Industrial plant complex, Maleniec
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Industrial plant complex

Maleniec

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Preserved equipment and job stations in a condition largely unchanged since the heyday of the plant in the 19th century; carefully introduced upgrades testifying to the innovation and ingenuity of the previous generations of the early era of industrial revolution in Poland

History

The former ironworks is one of the technical monuments of the industry that developed in the Świętokrzyskie region over centuries. The 2nd half of the 18th century saw a rapid development of metallurgy, thanks to the support and activity of the royally, nobility and bishops. The north part of the region, which is now referred to as Old-Polish Industrial Region or Old-Polish Industrial Area, was a site for ore mines, blast furnaces, iron works and manufactures of tools and armaments. The plant in Maleniec was built in that period (1784) by the owner of the estate, Jacek Jezierski, castellan of Łuków. He built a pond on the Czarna River, mill, sawmill, rod shop and a pig-iron processing shop. The production covered various iron tableware and farm tools, using the pig-iron smelted in the nearby blast furnaces. In 1787 the plant was visited by the last Polish king, Stanisław August Poniatowski. At the end of the 18th century, the complex was purchased by Duke Hessen-Darmstadt; he operated the plant for almost 25 years without upgrading it. The next owner, Tadeusz Bocheński, landowner and economic activist, purchased the plant in 1824. Thanks to loans from the Bank of Poland, he introduced a number of innovations and significantly raised the production capacity of Maleniec and other neighbouring plants. In 1837, in addition to the upgrading of the furnaces, he built a rolling mill, axe shop and  pig-iron processing shop using the hydropower of the existing water system. He created the most modern mining and metallurgical plant in the Congress Kingdom of Poland. In the 19th century, the complex was modernized twice; in the 1850s, Tadeusz’s brother, Józef Bocheński, removed the pig-iron furnaces and introduced nail-making machinery; in the 1870s, the new owner Feliks Wielogłowski, replaced the nail-making devices with machines manufacturing various kinds of shovels, spades and farm tools. In the early 20th century, the property was purchased by Felicjan Jankowski. The last owner, from 1913, was his daughter Helena Frolich who leased the plant to the Jewish entrepreneur Binem Kozłowski. Until 1967, i.e. for most of the 20th century, the character and organization of manufacturing remained unchanged, the only difference was the use of scrap metal to lower the production costs (e.g. rims of train carriage wheels). During the Nazi occupation, the factory operated under German supervision (a combustion engine was introduced as an auxiliary drive); in 1945 the water supply system was destroyed. After WW2, after the repair of the complex and resuming production by the local population and local entrepreneurs, the plant was nationalized. Later, it was occasionally modernized, e.g. introduction of a supplementary electric drive, but until the decommissioning in 1967, it used the hydropower and old machinery. Over that time, it was part of the Opoczno Regional Industry Plant and later of the Końskie Farm Tool Factory, which transferred the Maleniec facility to the students and staff of the Silesian University of Technology in 1970 for didactic purposes. In the coming years, Maleniec was a popular destination for students and teachers who, in agreement with the monument conservation authority, performed their student practice while maintaining the facility. They carried out various tasks, such as inventorying, preservation, repairs and even partial reconstruction. In 2004 the plant was taken over by the receiver and sold it in a tender procedure to the Management Board of Końskie County which transferred it into a municipal cultural institution, the Old Metallurgical Plant in Maleniec. Today, the Maleniec museum exhibits historical and original items as well as presenting old manufacturing techniques and technologies.

Description

The spatial complex of the Old Metallurgical Plant in Maleniec consists of: the former hydropower system, production buildings, remains of the factory housing estate, Kasztelańska Road and the former storage. Currently, the complex of the industrial plant in Maleniec, consisting of the former industrial plant and the water system, is officially registered as a historical monument. It is currently located in Końskie County, not far from the Kielce-Piotrków Trybunalski road. The location on the bend of the Czarna River permitted a convenient and safe layout of the water system. The system is made up of: the former pond (now a water reservoir), side causeway and front dam, outlet weirs and a natural overflow. Separate inlet canals fed water to different wheel drives (wooden undershoot wheels) providing power to the rolling mill and spade shop; also internal channels are present and lower inlet canals. The south canal wheel is installed in a cage and coupled by a shaft with the drive of the rolling mill machinery. The following have been preserved from the former industrial plant: the wooden rolling mill shop, stone spade shop (nail-making shop), drop hammer, a system of rails and switches, former paint shop and storage. The rolling mill rebuilt after the war (a wooden building on a stone foundation) has an asymmetrical roof, three-nave, five-span plan, with a large drive wheel cage to the south. The rolling mill equipment is a set of cogged gears, an impressive flywheel (the so-called "Madman of Maleniec"), roller, two-chamber furnace, lathe, scissors, balance, blower and other small tools. The spade shop (previously also nail shop) is a building on a rectangular plan a symmetrical gable roof, with a later annex for an auxiliary combustion or electric engine; inside, a three-nave, eight-span plan. Inside the shop, there was a set of presses and grinders performing consecutive technological operations involving the production of spades and shovels and driven by so-called small water wheel. Besides, the shop has: a lifting nailer, riveter, three-chamber furnace with a blower and the equipment of the mechanical workshop. Most of the described machinery and equipment is original and dates back to the 19th century.

Municipal area; used by the local Museum of Technology in Maleniec, available in the museum opening hours

Compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 02.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Herbst. S, Ochrona Zabytków, R. IV. 1951.
  • Koźminski K., Zagłębie Staropolskie w Kieleckiem, Warszawa 1955.
  • Zieliński J., Staropolskie Zagłębie Przemysłowe, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1965.
  • Baranowski B., Baranowski W., Koliński J., Katalog Zabytków Budownictwa Przemysłowego w Polsce, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1970, t.II, z.4, powiat Opoczno, s. 17-18.
  • Wojewódzki R., Najważniejsze zabytki techniki powiatu koneckiego, Tradycje przemysłowe ziemi koneckiej, Kielce 1991, s. 51-61.
  • Guldon Z., Kaczor J., Górnictwo i hutnictwo w Staropolskim Okręgu Przemysłowym w drugiej połowie XVIII wieku, Kielce 1994.
  • Szczepański J., Modernizacja górnictwa i hutnictwa w Królestwie Polskim w I połowie XIX w. Rola specjalistów niemieckich i brytyjskich, Kielce 1997.
  • Główka J., Hutnictwo i przemysł metalowy w Zagłębiu Staropolskim w okresie międzywojennym 1918-1939, Kielce 2012.

General information

  • Type: factory
  • Chronology: 1786 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Maleniec
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district konecki, commune Ruda Maleniecka
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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