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War propaganda

Weiss Manfred Works

During the Great War, most industrial companies operated as war plants. The army was the customer for many industrial products. Some military factories also had badges. Some of these were used as identification when entering the plant area. But there were also some that served more likely propaganda purposes. Life in the hinterland was not easy either. The less affluent certainly suffered. Among them were the industrial workers, and I think that company management was trying to inspire them with these badges.

The badge to be presented shows a monogram (WM or MW), the initials of the ruler’s name (K), the year 1918, and above it the imperial crown. The latter features clearly refer to a WWI cap badge, but how can the WM/MW monogram be resolved? Since military plant insignia are extremely rare, I suspected for a long time that it was an abbreviation of the word Mienenwerfer (mine thrower). Then a visit to a technical museum clarified everything. WM was the logo of the largest Hungarian military plant, Weiss Manfréd Works!

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I still could not discover a contemporary, World War I objects with the logo. Most often, this manufacturer’s mark can be seen on ammunition cases, but it is not such a beautiful calligraphy. One of the two motorcycles of the firm shown here was made in the 1920s, the other one, the one with the painted fuel tank, is from 1937. The match of the insignia is obvious, so the factory must have used this logo at the time of the war as well.

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