Danish Foundry Museum

History

Local industrial history Working class culture

The Danish Foundry Museum is based on the history of Morsø Iron Foundry, and its focus is industrial history and the culture of the working class. The museum is housed in one of the old factory buildings, where Morsø Iron Foundry produced everything from pots and pans, to stoves and cookers.

Morsø Iron Foundry was established in 1853 in Nykøbing Mors, and the company is still based there today. It was a young N.A. Christensen, leaving a position as bookkeeper at an iron foundry in Thisted, who founded the company with the help of a partner, Wilhelm Bonne, who had mastered the art of iron casting. With a few workers, they built the company in the building that can still be found on the old premises near the museum.

Wilhelm Bonne, soon abandoned the enterprise, and N.A. Christensen was left alone at the head of his company. The company continued to grow every year, and was expanded when the need arose. The main products of the company were stoves, cookers, window frames, pots, and irons.

Despite tough competition from other iron foundries in Denmark, Morsø Iron Foundry succeeded in expanding its market, to cover most of Denmark, and the size of the factory increased steadily. Around the year 1900, the foundry employed 250 workers, including blacksmiths, casters, lathe operators, carpenters, and unskilled foundry workers.

In 1886, N.A. Christensen’s health was failing, and he decided to engage a new director, K.E. Messerschmidt. The following year, Christensen moved to Hellerup, where he lived until his death in 1914. The factory in Nykøbing, however, continued its growth in the 20th century.

In 1913, the company built the striking buildings, which today form the framework of Støberigården (the Foundry Yard), home to the Danish Foundry Museum, the Public Library, and much more. But at the time of construction, the complex was much larger, and a confusing and heterogeneous blend of large and small buildings among each other. At the time, the area was described as a labyrinth, which you had to know quite well in order to navigate it successfully. But production was well-organised, and Morsø Iron Foundry was able to constantly produce quality goods in supply of the markets’ demand.

The first few decades of the 20th century were difficult for Morsø Iron Foundry, but the 1950s became a turning point. The foundry kept pace with the general developments in Danish industry, and began a continuing process of mechanising production. The primary products were stoves, and therefore the foundry had follow the trends, which replaced the old coke and wood fired stoves with hot air furnaces, gas-fired boilers, etc. The foundry also developed the range of pots and pans, and hired famous designers to develop the housewife’s favourite kitchen utensils range. Especially the Copco series became a well-known line from Morsø Iron Foundry.

Stoves remained a primary product for Morsø Iron Foundry. In 1980, production was redirected to focus exclusively on stoves, and that is the product for which the company is best known today. In 1992, after being located in the centre of Nykøbing for 139 years, the foundry moved to modern premises outside Nykøbing. The old factory premises were thoroughly renovated, and some of the buildings demolished. There remains some of the most beautiful foundry buildings, which clearly showcase the importance of Morsø Iron Foundry, both locally and nationally, and this is where you will find the Danish Iron Foundry.

Danish Foundry Museum

Nørregade 13

7900 Nykøbing Mors

Phone: +45 97723421

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