At the age of eighteen Franz Danninger was drawn to a life abroad. He took on jobs in several German cities and eventually even went on tour in France as a manual worker in a circus. However, the outbreak of the First World War made Franz Danninger return to his home town of Linz. After recruitment in December 1914 he was assigned to service in the Blumau Imperial-Royal Powder Factory, which because of the Habsburg Monarchy’s rearmament efforts in these years grew to become a huge enterprise with thousands of employees. Franz Danninger continued to work in the Blumau factory until the end of the war.