HEIGHT & DECAY
The years between 1720-1740 were Randers' heyday as a glove city. Glove-making was the dominant industry in Randers, and it is estimated that a fifth of the town's 2,500-3,000 inhabitants made a living by making gloves, which were sold all over Europe.
EXPORT & DANISH PRODUCTION
As an export product, the gloves were of great importance. So big that such a small accessory was considered the country's most important export item in 1750. This was because the gloves were made in Denmark and processed exclusively from Danish raw materials. At the end of the 18th century, annual glove production was around 600,000 pairs, of which 75% were exported.
The export of gloves was so important that already at the end of the 17th-century different attempts were made to protect the Danish glove-making profession by minimising the import of gloves, as well as a provision that all Danish-produced gloves had to be provided with a stamp.
DECLINE AND COMPETITIONUnfortunately, foreign countries also learned to produce quality gloves, which is why at the end of the 18th-century things declined sharply for the Danish glove makers - also in Randers. There were now only nine masters and one widow left in Rander's Gloves Maker Guild, which employed a total of approx. 60 people. Production now included only 2,500 pairs per year.
The downward trend was viewed with great concern, and in 1808 a ban was issued against the importation of gloves.
GREED & CHORD WORK
The reason for the decline was poor pay conditions for the journeymen, a rapidly increasing economic decline for the country as a whole and a lack of raw materials. This opened the door for merchants to buy up skins at a "head start", i.e. illegal trade and the merchants' monopoly on the supply of raw materials meant that the glove makers were reduced to piece workers.
RHANDERS IN HISTORY
The 18th century was a period of growth in Denmark. The increasing world trade flourished and Denmark profited by staying neutral in the many wars between the European powers and was thereby able to ship goods to different countries. Thanks to its good harbour trade by sea also benefited Randers, and the connection to inland Jutland via the Gudenå river made it easy to trade via the town.
Randers grew during this period and was, at the end of the century, Jutland's largest city with its 4,500 inhabitants.
THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND CULTURAL FLOURISHING
The absolute kings and their advisers were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment, and carried out a number of reforms within, among other things, the health and school system, which also significantly improved the living conditions for ordinary Danes.
Denmark also flourished culturally, as it was inspired by French culture, architecture and art, e.g. The Royal Theater at Kgs. Nytorv and the Royal Academy at Charlottenborg were founded in this period.
During the period, we see, among other things, also the construction of Royal Copenhagen (The Royal Danish Porcelain Factory) inspired by the founding of porcelain factories by other European royal houses for the production of precious porcelain for their own use.