Danish Foundry Museum

History

Local Industrial History | Working Class Culture

The Danish Foundry Museum is a museum of industrial history and working class culture with a basis in iron foundry. The museum itself is housed in one of the factory buildings in which Morsø Iron Foundry produced everything from pots and pans to cookers and stoves.

Morsø Iron Foundry was founded in 1853 in Nykøbing Mors, where the company is still based today. The young N. A. Christensen left a position as an accountant at an iron foundry in Thisted to settle in Nykøbing with a business partner who had mastered the art of iron casting. They established a small iron foundry with a handful of workers in a building which can still be found on the old foundry premises near the museum.

The business partner, Wilhelm Bonne, soon left the enterprise, leaving N. A. Christensen alone at the helm. The business grew steadily over the years, however, and was expanded as needed. The factory's main products were masonry heaters, cookers, window panes, pots, and clothes irons.

Despite tough competition from many other iron foundries in market towns across the country, Morsø Iron Foundry succeeded in expanding its market to the majority of Denmark, and the factory continually grew in size. Around the year 1900 the foundry employed 250 people, including blacksmiths, casters, turners, carpenters, and unskilled foundry workers.

In 1886, due to his steadily failing health, N. A. Christensen hired a manager, K. E. Messerschmidt, to take over his duties. He moved to Hellerup the following year and lived there until his death in 1914. Meanwhile the factory in Nykøbing continued to grow into the 20th century.

The years 1913 and 1944 saw the construction of the remarkable buildings which today make up the surroundings around Støberigården (the Foundry Yard), where you'll find the Danish Foundry Museum, the public library, and more. Back in the day, however, the building complex was much larger, and it was a fairly intricate and motley mishmash of buildings of varying sizes. The area was described as an actual labyrinth that you had to be pretty familiar with to navigate. But production was well organized, and Morsø Iron Foundry was able to continually produce quality wares and meet the market's demands.

Following a couple of difficult decades before and during World War II, the 1950s brought better times. The factory kept up with the general development in Danish industry and focused on mechanizing the production, a process it has continued since. Stoves were the main product, and production kept up with the general trend away from the old coke- and wood-based stoves and towards hot air furnaces, gas-fired boilers, etc. The range of pots was developed at the same time, and well-known designers were hired to develop the housewife's favored kitchen utensils. Especially the Copco line became a well-known product of Morsø Iron Foundry.

Wood-burning stoves remained an important product for Morsø Iron Foundry, however, and became the sole focus of production through the 1980s. Today it's the signature product of Morsø. In 1993, after 140 years in the center of Nykøbing, the company moved into more modern facilities outside of town. The old factory premises were thoroughly renovated, and a large portion of the complex was removed. Left standing are some of the beautiful iron foundry buildings, which clearly indicate the impact Morsø Iron Fondry had as a company both locally and internationally. It's in these buildings you'll find the Danish Foundry Museum.

  

Danish Foundry Museum

Nørregade 13

7900 Nykøbing Mors

Phone: +45 97723421

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