Today I learned that Osnabrück, one of the two cities where the Peace of Westphalia was negotiated, is noted for its linen cloth. It is not a fine cloth but a very course weave, known generically in the English-speaking world as “Osnaburg” (and elsewhere under similar names). It is noted for having been commonly used for slave garments, and was the material used to cover American wagons during the Westward expansion. This has little to do with the Peace of Westphalia itself, but I’m always fascinated to learn these historical tidbits. Although osnaburg cloth became particularly well-known in the latter part of the 18th century, it appears that Osnabrück was known for its linen as early as the 14th century, so it would have been contemporary with the Peace of Westphalia. I wonder if I can find any references to it, perhaps in Swedish correspondence?
Written by dcroxton
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