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Lost Property: Workspace

Permanent exhibition in the Museum of work

In the rear part of the room, behind a glass wall, is a reconstruction of the Carl Wild metal goods factory, which between 1901 and 1989 produced all kinds of pins, medals, brooches and badges in a small manufacturing works in a rear courtyard in the Hohenfelde district of Hamburg. This small, highly specialised business, which was typical in size for Hamburg’s trade structure, provides insight into the technical and social conditions in the factory microcosm, and hence draws an accurate picture of real working conditions in the Industrial Age.

The part of the factory on display here is shown as it was found: an unused, partially cleared and abandoned place of work. In a gigantic glass cabinet, the precise dimensions and furnishings that were present when the museum acquired the factory have been exactly reproduced, without attempting to simulate the real working conditions that would have existed in the factory’s heyday. Visitors are invited to read the signs, follow the trail and discover the many small details: the lamps from the 1980 which clash with the other furnishings which had remained practically unchanged since the 1930s and 40s; the portrait of the company founder which hangs in a corner and appears to watch over the factory; the original windows with the advertising stickers which not only provided inspiration for the engraver, but also express his close connection with his place of work.

Other Exhibtions