Saalfeld is situated in one of the busiest parts of Meiningen and has a number of prosperous industries, including the manufacture of machinery, bricks, colours, malt, cigars, hosiery and vinegar.
It has also important plush, silk and hosiery manufactures, as well as extensive bleaching works, and does a very large export trade to all parts of the world in these branches.
Before his western escapade he had taken up the business of hosiery factor.
Among other manufactures are hosiery and knit goods, overalls and suspenders, hardware, lumber, oils and varnishes, gasoline fire engines, mica insulators, agricultural implements, and wagons and carriages.
The present manufacture of fleecy hosiery dates from the end of the 18th century.
Of the makers of paper boxes, of shirts, collars and cuffs, of hosiery and knitting mill operatives, of glove-makers, silk mill operatives and book-binders they are more than half; so also of other textile workers, excluding wool and cotton mill operatives (these last the second largest group of women workers in manufactures), in which occupations males arc in a slight excess.
The city has an important trade in fruit, and has various manufactures, including paper, fruit packages, baskets, motor boats, gasolene launches, automobile supplies, hosiery and knit goods, air guns and sashes and blinds.
Dover led in the manufacture of woollens; Laconia in the manufacture of hosiery and knit goods; and Berlin, the chief manufacturing centre north of the White Mountains, in the manufacture of paper and wood pulp.
The male inhabitants are mostly employed in the fisheries and the women are the most expert knitters of hosiery in the islands.
Metal-founding, leather-dressing, printing and the manufacture of boots and shoes and hosiery are carried on; there are quarries of paving-stone, nurseries and market gardens in the vicinity, and the town has important markets for cereals and sheep.