Early Birthplaces

Explore the history of European blast furnaces from 1800

Early Birthplaces of Europe

Welcome to the birthplaces of European industrial culture!

We – that is five museums dedicated to the history of industry from Germany, England, France, Poland and Spain - would like to invite you on a voyage of discovery to the origins of the industrial revolution!


With support from the European Union's Culture 2000 programme and under the leadership of the LVR-Industry Museum, and the Rhineland Regional Council, our project "Early Birthplaces of Europe" gives you an insight into the beginnings of industrialisation using the example of the early industrial production of iron around 1800.


Blast furnace technology of this time was characterised by the international transfer of technology against a background of regional peculiarities. Our examples of iron production from various countries and regions show pioneering performances, parallel developments and a successful transfer of technology. The time had come to leap towards industrialisation in various places around Europe.

On our website you can find out about blast furnace technology in European countries around 1800. Come to Oberhausen, Coalbrookdale, Le Creusot, Zabrze or Terrassa and join in. In our digital blast furnace you can play the part of the master of works, producing your own virtual iron and gain an idea of the difficulties involved with the early industrial production of iron.

We want our website to come alive and to grow. It also offers other potential partners the opportunity to present the development of iron production at the turn of the nineteenth century in other regions. Contribute to a data pool documenting the history of iron and steel in Europe. Link into a network which seeks where possible to incorporate other cooperation projects.

Logos of the project partners