Fireproof, weatherproof, resilient, comfortable and extremely safe. These are the properties that swiftly made Junkers aircraft classics of aviation history. Less well-known are the other achievements of the famous aeroplane manufacturer, above all the invention of the bathroom gas geyser which produced warm running water and revolutionised bath time in thousands of ordinary people's homes.
Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) was one of the greatest German engineers and entrepreneurs. No less than 300 patents were issued in his name. Until his property was confiscated by the Nazis he was the major influence on the industrial development of the town of Dessau and the Free State of Anhalt. In 1922 technology enthusiasts used this as an excuse to set up a support association whose members have worked on an honorary basis for years to document the life and work of Hugo Junkers. The official opening of the Hugo Junkers Technology Museum on the site of the old Junkers works in Dessau marked the crowning moment of their efforts. The finest exhibit in the museum is a Ju 52/3m aircraft which was recovered in Norway and put back together again. The rest of the restored works hall which houses the museum and covers 4200 square metres, displays engines, driving mechanisms and model aircraft alongside other exhibits related to Junkers thermal technology achievements. One of the unexpected high points is the only remaining steel experimental house of Hugo Junkers – a research area that led to a fertile cooperation with the Bauhaus in Dessau.
The area outside the museum contains further Junkers buildings. These include the tall administration building (1934/35), parts of the historic Junkers wind canal (1933/34) and the remains of the take-off and landing strip on the old works aerodrome. Countless maiden flights and record flights started from here. Special exhibitions, cultural events, lectures and conferences round off the large range of activities offered by the museum. All this has only been made possible by the steadfast commitment of the Friends of the Museum who, after setting up the museum, are now responsible for running it.