The Industry of Bielsko-Biała in the 19th and 20th century
The exhibition presents the history of industry developing in Bielsko-Biała and introduces us to the world in which the machines and tools collected in the Museum used to function in the past. Showing the industrial side of both cities, it invokes their significant commercial role during the Habsburg Monarchy (until 1918), the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939), the Third Reich (1939-1945) and finally the Polish People’s Republic (1945-1989). Richly illustrated information boards and glass cases filled with exhibits, placed in the former factory hall, invite us to go on an incredible journey into the past. Chronologically arranged lists of the most important events and interesting facts. The city panorama with a multitude of factory chimneys towering above the roofs, the views of the production plants, portraits depicting industrialists, advertisements. Original documents, books, brochures, medals, decorative plates, technical accessories. A large reproduction of the Bielsko-Biała city plan from 1904 shows the location of industrial plants and familiarizes the visitor with the names of the companies operating at that time. Special information boards have been devoted to the Büttners’ broadcloth factory – today’s seat of the Museum. The so-called tool-making room boasts exhibits connected with the metal and machine industry, e.g. a hundred-year-old antique lathe and column drills. The most recent area characterizing “the city of one hundred industries”, the automotive industry, is represented by the carefully renovated Maluch – the Fiat 126p, manufactured in 1977 in the Compact Car Factory in Bielsko. The historical exposition is complemented by a little movie room showing industrial films, such as From wool to broadcloth – textile production in Bielstyl.