Preisaufgabe, or «prize competitions» were implemented in Saxony in 1764 to promote industry after the Seven Years’ War. We investigated the purpose of them and by whom, by analysing primary historical texts to uncover four criteria: (1) the best quality prototypes; (2) equivalent quality to foreign products; (3) establishment of training facilities, and (4) manufacture of new products. The competitions promoted high-quality products and disseminated knowledge. Numerous prototypes were submitted and prizes awarded. Most participants were already engaged in textile or related industries and the strategy relied on this intellectual foundation. Assessment of Saxony’s situation and enlightenment principles informed the competitions.
in the Catalogue