The village of Kümmersbruck lies 3 km. south of Amberg and 65 km. east of Fürth, not far from Germany’s frontier with the Czech Republic. This area of eastern Bavaria has a long industrial history involving ironworking and the mining of iron ore (which ceased in 1987), the extraction of gold, lead, copper and zinc ores, ceramics and glass manufactures and the mining of lignite for electric power stations.
The museum, established in 1978, is housed in Schloss Thueurn, a late Baroque mansion dating from 1781 which was formerly the home of the master of a hammer forge. There are indoor exhibitions about the history of industry in eastern Bavaria which illustrate the lives of miners, detailing their freedoms and obligations, and displaying traditional mining costumes. Other sections show some of the varied products of the area, particularly porcelain, minerals and glass. Three industrial structures have been moved into the grounds of the mansion. The steel headstock and winding house of the Schlachtanlage (mine) Bayerland are characteristic of those built for mines in the region in the 1930s. The glass grinding and polishing workshop dates from about 1880 and is typical of several set up in this part of Bavaria in the nineteenth century, producing mirror glass, and using the water-power systems of iron forges or corn mills which had closed. The glassworks buildings also contain a museum of electric power generation. The third building is a water-powered iron forge with three tilt hammers.