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Schowanek's '15'

Published on 10. Feb. 2017
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I found this game a months ago, and I really did not hesitate to buy it in the very moment. After a very superficial research I was thinking about usage in WW1 reenactment, but sadly, now I know that the Schowanek company started to build games after year 1927. What mostly impressed me, that the game was Austro-Hungarian era made, and possibly somewhere close to my location. Company was localized in Czech Republic (todays).

First company was founded 1896 in Dessendorf, then moved to Georgenthal near Albrechtsdorf (in czech lang. Jiřetín pod Bukovou, near Albrechtice). On 01.01.1908 Johann Schowanek began manufacturing wooden products. Schowanek company was and still is famous for their main product: wooden beads. The original company started with wooden products and later were specialized to beads in all colors. From 1927 wooden toys were produced [2]. Founder Johann Schowanek has died in 1934 and his son Hans had continued in the bussiness. In 1935, the company had more than 1300 employees. By the World War II the production program obtained an army character. However, the enterprise was expropriated and nationalized in 1945.

"1945, the year his company was confiscated and Hans was transported by the Russians. He was soon liberated by friends who brought him to Austria where he started a new company in Salzburg." [1]

Hans Schowanek then began to produce wooden toys again in Austria. After the war the production was gradually changed to construction of models. Sincd 1950 the company operated under the name TOFA Albrechtice in Albrechtsdorf. In 1949 the Bavarian state made the proposal to Hans Schowanek to settle in Berchtesgadener Land. He was given halls and in 1955 he already had 400 employees. In 1964 Hans Schowanek died unexpectedly [3]. 

The first thread of the company still exists, and after privatization in 1993 it is Detoa Albrechtice  (http://www.detoa.cz/katalog/drevene-hracky). The second thread started by family members again in 1992 [3].

 So lets look closer to this specific game:

schow1

 

My personal observation is that the Schowanek's games were typical by their shiny red boxes. Try to google any games, everything is in the uniform style.

schow1

 The two cardboard inserts nicely fits into box. Yet on this picture it really recalls the 2048game :D

schow1

 The game box is pretty simple.

schow4

Now, the instructions pretty confused me. For something prewar I would expect some fraktur font and maybe price in Reichsmark, but obviously this is not the German WW2 case :D

schow5

 A nice detail of varnish wooden parts with golden digits. 

schow6

 

 

 

 

[1] http://worldofmonopoly.com/albert/a_-_standard_editions.htm

[2] http://www.historytoy.com/company-story-firm-chronicle-description-corporate-history-profile-Schowanek

[3] http://www.aps-schowanek.de/englisch/business.html*

[4] https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepublisher/16091/schowanek

 *Germans are well known for their precision, so I can not explain how many grammatical errors I found on their website... :)  

August Kopf




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