Sparks flew for 150 years when the Henrichshütte furnaces spat out the liquid iron. The LWL-Industriemuseum breathes life back into the history of iron and steel at this authentic location. 10,000 people used to work on this giant industrial site. They produced coke, iron and steel, casting, rolling and forging the metal. The very last furnace in Hattingen was blown out in 1987 despite fierce opposition. Today it is the oldest still preserved furnace in the area, and simultaneously the largest exhibit in the LWL-Industriemuseum. Metal once again regularly flows in the demonstration foundry, and in the blower house, formerly the power centre of the ironworks, a wealth of cultural events take place.
The Henrichshütte was named after Graf Henrich von Stolberg-Wernigerode, (1772-1854), who not only governed his County of Harz but also bore influence as a member of the Prussian State Council. The gold ducat coined on the occasion of his taking office in 1824 reflects his self-conception as an important regional administrator. The development of Prussia towards becoming an industrial state also left its traces in the Henrichshütte. The Bessemer steelworks from the year 1872 marks the transition of Prussia into the steel era and is one of two known preserved facilities of this type in Europe. The axle-mounted wheels of a Prussian express locomotive manufactured in Hattingen and situated in the outside area is indicative of the importance of the iron and steel industry for the railways.