Title PAW graphic

The history and description of PAW pottery

Anna Wranitzky

Anna Wranitzky

Anna Wranitzky

Anna Schramek was born in 1850 in Stannern near Iglau - the daughter of the resident postmaster.

She was married in Frainersdorf in 1867 at the age of 17 years, to the widowed Head Postmaster Paul Wranitzky, who was about 15 years older than her. They had 6 children - 4 daughters and 2 sons.

Anna Wranitzky is remembered as a stately, but incredibly active woman, and not only for her business, the Wranitzky pottery factory in Frainersdorf, but also for another substantial project she developed. She set up a kindergarten for the village of Frainersdorf and the local people by reconstructing the school there.

When her husband Paul died in 1889, she was left a 34 year old widow with a flock of children to look after, and for her the future looked bleak. However, her strength of character pulled her through and she proved what a talented woman she was. Her eldest son Alfred was then only 14 years old and her youngest daughter Hedwig was born after her husband, Paul, had died. Not only was Anna Wranitzky able to cater for her little children and to foster others, but she also proved herself more than capable of making the business viable – much to the relief of the many workers who depended upon it for their livelihoods.

Kindergarten children photo

Kindergarten started by Anna

Because of her strong will, hard work, and her amazing spirit of enterprise (which was almost unheard of in a woman of that time), she became successful in only a few years. Together with the Director of the Austrian Trade Museum, Mr Eitelberger, they strived to improve the attractiveness of the P.A.W. range. The Znaim undergraduate vocational school for the pottery industries also provided very useful advice. Every year she took samples of the pottery to the Leipzig Fair where she took many orders for the overseas markets (Africa, America etc.).

Wranitzky family grave

The Wranitzky family grave


Shortly after the death of her daughter, Else, who had been a huge help to Anna in the business, Anna too, died of influenza in 1919, aged 69.

Anna’s death signalled the end of the good times and huge growth of the P.A.W. factory.

The company was initially taken over by her son Paul, but he soon found the workload too heavy. When he died in 1933 the business was acquired by Alfred Wranitzky, who unfortunately lived only until 1940. It is believed that his widow sold it later that year to a German from Breslau.

The Wranitzky family grave is still to be found close to the site of the factory.