The town of Thale, situated on the north-eastern edge of the Harz Mountains, looks back on a long tradition of iron processing. In 1831 the first wrought-iron wagon axle in Germany was produced here and in 1835 the first enamelled tableware factory in Europe was founded. The ironworks museum was founded in 1986 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Thale ironworks. It shows the development of iron smelting and iron processing from a modest sheet metal works in 1686 to the large-scale industrial operation of the 20th century. The basic processes are illustrated by models. The environmental damage caused by the ironworks is also shown. A double-acting tandem roller steam engine which was in operation from 1912 until the closure of the mill in 1990, can be visited by appointment.