“THE OWNER OF THIS BOOK CAN BE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ANYONE”

The lady on the far left of the picture is called Aloisia Lechleitner. She came from Ischgl, was 27 years old at the time of the photo and worked as a waitress. The smart clothes were part of her profession – just like the labour book which can be seen below. It’s a book which tells quite a story of tourism in its earliest days.

Aloisia Lechleitner was born in the year 1883. The picture showing her with two colleagues adorns the front of a postcard which Aloisia sent to her brother Serafin. It read: “Warmest greetings from the three of us. If you don’t say how nice the three of us are, you’re the oaf– Luise.”

At this time, just before the outbreak of the First World War, all employees in the hospitality business had to have a labour book issued by the parish at this time. In this book, employers could immortalize their impressions the respective employee. The labour book – the one below is that of Aloisia Lechleitner, issued on 18 January 1898 – was written in German and Italian, suggesting that hospitality industry staff liked to move around even in those days.

Back then, there was a power station in Ischgl which was fed by water from the Fimba stream. Originally pulled by horses, the post bus operated daily on the route Landeck – Galtür – Ischgl. In the summer of the year 1912, a detailed tourist guide was published for the first time with the title “The Paznaun valley and its mountain world,” written by Hans Zangerl, who was known under the pen name “Hans of Trisanna.” It presented the charms of the region in a vivid manner, accompanied by pictures from the painter Mathias Schmid.

Aloisia Lechleitner’s labour book tells a little story of its own about tourism at this time. She worked firstly for the innkeeper Georg Müller in Sitz; then for the inn keeper Else Mauroner in Pians; for the innkeeper Hauels in Zams; in the sanatorium at Bad Obladis; in the Kassel Guesthouse in Oetz; from 1910 in the Kessler’s Hotel Rössle in Gaschurn; and in the Alpine guesthouse in Fluchthorn.

There she received the following praise in a comment from the well-known mountain guide, Ignaz Lorenz: “The owner of this book has produced the greatest satisfaction as a waitress with her loyalty, honesty and diligence, and can be highly recommended to anyone.”

Galtür, 11 September 1910