Antique steel roller shutters dating from before WWII can still be found around Lviv, covering the windows and doors of former storefronts. Some of these shutters are still used; many, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades.
These remnants of the past are especially interesting because their lock plates are stamped with а manufacturer’s mark—the name and city of origin of the company that produced the shutters, often including a street address, and in some cases even a telephone number.
The companies represented on these inscriptions include not only Lviv-based ones, but also those from other cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire such as Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. Accordingly, examples of shutters made by the same companies can be found in these cities as well as other cities of the former empire.
While quite a few of these artifacts still remain in Lviv, their number is dwindling. This is especially true for the lock plates with inscriptions: many have disappeared over the last few years (to be sold at antique stores or flea markets), making such shutters as below a fairly common sight.
Here’s a look at some of the remaining shutters and lock plates that could be found in Lviv in recent years. Sadly, a few of these examples have already been lost.
ul. Gródecka 43
Most of the antique shutters that remain were made by N. Bielicki, whose company was located at ul. Gródecka 43 (Horodotska St.).
N. Bielicki at some point also worked together with Weitzen. Their rollers shutters can be found in both Lviv and Krakow.
A. Hoffner’s business was located at 7 Rzeźnicka (Nalyvajka Street), a street that was inhabited mainly by Jewish artisans and traders.
Below is a prewar photograph of 7 Rzeźnicka. To the right of the wide door on the left is a sign board with an image of a key and the words “ślusarstwo” (locksmithing) and “A. Hoffner” – the rest of the words are illegible.
This panel is upside down—I think because several old shutters were used to patch up this door as seen in picture below it.
ul. Goldmana 3
The manufacturer of roller shutters and metal furniture Fabrol operated in the interwar period from 1929 to 1939, with locations at ul. Goldmana 3 (Turianskoho) and Jagiellońska 24 (Hnatiuka).
E.S. Rosenthal’s Erben
E.S. Rostenthal’s Erben was located in Vienna. As can be seen in the old ad below, they manufactured: “Steel Rollers and Sun Shades. Wood Rollers and Blinds * Complete Portals” (Stahlrollbalken und Sonnenplachen Holzrollbalken und Jalousien * Complete Portale).
Here one of the lock plates has been removed.
However, below is an example of a roller shutter along with the locks that was preserved during renovations (more here).
Johann Anderle’s Vienna-based company even left their phone number on the lock plate.
An old ad announcing: “The Latest Invention! Silent Roller Shutters” (Neueste efindung! Geräuschlose rollverschlusse).
Joh. Schuberth Wien
k.u.k Hoflieferant XVI. Bez. Dampfbadgasse 7
Johann Schuberth’s factory was loacted in Vienna. Examples of his shutters can still be found in Vienna as well.
Sadly, this shutter on Sichovykh Striltsiv Street was removed in the last couple of years.
These shutters are found on the former Prague Bank, built in 1912. The manufacturer’s mark can be found also in Polish “w Pradze (Karlín).”
These antique shutters with elegant Art Nouveau lock plates were made by the company Paschka és Társa (Paschka and Co.) in Budapest. They were found on a building that dates from 1892, on the storefront of an old pharmacy on Kopernyka Street.
The roller shutters went through a lot – graffiti, renovation, more graffiti, and now they are hidden under a bouquet of flowers, or, maybe, even lost altogether…
(A roller shutter made by the same company can be found in Mukachevo.)
By Areta Kovalska