Hayek in Vienna

Monday, November 07, 2005

What Hayek got for Christmas.

In my investigations for the exhibition I found a letter by Friedrich Hayek and his brothers to the „Christkind“ from 1907. For those of you that don't know the Christkind or christchild is the European Santaclaus (whose civilian name is „Chris Kringl“ isn't crossculturalism funny?) and brings the presents on Christmas Eve.

"Address: To the Christkind in Heaven

Dear Christkind!

Please bring two packets of tin soldiers, one „Dragoon“ and one „Artillery“. Also a Matador building block set and a set of map puzzles. Finally three books, an atlas, a book on plants and a book by Karl May."

All three boys sent the same letter so I assume that there was some "suggestion" as to whet they should wish for. Besides the tin soldiers which are interesting since Hayek latter served in an Artillery regiment I especially like the Matador reference. This is a company that makes wood building blocks and was founded in 1903 and had become popular by 1907 as the letter proves. These are really creative toys for kids. In the late 20th century the company changed its traditional product to more modern plastic etc. and subsequently went broke. In 1997 a young husband and wife entrepreneur team bought the rights to the product and began production of the classic product again in a rural area of Austria with real wood. Just goes to show that with energy and the right product you can be successful even in a high labour cost country like Austria. I think Hayek would have liked that.


  • Hi Richard - I am trying to send you a paper by Ned Phelps that he wanted you to have. I can't find your email anywhere. If you get this, send an email to me at conklin.lydia@gmail.com
    Thanks so much!


    By Blogger Lydia, at Wednesday, 30 January, 2008  

  • Your comment about how to get readers for your blog was interesting. The conventional advice is, as you note, that a blogger must "scribble, scribble, scribble" even if he or she has nothing new or wise to say. But, I think Hayek would agree that the value of an exchange of ideas -even one where there is a payment of money - cannot be measured by the number of "eyeballs" that see the web site. Your influence and importance will not correlate to your statistical popularity any more than Hayek's contribution to human progress can be measured by the size of his royalties. Enjoy the time in the mountains.

    By Blogger LetUsHavePeace, at Saturday, 18 April, 2009  

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