A Swiss thread

Yesterday, in the posting “Return to the E. Zwicky grain mill”,

Kim Darnell has been preparing a Page on this blog linking to my postings about Switzerland and the Swiss. This has caused her to discover still more Zwicky-related sites — thus giving me still more things to post about. The great cycle of posting.

That posting took us to the Schweizerische Schälmühle (‘Swiss hulling-mill’) E. Zwicky and its muesli. Meanwhile, the Page on “Switzerland, things Swiss” is now finished and available for consultation.

And Kim has turned my attention back to another well-known Swiss firm, the Zwicky & Co. silk thread factory (Seidenzwirnerei), recognized to many people through Swiss artist Donald Brun’s elegantly playful 1950 ad poster for the company:

(#1) From the 9/12/17 posting “Cat on a silken thread”

From the (German) Wikipedia page on the company:

Zwicky & Co. wurde 1840 in Wallisellen (Kanton Zürich, Schweiz) als Seiden- und Baumwollzwirnerei gegründet. Das Unternehmen wurde im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert zu einer weltweit bekannten Herstellerin hochqualitativer Zwirne.

With 178 years of history, the company has been through lots of changes, including name changes. Making silk thread and yarn all the while. And enlisting artists to make posters advertising the company. From an unknown artist in 1910:

(#2) F. Zwicky, Wallisellen-Zürich (note buildings)

Then a 1927 poster by Otto Bamberger (on whom, more in a moment):

(#3) Just the thread and yarn, but melting

Then another unknown artist in 1932, in a very busy poster, with the company’s buildings again:

(#4) At the time the company was named for Fritz (for Fridolin) Zwicky-Guggenbühl (note text in German, French, English, and Spanish)

And then Brun.

Otto Bamberger. The Wikipedia stub:

(#5) Bamberger’s famous Plakat (‘poster’) for the Swiss men’s clothing company PKZ (originally Paul Kehr Zürich)

Otto Baumberger (21 May 1889 Altstetten, Zurich – 26 December 1961 Weiningen), was a noted Swiss painter and poster artist. Baumberger produced some 200 posters of great quality and style. His realistic rendering of a herringbone tweed coat became a classic of Swiss poster, an example of a Sachplakat (object poster).

From a 2002 exhibition on “The Swiss Poster: Art of 10 Masters” at Hofstra Univ.:


Two more Bambergers, also sparing of text. A 1913 poster for a café:


And his poster for the 700th anniversary of the city of Rapperswil in Canton St. Gallen (presumably from 1929, since 1229 is the official date for the founding of the city):


One Response to “A Swiss thread”

  1. Multilingualism in Swiss advertisements: where Swiss chocolate meets English tea – Multilingualism in Society Says:

    […] Zwicky’s blog. 2021. A Swiss thread. Arnold Zwicky, twenty-fourth of January. Available at: https://arnoldzwicky.org/2018/06/19/a-swiss-thread/. Accessed on: […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: