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TRUCKBRICK

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, an unprecedented construction boom was taking place in Vienna. Almost 70% of the buildings constructed at this time were built with bricks inscribed with the imperial double eagle and the initials "A.M." of the Viennese manufacturer Alois Miesbach. Utilizing technical innovations and unscrupulously exploiting his laborers, patriarch Miesbach became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the turn of the century. Most of the brick workers came from Bohemia and were also known as Ziegelböhm (Brick Bohemians). The Ziegelböhm lived like serfs at the giant Wienerberg brickworks. In this way, the illegal truck or tin system could be re-introduced ("truck" means exchange or barter). Laborers were not paid in currency, but received tin tokens redeemable only at specific cafeterias. Not until the Viennese physician to the poor, later labor leader and co-founder of the First Republic Victor Adler reported on the inhumane conditions did an organized resistance movement of Ziegelböhm form.

how to get it:
"Operation Figurini" / Social Sculpture Project
5.-17.5. Karmelitermarkt / 19.-31.5. Meidlinger Markt / 2.-14.6. Viktor Adler Markt