Around 1590, the first enterprises arose in Zurich that specialized in the production of textiles and the textile trade. Ten years later, the textile industry ranked with about 1,000 spinners first among all industries in Zurich. A spinner earned between 5 and 6 schillings a day, which equaled about the price of 2 kilograms of bread.
The textile industry gave the impetus for the development of industrialization in Zurich, namely the heavy and the machine industry. Today, the latter still employs most industrial workers in the region. Zurich's rise as a financial center would have been unthinkable without the machine industry.