Coal mining around Hrastnik in the Sava region of central Slovenia began in 1804 and was stimulated by a link to the Austrian Südbahn (southern railway) in 1849. Glass making in Hrastnik began in the 1790s but the present works of Steklarna Hrastnik has its origins in a works established in 1860 that quickly became one of the largest in the Habsburg Empire, manufacturing table wares, light fittings and containers such as bottles and jars. By 1900 hand-blowing had been abandoned in the manufacture of many products and replaced by the use of machines. In 1921 the United Glass Factories company (Sjedinjene tvornice stakla dd) was founded, with its headquarters in Zagreb but its chief production plant in Hrastnik. The new company concentrated on the mass production of bottles and similar containers. The company survived the Second World War and the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and built a new factory in 2004-05, which concentrates on high quality table glass and lighting products. The glass industry, as well as the associated coal mines and chemical plants, is well illustrated in the town museum which was established in a former elementary school in 1977. It is now managed, with other small museums, by the Aasvje Museum at Trbovlje.