Coal is not the only source of power: but also water. Water power is responsible for rotating the transmission belts and driving the engines in the Fellenberg mill in the Saarland. As one of the few remaining fully functional mills in the country Fellenberg bears witness to the transition period from hand work to industrial factory production.
In 1797 a flour mill was set up in the town of Merzig in a street called "am Seffersbach". It got its name from the Swiss citizen, Wilhelm Tell von Fellenberg who, in 1829, had married Rosalie-Virginie Boch, the daughter of a manufacturer in Mettlach. In 1858 the couple moved to a mansion in Merzig not far from the mill, and from that moment on they began to dominate local life. Johann Peter Hartfuß also made a significant contribution by setting up a fine mechanical workshop in 1898. He had already developed a so-called "hotel waking apparatus" when he moved his workshop to the Fellenberg mill. In 1931 he applied for a patent for his "Cardan wedding ring engraving machine". Even today the machine can engrave the initials of bridal couples into their rings.
The Fellenberg mill provides its own power. All you have to do is open the sluice gate and let the water in. Until 1929 a water wheel was the key element. But since then it has been replaced by a Francois guide vane turbine engine. This harnesses the power of the water via a system of transmission belts and transforms it to drills and grinding machines that are also used for engraving the wedding rings. When the machines go into action the room is not only filled with vibrating transmission belts, but the whole workshop – from the workbenches to the shelves on the walls – hums to the rhythm of the turbines.
The Friends of the Fellenberg Mill keep everything in working order in this "somewhat different museum". It is indeed somewhat different, for everything is prepared to be put into action as if it were a completely normal working day. But the museum does not simply bear witness to hand work on the edge of the industrial revolution. Today it presents exhibitions of paintings, photography and sculpture, not forgetting other small events in the attic room.