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, 2008

The Regional History Museum in Erkner received a gift: The remains of a plastic set, reddish-brown and modern. Reflected in it are a slice of literature and a chapter of industrial history of the city of Erkner. From 1885 to 1889, the great author Gerhart Hauptmann lived in the Villa Lassen in Erkner along with his first wife Marie. This is where he wrote his more significant works. This is where his sons Ivo, Eckart and Klaus were born. Ivo became a painter, Eckart and Klaus went into the business world. Erkner is also the birthplace of the original plastic Bakelite. For a long time, it was exclusively manufactured here. When the patent expired, AEG developed a competitive product. They called it "Festellan": Stable porcelain which would never break. The first set came to market in 1930. Eckart Hauptmann, second-born son of the poet, had by now become a manager at AEG. In this position, he was bestowed a set of new china for private use. For years, the Hauptmann family used it as tableware. Seems like it wasn't that unbreakable after all. The last pieces were donated to the Regional Museum Erkner by one of Gerhart Hauptmann's grand-daughters in 2008.

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