Minervastrasse 1, 46419 Isselburg
GPX: 51.83729024680634, 6.460343872336507
Of the six old blast furnace plants in the Oude IJssel area, this iron foundry is the only one still in operation. The factory was established in 1794 as a blast furnace with a water wheel, etc., on the Issel (Oude IJssel) under the name 'Minerva-Hütte'.
Initially, production was mainly for the household sector (pots, firebacks, etc.), but the factory also supplied ammunition and cast iron balls. The foundry became known throughout Germany when the company acquired a monopoly to produce cast iron letterboxes for the German Federal Post Office. The most striking product was a series of a dozen lighthouses off the North Sea and the Baltic coast.
In 1856, a second iron foundry was opened, the Leopold Hütte, in nearby Empel, along the railway line. With the development of mining in the Ruhrgebiet, a new area of business opened up for Isselburg Hut—the company developed and manufactured extensive pump systems for the mines; part of the company became a machine factory and produced steam engines.
In the 1930s, the factory had about 700 employees. The company suffered a lot of damage in the Second World War due to Allied bombings. After the war, business picked up, but in the 1970s, the factory barely survived. After several takeovers, a slimmed-down version continued.
In terms of technology, the company moved with the times; in terms of the buildings and the grounds, quite a bit of the historical situation remained unchanged. The company also expanded on the other side of the Issel River, so the river runs right through the factory premises. The iron foundry supplies castings for ship and truck engines in particular.