The yard of the Turda porcelain factory

The yard of the Turda porcelain factory
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  • Photo taken in:
    Turda
    Year when photo was taken:
    1935
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania
    Country name today:
    Romania
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    Modern Schmekal

This is the yard of the porcelain factory in Turda where my father, Izsak Brull, worked. The photo was taken in 1935.

That year my father went to Turda when they were building the factory.
This porcelain factory building was a new thing then. In Romania they primarily wanted to build a factory, which ran not on coal, wood or coke, but on gas. There was no gas in Kolozsvar then, it was only piped in in 1945 after the war. There was gas in Turda between the two world wars. And the capitalist was counting on the fact that if he succeeded, then he could run the factory much cheaper on gas than on coke. It was a great risk that Izsak was doing this because there was no precedent. He could have failed completely. He had to experiment with how porcelain reacted to gas, as there were no regulations, it hadn't been done yet. In fact they built the Torda porcelain factory according to his specifications and experimented with gas stoves and kilns.

Our apartment was right next to the factory, so that my father didn't need to go out onto the street but cut a fence from the yard into the factory. They had a phone put in, too. The factory office phone was in his apartment, they could phone from the factory at two in the morning, too: 'Uncle Brull please come because the fire in the kiln is too red.' He lived in the factory; he was only interested in his work. His official title was 'Conducator technic al uzinei' - factory technical manager. He ran the technical side of the whole factory. One of his great achievements was the conversion of the kilns to gas. His other project - which also didn't exist in Romania then - was electro-ceramics. The factory converted to electro porcelain instead of making porcelain pots. High-tension isolators were also made from porcelain and he had to experiment with these. At the same time he experimented with pink porcelain, its production methods. He was able to surpass, in many ways, the older and well-known Kolozsvar factory, Iris porcelain.

Interview details

Interviewee: Silvia Nussbaum
Interviewer:
Molnar Ildiko
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2002
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

KEY PERSON

Izsak Brull
Year of birth:
1894
City of birth:
Banffyhunyad
Country name at time of birth:
Austria
Year of death:
1979
City of death:
Cluj Napoca
Country of death:
Romania
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Specialist in porcelain production
after WW II:
Specialist in porcelain production

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