Mulhouse was a free city until 1798 when it became part of France. It was already celebrated for the manufacture of printed cotton goods, and subsequently became a leading centre of the textile and engineering industries. The museum of printing on fabrics began with the establishment of an archive of fabric designs by the city’s Societe Industrielle in 1833. The Societe Industrielle was also concerned with the cite ouvriere, one of Europe’s outstanding model housing developments. It originated in 1853 when Jean Zuber formed a company to encourage owner-occupation. The architect, Emile Muller, built houses based on models from other European countries, including cluster houses, following examples in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, England. The company had built 3000 houses by 1870.