The History of the First Hungarian Hemp Spinnery Company (1877-2002)
Szeged, the hometown of our company, located at the meeting point of river Tisza and Maros has already been a commercial center at the beginning of the Middle Ages. The favorable geographical conditions provided good opportunities for the cord-makers, fishing-tool-manufacturing and shipbuilding craftsmen
The actual development of the factory began after 1872, after industrial regulations created suitable conditions. Bakay Nándor in 1873 founded a mechanical rope-manufacturing factory, and with the products he was not only present on markets all across the country, but he also supplied ropes to the army and had several orders from abroad. Given the advantageous business environment, in 1877 Bakay turned its machinery steam powered in his factory which at that time had 100-120 workers. With the new machines designed in England, the country’s rope market was supplied by Bakay’s Kenderfonó and the Duna Steamboating Company’s Shipyard.
The company ran its operation under the name of Szegedi Kenderfonógyár Rt. until 1892, when a great fire which also destroyed several buildings in town, devastated the factory. By means of immediate or indirect subsidies the factory was rebuilt and began to prosper until the overproduction period preceding the First World War, when only 30% of the factory’s products were sold on export markets.
Following the war, in time of peace, the occasional revolutionary fighting and the French occupation, Szegedi Kenderfonógyár Rt. faced problems in its operation. It had lost many areas that were previously hemp growing regions and most of the machines used at the preliminary phases of the technology were lost. Additionally the bust of national markets and the high inflation rate also caused the recession of production. The products manufactured at the beginning of the 20′s were 50% sold on export markets as the level of demand of the domestic market was very low.
The factory was liberated after the Second World War in 1944 October 11th., and did not suffer any serious damage, however there were no fiber to process, and a serious disorder appeared in the hemp processing structure, therefore the factory in 1947 could only produce a small part of its earlier capacity. A workers’ council was established in the company which reorganized the activity of the factory and started to slowly reestablish the manufacturing process. During the years between the 1947 and the Change-over of 1989, the factory went through a gradual development, it had the maximum of 5000 employees working at 5 units across the country.
In the 1990′s, following the Change-over, the factory realizing the change of markets and the new possibilities, once again recaptured the leading position at the domestic and export markets, targeting North America and the Western European countries. The quality of the products meets the requirements of our customers, as the company was able to establish long term relationships with its partners.