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OFFENBACH, a town of Germany, in the grand-duchy of Hesse, on the left bank of the Main, 5 m. S.E. of Frankfort- onMain, with which it is connected by the railway to Bebra and by a local electric line. Pop. (1905) 58,806, of whom about 20,000 were Roman Catholics and 1400 Jews. The most interesting building in the town is the Renaissance chateau of the counts of Isenburg. Offenbach is the principal industrial town of the duchy, and its manufactures are of the most varied description. Its characteristic industry, however, is the manufacture of portfolios, pocket-books, albums and other fancy goods in leather. The earliest mention of Offenbach is in a document of 970. In 1486 it came into the possession of the counts of Isenburg, who made it their residence in 1685, and in 1816, when their lands were mediatized, it was assigned to Hesse. It owes its prosperity in the first place to the industry of the French Protestant refugees who settled here at the end of the 17th, and the beginning of the 18th century, and in the second place to the accession of Hesse to the German Zollverein in 1828.

See Jost, Offenbach am Main in Vergangenheit nnd Gegen'u.'art (Offenbach, 1901); Hager, Die Lederwarenindustrie in Offenbach (Karlsruhe, 1905).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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