Grafik Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels

History of the Ermen & Engels cotton spinning mill

Historical view of the Ermen & Engels cotton mill

The Ermen & Engels Cotton Spinning Mill in Engelskirchen was the prelude in the opening round of LVR-Industriemuseum sites in May 1996. Friedrich Engels sen., father of the famous socialist set up the Ermen & Engels textile mill in Engelskirchen in 1837. Rationalisation of production in a large factory and cheap labour were important factors which led to the entrepreneur from Wuppertal-Barmen moving to Engelskirchen. With more than 600 workers in the last quarter of the 19th century, the mill was one of the most important industrialisation pacesetters in the Agger valley. At the same time the mill power plant developed into an important power station for the region.

Almost 150 years later, the increasing automation and low wages in countries of the so-called Third World led to the mill closure. It was possible to rescue the industrial complex including the industrialist’s villa on the bank of the Agger river from demolition thanks to the fact that it had previously gained the status of listed monument and also to a 1986 prize-winning conversion concept. The LVR-Industriemuseum is part of an urban complex which grew up within the mill walls in the 1980s: town hall, dwellings and shops complete the museum surroundings.