alfi® Museum in Fischbach
In the yard of the alfi Museum, visitors are impressed by the huge jug models, an oversized glassmaker, and a vacuum column demonstrating the physical forces of air pressure – showcasing in this manner the heart of alfi: Highest-quality insulation technology for perfect delight. The exhibition's jewel is the classic vacuum jug of the same name. Originally developed in 1918 for the Pullman cars operated by the American railroads, the Jewel has since been carefully upgraded to reflect the spirit of the times and remains one of the most popular insulating containers to this day. Many other insulating products from ten decades of industrial history were made available to the museum by alfi GmbH and also from the Zitzmann family’s private collection. This is Fischbach history that can be experienced up close and personal. On approx. 80 square meters and in three rooms, visitors can learn about the beginnings of production as well as the current state of the art.
The site was chosen as a tribute to the origins of the Fischbach aluminum goods factory. This is where it all began in Thuringia in 1914 with just 10 employees and the ingenious idea of producing household goods using the new commodity metal aluminum. For the agricultural Rhön region, this marked the beginning of an industrial revolution, and by 1948 the company employed at times a staff of 500. On the other hand, this is also where the Zitzmanns experienced their darkest hours, which are just as much a focus of the museum as are the successful milestones. The founders and staff had to start fully from scratch three times throughout the company’s history: After a fire in 1935 that destroyed everything, as a result of the consequences of World War II and finally after expropriation in 1948 and the associated relocation to the current company headquarters in Wertheim, the German state of Baden-Württemberg, where Sophie Zitzmann was born.
Establishing something, and doing so again and again, that is the inherent mindset of the Zitzmanns and their environment. The museum is now the next logical step. Initiator of the museum is a Fischbach resident who is closely connected to alfi through the stories of his grandmother and mother, who worked at alfi and in part for the Zitzmann family. So what started as an idea by an individual has long since become a community project involving a registered association and the strong support from the Zitzmann family. "Meanwhile, residents from Fischbach and the surrounding area are also dropping off an abundance of exhibits," reports the initiator and chairman of the association. When asked what the world would be without alfi, he responds spontaneously: “That would be like cold coffee" and you can immediately feel his passion for alfi's history, which the museum intends to convey.
Much will happen before the museum opens its doors on July 2, 2022. A children's corner is planned for the young visitors with the “Sendung mit der Maus” (a popular German cartoon for children) filmed at alfi and some merchandise. At this time, the association is also in contact with several institutions, such as the Museum of the Thuringian Rhön in Dermbach, to discuss potential collaborations and touring exhibitions that can complement the museum.
The Museum will breathe life into the flair of bygone times and the connection between alfi and the region, proving once again that tradition and innovation go hand in hand when striving for lasting success.
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