A charitable enterprise
The spinning school in Køng was established in 1778 by Niels Ryberg. It taught young girls aged four to ten to spin flax for the factory looms and had classrooms and housing. The Ryberg family lost a lot of money during the national bankruptcy in 1813, and the factory…
Skills, discipline and cleanliness
Niels Ryberg lived from 1725 to 1804 and was very interested in combating poverty and helping the poor, ill and weak. He employed many foreign specialists while carrying out his most ambitious project, the spinning schools. The schools were both charitable and good business. The rural population was brought up on a diet of practical skills, discipline and cleanliness according to Ryberg's principles. Local flax growing was promoted with incentives, and a system was introduced for processing flax. In 1785, 485 people were employed hackling, spinning and weaving flax for the spinning mill. A thriving factory community grew up around the enterprise in Køng with weaving workshops, a drying house, food shop, school for peasant children, spinning school, housing and a hospital.
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