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Collection – Technology

The Historisches Museum of the 1920s and 1930s saw itself as the Frankfurt museum of local history, with a focus on craft and a dedicated front against the modern big city. It was only at the end of the 1970s that the Historisches Museum began developing its current collection on the modern era in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection “Technology” was established in this context.
 One of the focuses is on products from Frankfurt companies of (inter)national significance (Torpedo, Mayfarth, Deutsche Nähmaschinenfabrik, Voigt & Haeffner, Lahmeyer, Prometheus, Moenus, Wittekind & Pokorny, Max Braun).
In 1997, the museum was able to acquire Hartmann &Braun’s collection of instruments dating back to the 19th century. This world-leading company manufactured devices for measurement and control technology from 1884 to 1997 in Frankfurt-Bockenheim. It developed the spring galvanometer, the first functional electrical operation measuring instrument. The move from measurement technology to control technology took place from 1930 onwards. Since 1949, automation technology has also been included. A large switchboard with elements of Art Nouveau is a highlight of the collection,; it was in operation from  1898 to 1927.
In the beginning, Adler – founded in 1880 in Frankfurt – only manufactured bicycles. In 1896, the company acquired the patents for an innovative typebar typewriter. Soon after, Adler also started building cars and motorbikes. In 1956, Triumph-Adler emerged as a company based on these activities.
Permanent loans of technically important objects of the Historisches Museum can be found in three special Frankfurt museums. In the Transport Museum in Frankfurt-Schwanheim, there are carriages of the horse streetcars that were operated from 1872 and those from the tram of the Frankfurt am Main – Offenbach line that began operation in 1884. The Hochhuth technical collections houses a 1908 steam engine by Fries & Sohn. The Fire Brigade Museum Frankfurt includes the first  of the steam fire engines used by the Frankfurt fire brigade from 1887 and the manual fire hose of the voluntary fire brigade in Hausen from 1892.
By taking the modern large city and industry city of the late 19th and 20th centuries into consideration, the museum returned to its roots as a museum for the entire history of Frankfurt.