwelling is especially ! noticeable in the suburbs of the large towns j iwid in certain districts of the latter. J Vienna, Prague, and Brunn present some I astounding subjects for reflection. The ; Austrian capital is surrounded with a zone ; of suburbs (Hernals, Neulerchenfeld, Otta- ! kring, Fiiufhaus), which have the character j of industrial cities. The population there ■ lives in small old houses, deprived of air { and light, in a state of abject poverty, or in j the large rented barracks of a more modern \ construction. Generally they shelter from | fifty to seventy persons, from ten to sixteen families. In the west of Vienna the old houses still represent one-fourth of the existing property. The average-sized houses are nonexistent. The latter is met with in the suburbs of Prague (Schmekow, Karolinenthal, Zykow). Here the average number of families does not exceed ten. Some manufacturing towns (Brunn, Aussig, Reichenburg, Troppau) are situated similarly as the capital, in that there are houses of one storey high, but the houses of three or four storeys are lacking. The number of tenants varies from fifteen to twenty. The contrast hetween the enormous buildings of modern Vienna and the houses with the provincial and rural appearances in the suburbs is striking. OVERCROWDING. " In Austria," says M. Raffalovich, " there are relatively few houses inhabited by a single family—lo per cent, at Hernals, Neulerchenfeld, Zykow ; 10 to 20 per cent. at Ottakring, Wahring, Karolinenthal, . Schmichow, Pilsen; 32 per cent, at Aussig. Among the dwellings of one room only the majority have no kitchen ; among those having two rooms, in many the second room is a mere cupboard. Statistics taken from the taxing lists show that overcrowding must be great in the dwellings—that 80 to 90 per cent, of the apartments hav9 only two rooms at the most. The standard of life suffers from it, while morality is affected by it. In the first arrondissement of Vienna, on the contrary, 7 per cent, only of the dwellings have only one room, 50 per cent, more than four rooms; at Innsbruck, a nonindustrial cown, 70 per cent, have three or more rooni9. The absence of a kitchen is inconvenient, and where it exists the kitchen serves for two or three families. The lowest state is the single room, which serves at one and the same time as living room, kitchen, and workshop. WORK AND SLEEP. " Home working is not prevalent in the suburbs of Vienna and Praguo : 10 per cent, at the most of the dwellings are used also as , workrooms, against 23 per cent, at Eger, 30 i per cent, at Troppan, and 74 per cent, at . Reichenberg. The artisan camps in the ' midst of hii tools, it is not truly a home for ! him and his kindred; while some have . small shops, in which they sell articles by ! day and where they sleep at night. Home industry is practised principally in the j small dwellings ; the masters with their family, their apprentices, and even their [ companions are often met with. It is difficult to form an idea of the unhealthy and , immoral state of this overcrowding of human beings at the side of benches, lathes, ', and raw materials. These unhappy people ', live in the garrets or in the cellars. Five '. per cent, of the population at Vienna and , Prague live in basements more or less

unhealthy. In Austria, the average per dwelling in the towns is from four to five persons. If the poorer quarters be particularly considered, there are three or four persons per room. On the other hand, in the more wealthy parts of the town the larger the apartment the less is the number of persons per room. Above three persons for one room, M. Mischler tells ue, is overcrowding. At Prague (workmen's quarters) 23 per cent, of the dwellings are overcrowded; the average of occupants varies between six and seven for one room. The reports of the municipal doctors of Vienna show that in place of ten cubic metres j of air per occupant, there are scarcely three lor four. In the same bed sleep as many as i four persons, contented at not being obliged !to sleep on the floor. In a garret to which i access is had by a ladder six persons shared j three beds. At a cabinetmaker's the benches ! were used as beds by the apprentices. In a I stable there were six beds, placed in two j tiers, as in a ship's cabin. At the house of I a plumber two apprentices were placed in ! the space under the staircase. At a bhekI smith's three workmen were lodged in a j dark closet without a window between the j forgo and the stable. In a mill the bed of the workmen was placed on the furnace. | The dormitories of the bakers' boys are I known at Vienna; in one (eighteen cubic j metres) six persons sleep in beds close to | each other, in the midst of an atmosphere ! white with flour."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891019.2.38.11

Bibliographic details

Working Class Houses in Austria., Evening Star, Issue 8042, 19 October 1889, Supplement

Word Count
1,171

Working Class Houses in Austria. Evening Star, Issue 8042, 19 October 1889, Supplement

Working