Hammerwerk (hammer mill)

The construction of hammer mills depended on water power.


The first hammer mills were established in East Bavaria back in the 13th century. They were initially ironworks, which means that they smelted the iron ores from Amberg and Sulzbach and made semi-finished products. Hammer mills in which rails and bars were manufactured as semi-finished products for the iron industry did not become specialised hammer mills forging iron, sheet metal or nails until later.


The “Staubershammer” plant that originated in Auerbach was a general hammer mill of this kind, which was then run as an ironworks later. Most of its plant equipment dates back to the end of the 19th century.


Polierwerk (polishing plant)

After the numerous hammer mills were discontinued, the plants that followed in the 19th century were the plate glass grinding and glass polishing works, that likewise ran on water power.


These finishing plants subjected the glass from local plate glassworks to a grinding and polishing process and gave the processed glass to the mirror makers for subsequent treatment.


The plant that was transferred to the museum had already been used as a grain mill, to which a glass finishing plant was also attached in around 1880.


Whilst mining in East Bavaria got by with simple conveyance technology in centuries past, powerful hoists and stable headframes had to be built as the pits became deeper in the 20th century.


Only a few of the headframes made of wood or built using steel construction technology have been preserved.


The headframe and winding engine house from the old BAYERLAND mine near Waldsassen are among the few objects that remain from the 1930s.

Electricity back then 

The history of electricity in East Bavaria


“Strommuseum” (electricity museum)

What was it like back then, over a hundred years ago, when electricity was still a precious commodity that was reserved for the enjoyment of a few? The good old days were cold, dark and uncomfortable, and work was hard.


Anyone who could really afford electricity had to pay a great deal for it. As a supplement to the historical exhibition, the second part of the exhibition gives an insight into the world of energy today and how electricity generation and distribution are connected.


Quite a lot has changed over the last few years in this regard. We are in the middle of developing a new energy system – in the middle of the much-quoted energy revolution.


The path to our future energy generation leads away from centralised, conventional, large-scale power plants and towards decentralised, regenerative power systems.


More than ever, it is about generating enough energy in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible, developing new technologies for using energy efficiently and strengthening the networks so that they can continue to be used in the future.