F: The people gazing at you from the large photograph on the wall were employees at the Königliche Geschoss-Fabrik, a local munitions factory.
M: The Bullet Factory was one of two armaments factories set up in Siegburg after 1875. The other was the Royal Fireworks Laboratory.
They were the driving force behind the industrialisation that began in Siegburg in around 1840 with the opening of Rolff's calico printing works. The new jobs brought a rise in the population from 4,000 to 20,000 people. It was the beginning of a new era.
F: The showcases contain bullets and other ammunition from the armament factories, as well as some products from the calico printing works, which are especially interesting. One of the two colourful cloths we’ve put up there was printed for the Prussian army and is called an Instruktionstuch. It was printed with instructions for the soldiers, telling them how to drill, how to strip a rifle, what commands relate to the flag. The cloths bearing such instructions were waterproof, always on hand and useful in many different ways.
M: The two big machines standing here are genuinely Made in Siegburg. They were manufactured at the Krämer engineering factory, which was later given permission to use the name Prinz Heinrich Werke – an honour not afforded to everyone. Some workers from the firm had assisted His Royal Highness Prince Heinrich of Prussia when his car broke down. He thanked them by allowing the firm to change its name.
F: But back to the machines. One is a jointer, used to plane wood, and the other is a band saw. They were powered by a ceiling-mounted drive shaft in the factory hall. The drive shaft, in turn, was set in motion by a steam engine.
M: If you’d like to know more about the town’s economic development, you’ll find additional information at the media station – if your German is up to it. The start button is by the entrance.
F: Before we continue, you might like to take a moment to look at the monumental painting. It used to hang in the conference room at Siegburg’s former district administration offices. The painting shows the inauguration of the Niederwald Monument. The considerable pomp and circumstance is a reflection of the Hohenzollern dynasty’s self-image.
Foto: © Dagmar Trüpschuch