Spinning Factory Museum

The Swiss entrepreneur Johann Rudolf Guyer (1803-76), father of Adolf Guyer-Zeller (1839-99), the railway pioneer, purchased the Müedspach mill in the municipality of Bäretswil, on the road to Bauma in the in Zürcher Oberland in 1826-27. In partnership with Johnann Casper Reinhart he built a new cotton spinning mill, and the area was subsequently known as Neuthal. In the late 1850s and early 1860s Adolf Guyer-Zeller studied abroad, visiting textile mills in Belgium, France, England and the United States, later returning to Bäretswil and becoming sole proprietor of the spinning mill in 1866. The main building of four storeys with two attic floors, extending for 11 bays was built in the time of Adolf Guyer-Zeller, and accommodated weaving, which began at the factory in 1860, as well as spinning. In the early twentieth century spinning ceased, after which the building continued to be used for weaving, and then for storage.

The government of Canton Zurich acquired the mill from the Guyer family in 1980, and opened the turbine plant to the public in 1988. Some of the machines were used for production from 1993 and it was fully opened to the public the following year. The mill is dependent upon an enthusiastic body of volunteers. Displays explain the history of the textile industry in the Zürcher Oberland, and working conditions at the Neuthal mill. There are machines from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries used for cleaning, carding, combing, doubling, roving, ring spinning and twisting as well as displays illustrating the career of Adolf Guyer-Zeller.

The mill stands close to the Neuthal station on the Hinwil-Bauma steam railway which between Hinwil and Bauma is worked by the Zürcher Oberland Dampfbahnverein. This section was part of the railway from Uerikon to Bauma, with which Adolf Guyer-Zeller was closely concerned although it opened two years after his death. The railway never fulfilled the expectations of its promoters and closed in 1948 but the Hinwil-Bauma section was taken over by Swiss Federal Railways. Passenger traffic ceased in 1972 although the line was used for freight and some military traffic.

Spinning Factory Museum
Neuthal 6
8344 Bäretswil
+41 (0) 52 - 3863506

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