Using the examples of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory and the Royal Medical Manufactory, the study examines working and power relationships in large centralised production units before and during industrialisation in Prussia
The focus is on the division of employers into "Officiants" (state officials and salaried employees) and "Ouvriers" (workers). It is shown how such production units formed the basis for the formation of important groups which influence social structures right up to the present day. The development of the two state manufactories points to the potential for social, economic and technical innovation which marked the organisational form of the manufactory around 1800. Using extensive archive materials, it has been possible to provide a more exact analysis of the social and power structures in manufacturing, particularly in the period up to 1850, than has been possible in previous social histories of companies.