In 1820, Nikolaus Ott opened a small gold and silverware workshop. The business moved to a larger factory in 1845, where it manufactured a range of objects including chandeliers, bowls and teapots. The company gained international recognition, and many of its products were shipped overseas. The Ott-Pausersche factory was conserved after closure in 1979, preserving all its artefacts in situ, and it opened as a museum in 1992. The building is in the architectural tradition of the region but is the oldest surviving factory in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a city once reliant on the gold and silver industry.
The museum traces the economic and cultural history of the Baden-Württemberg region. The tools and machines used by workers to chisel, engrave, assemble and polish the jewellery and wares are exhibited, including spindle presses, wire-drawing benches and rolling mills driven by belts from a gas engine. The manager’s office is brought alive by books, furniture and office equipment such as a telephone, calculator and typewriter. Children can make jewellery in the museum’s workshops.