An eye on the past: the museum of mining
For those who would like to discover more about the technical history of mining and its trades, interesting items are displayed in the small museum in the vaults of the Landgasthof Neugebauer country hotel…
A museum in the smithy - originally opened in 1845 - has been set up. The smithy formed part of the mining and metalworking industry here until the production of pig-iron at Lölling stopped in 1899. After that the smithy was operated by three generations of the Neugebauer family until 1957. (…) Half way through the 1980s the current owner Walter Neugebauer took the initiative to restore the workshops which had been put to other uses for some time. This costly work was completed in 1987 and the whole workshop was fully restored to its original condition.
The museum is housed in the basement of today’s restaurant, and entered through a laminated door. The year 1845 is marked on the lintel (the year the smithy was sunk). The small museum has three rooms whose authenticity is impressive.
The cast iron central column in the first room attracts the eyes and supports the well-proportioned vaults. The blacksmith’s work is exhibited in the corner between the entrance and the column, while to the right of the entrance is a small draft chimney. Without doubt its bellows are a rarity. These are cylinder bellows whose upper cover (that acts as a piston) is installed so that it can move up and down vertically. (…) On the side of the room towards the stream there are two work benches by the chimney and bellows with a great many tools and instruments (axles, reamers, cartwheels), some of which were made in Lölling.
There is another rarity in a corner of the same room: a so-called “mobile bellows” (works without a crosshead between the shaft of the connecting rod and the piston rod due to which the rotating cylinder must “oscillate” by exploiting the crank pin). Although bellows were extremely common about half way through the nineteenth century, it seems only those at Lölling have been preserved. They are not found anywhere else in Austria nowadays and not even wide-ranging searches abroad have found a tool comparable with these mobile bellows. Today thanks to an electric motor and a hydraulic wheel, the mobile bellows are used for demonstration purposes to give an idea of the use they were put to. It is highly likely that the “mobile bellows” were made in the nearby Brückl foundry and may have been installed after the smithy at Lölling was opened.
The other two rooms contain workbenches, drawers with taps, and a small collection of various locks. Photographs of other smithies in the past complete the visit to the museum of the Lölling mine and locksmith’s forge.
Since the closure of the mining industry of Hüttenberg in 1978, the association called the “Friends of the mining museum – Hüttenberg mine visitors centre” working in partnership with the Hüttenberg Market Community aims to preserve the mining equipment and this is now well represented at Mosinz, Lölling-Graben, and in and around Knappenberg.
Excerpt from the periodical Österreichischer Kalender für Berg, Hütte und Energie 1989