Table of contents:village museum
In a small village on the heights of the Black Forest we find, far away from all the bustle of much-visited places in this region, a small museum which claims for itself to have a self-willed character. Some signs refer to the village museum up there nearby the catholic church. It is lodged in the former schoolhouse. It is no exhibition of conventional kind but the pieces of exhibition are embedded into a fitting environment. This illustrates the part "life, living and working" of the people of Guetenbach, let´s say clock-makers. You are dragged into the time before and after the turning of the century. A busy country- and history club has made it to its business to present the life of their ancestors impressively and realistically to the descendants of the region and the coming visitors. Guetenbach in the Black Forest formerly was a flourishing clockmaker place. This began shortly after the so-said "Kreuzbrüder" from the Glashof near St. Maergen made the first wood-wheel-made clock about the time 1630. Whith the help of simple tools they tried to manufacture clocks made of homelike wood but without relative success.
Finally it took several decades until the subtilizer art began to cause itself. Thus was at Guetenbach where some persons are called patriarchs of Black Forest clock-making. In each relevant technical literature you always are able to find persons of Guetenbach, to ameliorate the Black Forest clock slowly and deliberately and to make it famous.
Already about the time 1800 there were nearly 100 clock-makers in the small village of Guetenbach, where only lived 800 inhabitants. This number hasn't changed during the whole 19th century. Until before the turning of century in nearly each house at Guetenbach were fabricated clocks or parts of clocks. But the clock makers of Guetenbach weren't satisfied by manufacturing clocks and distributing them in the surroundings. By the increasing numbers of clock makers clever persons became traders. In this way the first so-called clock trader company was founded. People were delegated to sell clocks within the countries in Germany and abroad. You can't imagine when thinking of the simple means of transport. The complete "Uhrenkraetze" on the back nearly was the only possibility to sell Black Forest clocks all over.
When founded a country club at Guetenbach in 1984 first aim was "to save what was to save". That meant exhibition pieces from that time where people made thousands of clocks handmade over one century and sold these all over the world. Without any supporting by the public dilligent hands made a production that shows the viewer a deep insight into the clock-making of the Black Forest.
From there on the clock is one of the most seen exhibition pieces in the village museum. Besides rare exhibition pieces like some clocks fabricated at Guetenbach there is a musical clock to be seen which was likewise fabricated there in the time 1830. By the help of a "Spielwalze" such a musical clock can play up to 8 different melodies. These are small miracles of the Black Forest clock-making art helping the village to obtain a world-wide renown, too. After over 200 years, often wild past, many of these clocks have antiquated all storms and return home to the place of their birth on curious ways. It's a curious event to have Black Forest clocks in hands which have procured the time to generations especially in France and have nowadays found their last place for further hundred of years in the village museum at Guetenbach for enjoying many people. A village history which rarely can be showed to visitors.
Besides a "Schlafstube" and a "Rauchkueche" one has constructed a clock-maker workshop true to nature and near-to-life, which also has been used as a "Wohnstube". Nothing is missing in this variety of "still" existing machines and tools from most innate workshops at Guetenbach. For all that a tiled stove with a bench around, an old spinning-wheel and the "Herrgottswinkel" radiate an atmosphere that can't be described.
The village museum at Guetenbach can show one of the biggest composures of "historical cuckoo clocks". It is an unique opportunity artificial works the Black Forest carver then have accomplished. The carvers contributed to put a "Ruhmesblatt" of history into the world, the so-called Black Forest cuckoo clock.
All things turned "round about the clock" at Guetenbach, as well as the beginning of the industrialization of the clock-making in the time 1884. All this is documented in the museum, from the founders of that industry as well as from the factories from which some are existing still today. Circumspected people have conserved another valuable exhibition pieces from the time of the industry and placed them to the disposal of the museum. Until 1929/30 Guetenbach was able to look onto a flourishing industry. The village meanwhile had 1400 to 1500 inhabitants. There still were 2 clock factories, before 3 ones produced clocks until the second world war. Slowly business get under way after war. Some of Guetenbach's citizen could keep their heads above water by making barters "food against clocks".
Besides the name "Faller" the name "Furtwaengler" was as well a big brand of the guild. Grandfathers and uncles of the famous conductor "Wilhelm Furtwaengler" have lived and worked at Guetenbach. The most graphic and imposing exhibition piece is the church-tower clock for his home church at Guetenbach made in 1886. Philipp Furtwaengler, journey man, came during his wanderings to Elze nearby Hanover. There he first worked as a manufacturer of church-tower clocks and later he trained for a famous organ-builder. Over 200 oeuvres of his organ-builder art are to be found in different churches and cathedrals in the north of Germany. After having pulled down the catholic church in 1963 the clockwork of Furtwaengler was forgotten until it obtained a honarable place in the village museum by the country- and history club.
The history of Guetenbach was made new from two men after the decline of the clock industry. The brothers Hermann und Erwin Faller founded a toys factory by the help of most primitive means after the post-war time. Surely unique therefore the exhibition pieces are to be seen of that factory in form the foundation time in the museum. In the year 1946 they started to fabricate simple toys made of wood and pasteboard in cellar rooms. Finally they obtained high reputation on the world market under the name of "toys company Faller Bros" during the seventies.
This part of the exbition starts with combs made of wood, boxes of bricks from printed elements, model houses for the model railway up to the first water- and windmill handmade. Fir-trees and deciduous trees made of tinted saw-dust give an impressive picture concerning the subtilizer art of the founders Hermann and Erwin Faller. By the invention of component parts made of plastic parts the gigantic ascent into the world trade began for the first manufacture in Germany. Generation still enjoy the first products of a worldknown company.
A "good room", old tool of the clock chest cabinet-maker, a shoemaker workshop from grandfather's time as well as a collected edition of radio receivers from the thirties on are finishing the tour round a museum for what you need some time spite of its sweetness.