Permanent Exhibitions

The Engine Hall

Get your ears blown off when our voluntary motor men start the engines. In the Engine Hall there are examples of steam engines and various kinds of internal combustion engines made from the end of the 19th century to the 1950s. Mechanical power in the 19th century became one of the preconditions for industrial production. The work, which previously was carried out by hand or with the use of horses or waterpower, could now be solved effectively with machines.

Workers Apartments 1880 – 1998

Visit the museum's workers’ homes in the apartments on Villavej, where a time travel will take you through the ordinary Danish worker's living conditions. The stairway in no. 49 Discover the 1880s’ cramped conditions, where the large family lives closely together and often go to bed hungry. Travel on to the 1920s’ improved standard of living, where electricity, gas and water has found its way to ordinary people's homes. In 1935, in the maid’s small chamber, the small conditions and the few possessions are characteristic for the young people, who had gone into service. The stairway in no. 51 In the 1950s, you will encounter the stay-at-home wife’s neat home, where the material goods of mass production have become available to the ordinary worker. In the 1960-1970s, also the television and separate bathrooms are found in every home. At the top floor, you may visit the young worker in 1998,…

The School

In the School from the 1950s, you may get the feel of how a school class functioned in granddad’s or great-grandma’s time. From a time, where you stood up when asked about something, and where the head teacher stood at the gate to say "good morning" to everyone - and to punish those, who were late, with a biting slap in the face. This is in sharp contrast to the classroom from the 1980s, which you may also visit, where project and group work has become popular. It reflects that the expectations to the future labour market, which is in store for the students, have changed significantly. The teachers are at the School for six days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and here both teaching and narrating may be done. The School has a number of offers aimed specifically at the youngest public school students.

The 1950s Street

The 1950s street shows an ordinary shopping street, as it was before the supermarkets came to Denmark. Here, there is emphasis on personal service at the counter. In the 1950s, the first supermarkets with modern self-service saw the light of day in Denmark. Just around the corner the consumer society lurked, where products were manufactured so cheaply that it was not necessary to repair them, if they broke.

The Workshops

You may follow the industrial work through time in the workshops: From the book bindery in the 1880s, where much is still made by hand, via the gradual mechanisation in the clogs shop from the beginning of the 20th century, to the machine shop of the 1920s, where gas engines and belt drives operate the machines. Several of the old industrial crafts are revived when the museum's many volunteers are manning them. The blacksmith is heating the metal in the forge, or the smith veterans work in the workshop, the printers are occupied at the letterpress printer, the artists are maintaining their lithography skills, and the electronics engineers are repairing radios like in the 1960s.

The Bank 1930

Visit the bank from 1930 with the front desk room, the manager’s office and the board of directors’ meeting room. The interior comes from banks and savings banks throughout the country. Here you can get the feel of belonging to the city elite when the bank manager welcomes you in his office. That is, if you do not have to wait on the bench to be served together with the other regular customers. In the middle of the 19th century, the first banks were established in this country, and around the year 1900 there were approximately 150. At the same time there were over 500 savings banks in Denmark that attempted to teach the Danes to save up for a rainy day.

Textile and Fashion

The Wardrobe focuses on clothing through time. Especially the development of workwear from the early industrialisation till today is well documented and may be seen in the exhibitions, where the clothes is placed in wardrobes and drawers or in the workshops. In the Wardrobe, you may even try on the fashion of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and perform a show on the catwalk.

The Trail of the Industri

Tobacco factories, breweries, printing companies, machine factories and later electronics companies have been the industries, in which Denmark has marked itself globally. The museum constantly strives to complement the exhibitions to carry them up to modern times through collection, research and dissemination. The latest exhibitions show the manufacturer's office from the mid-1970s as well as tobacco production from the 1990s. Although many types of industrial jobs have today disappeared in favour of robots, modern high technology and automatic production plants, Denmark is in many ways still an industrial society with almost 300,000 employees in the industry, which accounts for approx. 60% of exports.

Room for Change

De Nornske Haller – named after the architect Viggo Norn – there are constantly changing exhibitions. Beneath the beautiful English roof from the gasworks’ old machine workshops, there is plenty of room for large and small special exhibitions that complement the museum's permanent dissemination.

© Danmarks Industrimuseum 2020