views updated


EHRENSTAMM , family of pioneering textile manufacturers in the Hapsburg Empire in the 18th–19th centuries. Solomon Jacob, a son of Phinehas *Illovy, was first known by the family name of Kolin. He settled in *Prostejov (Prossnitz) in 1752 as a textile importer, but twice went bankrupt because of the unfavorable government policy on imports. In 1787 he adopted the family name of Ehrenstamm. His son Feith (d. 1827), who from 1786 had acquired wealth as an army contractor, took over the firm in 1790. In 1801 he founded a textile factory with modern imported machines, initially employing 3,000 workers, for supplying the army and export. He later added dyeing departments. In 1812 he accepted a contract for supplying the quota of textiles for army uniforms imposed on Moravia, and in 1820, in partnership with Simon von *Laemel, for supplying the entire Hapsburg army. He took up residence next to his factory, becoming the first Jew at this time to live outside the Jewish quarter of a Moravian town. After his death, the privileges he had received were transferred to his four sons. They became known for their extravagance, and gave a lavish reception in honor of Archduke Franz Karl. The firm built additional factories, but in 1833 went bankrupt. The factories were liquidated, the bankruptcy proceedings continuing until 1856. One of the brothers committed suicide, and another immigrated to Hungary in 1852.


Hellig, in: blbi, 3 (1960), 101–22; R. Kestenberg-Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte der Juden in den boehmischen Laendern (1969), 103–15.

About this article


Updated About content Print Article