03-18-2011, 10:53 AM
It's wonderful that our little band of mutzen nerds find this information most interesting. I too find it difficult to decifer the language and especially the Fraktur fonts but I'm working with a new bit of software at the moment that does help.
Would it be of interest to anyone else if I could supply pages from the UM in word format for example that you can copy the text and paste into translator software? It won't be perfect but most of the text will be recognised and then you can fill in the blanks as it were.
03-18-2011 10:53 AM
03-18-2011, 02:36 PM
[QUOTE=DrCMH;256053]Excellent find Ben. I have found the UM to be very fertile ground for research into this trade- the translation surely tests my prerequisite college German. It was not nearly enough to comprehend technical German and does very little for this endeavor as well. Another article that displays the detailed craftsmanship that was attained all the while producing these items in a fashion that would bring a smile to Ford's face…
Notice the Pfaff sewing machines. If I had to guess, I would hazard that this is an image of Lubstein, since they surely made black peaked caps and Pz berets in 1938, but who knows. A marvelous image and thanks to you all for embracing the cult of UM. Now we can actually learn something.
The problem with translations by the 21st century method is that this German is early 20th century, with a lot of technical terms native to the apparel trade and textiles etc. But I will not hold back the tides of progress with my obscurantism of the 19th century. I learned all of this in solitude and agony in the 1970s by myself. Fraktur is not hard at all. You have to master the "s" forms.
Thanks to you all for these nice images. The fact that the sale of extra caps was a source of profits is interesting.
03-18-2011, 02:54 PM
03-18-2011, 06:17 PM
I've just spent a few frustrating but enjoyable hours working with the new software today and here's the result. Could someone download it and have a look for me please and let me know how accurately it's managed to convert the Fraktur font? It's a matter of teaching the software to recognise the more difficult letters but I think it's getting there slowly.
Mützenfabrikant spricht zum einzelhandel TEST.pdf - 4shared.com - document sharing - download
03-18-2011, 07:00 PM
Your thingy works about 95% of the time. It is better than a stick in the eye. The wonders of the 21st century. I could finish off the translation, but I have only four, that is 4, which is F O U R manuscripts to edit since I returned on Sunday from Berlin. But you have done us all a great favor.
03-18-2011, 07:40 PM
Wow! The OCR software was able to handle Fraktur font much better than I expected. Very nice Ben. I think with a little time and effort on of all of our parts we could actually translate this and organize into a coherent structure. I am willing to put some effort in. What is the name of the software you use?
03-18-2011, 08:15 PM
03-18-2011, 08:25 PM
The world belongs to the young technologists. I even taught myself Sutterlin, actually. With Frakftur you need to know all the "s" forms, as well as "p" and "k's which can trip you up. Otherwise it is really quite simple. Good ole' Schickelgruber banned it ca. 1942/3 with the revelation that the Jews invented Fraktur, which is really quite a hoot.
The nice thing about the article is also the images of the different sewing machines for the peaks, the piping, etc. as well as for ironing the seams and what not. The article also makes plain the Nazi idea of the moment that the human element, especially if that human being is racially superior and also well schooled in the Nazi ethos (fit into the social system...) is triumphant over the machine. It is not Fordism, but the Nazi version of assembly line and machines, but in the service of the Nazi ideal of society. It is an anti-American and also anti-Semitic idea. UM is very anti Jewish, actually, if you read it carefully, because its editors and authors were at war with free market ideas, as well as US ideas big in the Weimar Republic about the modernization of industry and society. That is, it is a Nazi answer to Taylorism. None of this has lost any of its relevance today, mind you. There is a deep skepticism in Germany about Anglo Saxon market principles and a defense of the handicrafts as the bastion of the social order of the guilds against modernization. This comes through in a pretty resounding way in UM. But I diverge from the cap making piece. People and machines always manifest ideas in society, as we see everywhere around us. Pi pa po.
IN CASE SOMEONE READING THIS THINKS OTHERWISE, I DO NOT PERSONALLY ENDORSE THESE IDEAS, I AM INTERPRETING AN HISTORICAL SOURCE, WHICH IS WHAT WE DO ON THIS WEBSITE RATHER THAN EMBRACE STITCH FAIRY HYPERBOLE AND BALDERDASH AS IS THE CASE ON THE MAROON FLAP DOODLE WEBSITE.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 03-18-2011 at 08:50 PM.
03-18-2011, 08:31 PM
The point of the article is to underscore to the people in retail part of the UM readership the value added and complexity of the uniform cap industry of the moment, as well as its export potential; and how prior to 1914, German caps went into the wide world, for instance, Latin America, where they established military fashion. The export dimension of UM was a significant piece because of the foreign exchange situation in the mid and late 1930s at which time the Reich had essentially walled itself off the Dollar and Pound trading space. Export of high quality German goods for barter was a goal of policy, so as to short circuit the international currency trade, such as it was in the Great Depression. The article describes the stages of cap making, underscoring the variety and flexibility of the skilled work force, which justifies the price of the sale of extra caps, a major item in the retail uniform trade. This latter point impeaches the assertion in the secondary works of iffy value as concerns the "astronomical" prices of these caps as an optional item of wear. The caps did not cost all that much if they were widely bought. The surely were not an "S" class Daimler Benz, to be sure, unlike what some English speaking authors suggest.
Go figure. Happy hats. I am going back to my foot notes.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 03-18-2011 at 08:56 PM.
03-18-2011, 09:01 PM
My inability to understand German even now that I can convert the font to a more readable one is my downfall here. It's useful to be able to paste the text into a online translator to get a feel of what's being said but it's very limited.
From the bits and bobs I have understood though in the pre 1940 publications, I did get a feel for exactly what FB is referring to. Machinery is talked about as a means just to help and not replace the handcrafts and there's a sense of nervousness and fear that runs through most of what I've read about the encroaching need for industrial scale manufacturing. It's a very strange conflict between trying to keep the traditional crafts alive and how they connect to the social, economic and nationalism strings of being German and the "vulgar" necessity of mass producing uniforms and weapons to win the war.
Thank you for this FB, I know you are a busy man. I must admit that I feel a bit pleased with my self now because my understanding of the articule is not far off your explaination.