The historic metalworkshop ITT Bornemann in Obernkirchen

The locksmith and metalworkshop owned by the Bornemann family has been in operation in Obernkirchen for over 300 years. From this deep-rooted crafts tradition, the innovative machine manufacturing company Johann Heinrich Bornemann has evolved in the last 165 years.

What once began as a nailer, blacksmith and locksmith operation has today evolved into a high-tech producer of the most modern, powerful pump systems on the market. It’s a fairly logical evolutionary path. After all, in the Middle Ages, the name "Bornemann" referred to the “keeper of the well” (in German, Brunnen), someone who made sure that the public wells remained in working order.

In 1816, master locksmith Carl Bornemann, father of the company founder, had a workshop building constructed, one that was modern for that time. Here, he laid the foundation for the more than 100-year-old relationship as a supplier to both local glass factories. The turning of iron folding molds for the manufacture of dimensionally correct bottles required high technical know-how, creative problem solutions and absolute precision work.

Johann Heinrich Bornemann acquired the skills for the success story of his own operations from his father’s workshop.

In Obernkirchen, the original locksmith shop has remained intact as a unique memorial to the history of technology. After six months of renovation, it has been fully restored and structurally preserved for the long term. The equipment from the original shop is now exhibited in the newly renovated building and shows the stages of mechanization, from the foot-operated wooden lathe to the metal-processing machines with a transmission drive. The old craftsman’s skills are demonstrated on the smith’s forge and on the fully functional drilling machines and lathes.

In the neighboring business section of the building, the family had once housed pigs and goats in addition to cooking and doing the laundry there. The animals were butchered and their meat prepared for sausages in the broad hallway plastered in sandstone.

In the former wash house, a small exhibition informs visitors about the history of the Bornemann pump factory.

For interested parties, the old locksmith's workshop is open to tours at any time. Interested groups, school groups, tourists can schedule tours during which museum guide will demonstrate the old blacksmithing and metalworking methods on site. Please visit the tourist information office at the info gallery in Obernkirchen and make an appointment.

Fon: 0 57 24 / 9 71 60 00 or via e-mail: