The environment of the "lower town in burgkunstadt, especially the bahnhofstrabe, also had a special place in the history of the development of the shoe industry in burgkunstadt. In addition to lichtenfelser strabe and kulmbacher strabe, the coarse shoe factories of "klein-pirmasens" were once located here, as burgkunstadt was sometimes called due to its economic importance, on. Names such as puls, kreuch (mainly in altenkunstadt), huhnlein, buttner (in the upper part of burgkunstadt), pretzfelder& riexinger as well as the obermain AG lent their imprint to this area at the obermain for decades. The first mechanical shoe factory had already been established in 1888.
The company huhnlein& co. Had its origin in strossendorf and operated a trade with agricultural products, whereby the two sons, johann august and otto, who had been apprentices at the shoe factory puls, ventured the step into independence in 1919. This took place in the so-called "rock basin house", at the entrance to the lend. In addition to the agricultural assortment, they took shoemaker’s supplies, tanning bark, leather, etc. In the assortment with. And the company developed so rapidly that the brothers decided to build their own new residential and office building on bahnhofsstrabe.
A heavy blow of fate
At the same time, the family was hit by a severe blow, because on june 26. April 1925 johann august huhnlein died at the age of only 34 years. Otto huhnlein, who in the meantime had married mary schuh, the sister of kathi baur, the later head of the mail order house, now continued to run the company on his own. Soon it was also producing slippers and shoes, the latter of which were particularly well received by the mabschuhmacher at the time.
In 1930, otto huhnlein added a sole stamping plant and a fast soling plant to his company. One of the most successful models at that time was the production of sandals: in 1938, the annual production amounted to 1.2 million sandals, which were even exported to many african countries as far as the golden coast.
The company premises at schwarzer graben in burgkunstadt have already been expanded several times. In 1938, as the demand for slippers grew, otto huhnlein decided to acquire the vacant premises of the former schonath& shoe factory behringer to acquire the company in what is now the woffendorf district of altenkunstadt. He transferred a considerable part of his production there and thus further expanded the manufacturing capacity.
A small coop as logo
After the second world war the assortment was completed with men’s shoes and modern women’s shoes. Brands like "passat and the company logo, a small coop with outstretched wings (a "huhnlein") eben), thereby supporting the company. In 1956/57, the plant in woffendorf was expanded. At that time, the huhnlein company employed up to 450 people at its sites.
On 30. June 1974 was the end
However, the progressing economic development also left its mark. The pressure on wages and prices, especially from products from abroad, increased more and more. In spring 1974, the management of otto huhnlein gmbh announced its decision to close the shoe factory on 30 june 1974. June 1974 to fall in love. However, the decisive factor was not financial, as the company was always solvent, but above all the fact that the owner otto huhnlein, by now widowed and eighty years old, was unable to find a successor for his company. His only son and heir was killed in a bombing raid in the last days of the war in 1944. Another chapter in burgkunstadt’s shoe history has thus come to an end.
The huhnlein family found their final resting place in the cemetery of the shoe city, right next to the crude crucifixion group donated by the then company hans puls. They, as well as other big names like baur, puls, riexinger et cetera, have given work and bread to thousands of people in the shoe industry and in trade for decades and have proven to be big supporters of their hometown, be it in the cultural area, in the church area or in the support of the associations. They will therefore be fondly remembered by future generations.