These abandoned iron-works were a major industrial enterprise in the northern part of Germany from the 1850s until the 1960s and employed up to 700 workers.
The company was founded in 1856 by a steel trader and a metal goods manufacturer. In their first factory they produced tin-plated puched-out tableware.
In 1868, two brothers bought the factory and made a name for themselves two years later when they made a significant "arms deal" by supplying tableware for the German-French War in 1870/71.
To procure capital for the construction of an enamel factory with a rolling mill, the company, which at the time employed 300 workers, was turned into a corporation in 1872. The production was switched from tin-plated to enameled tableware, but the planned expansion failed.
In 1876, the "Revisions-Commission" discovered that the company's books were manipulated. In addition, dividends had been wrongfully distributed. Following this discovery, one of the brothers went to prison, and the company filed for bankrupcy in 1878.
The descendant of a Germany family, who had been born in Texas, purchased the factory. Under his administration, the enamel factory was expanded and modernized. Around 1900, the revenue was at 3 million Marks, 600 people were working at the factory and 60% of the products were manufatured for exports.
In 1898, the Texan owner of the company died in a traffic accident following a deer hunt. First, the technical director took over the business until in 1903, the oldest son of the businessman from Texas joined them.
With the expansion of the company with a second factory in 1903, the production process was optimized as well.
In World War I, the company profited from the demand for various equipment: canteens, field kettles, beakers and various smaller weapons parts were produced.
After the war, the company was able to maintain its ground, although the exporrts were declining due to the fact that other countries were starting their own enamel industry. The company employed 725 workers in 1928 and was once again transformed into a corporation in 1928.
The economic crisis in 1929 let the domestic as well as the foreign markets crash, and the company never fully recovered. The huge capacities (the company owned a gas plant, a power plant and water works) could no longer be utilized in full. In 1931, only one of the two factories was still operational.
The rising demand for armaments during World War II led to a better occupancy rate, and a last uplift came after the currency reform in 1948.
In the 1950s, the production was on a steady decline. The technical development towards electrical ovens made enameled cookware obsolete; synthetic materials, aluminum and later steel were increasingly used.
Rationalization efforts at the beginning of the 1960s were unsuccessful, and bankrupcy was finally filed in 1986.
GALLERY UPDATE: New photos added taken on April 2, 2016.