Since the mid-19th century, industry steadily gained in significance in Poznań. Polish entrepreneurs boldly embraced new technologies resulting from advances in science. Many saw doing business as their patriotic duty. The most prominent of them was Poznań’s outstanding social activist Hipolit Cegielski. Cegielski steadily expanded his farm-machinery plant, which he later moved to near Strzelecka Street. This was the city’s largest and best managed industrial operation. One edifice that stood out in the Cegielski Works was the administrative and commercial building, which doubled as a fire and clock tower.