I finally made it to the Miele Museum, close to where I’m living in Gütersloh, Germany. Their Promise of Forever Better was beautifully displayed with an historical perspective on the major products they have produced over the last 124 years. Perhaps the success of the Miele Company is due to their diversification and continual moves into the future. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this post will be primarily pictures.
The Miele Museum is located in one of their massive buildings, one which stretches in both directions as far as the eye can see. I entered the abundant but sterile lobby, turned left, and walked through automatic glass sliding doors. The first thing I saw was a row of the motors they have manufactured. Proceeding further in, I quickly saw a lighted “trail” in the floor, a clear sign to following order to see the exhibits.
The first item was the cream separator, the initial product the factory produced. Then came the fascinating display of numerous early washing machines. It’s hard not to sympathize with the washer women of the day when we consider how easy it is to wash clothes today. This was illuminated with a display of contemporary washing machines.
The next product to see in its various manifestations is the lowly vacuum cleaner. These apparatuses ranged from long, cylindrical tubes to more recent pull-along cleaners. I would guess that this product bit the dust with the inventions of the Hoover Company.
The next two products are a real surprise. The first of these is the bicycle. These were manufactured from 1916-1960 in the shape of today’s bicycle. The real piece de resistance was left for the last item on display. Miele manufactured an automobile, and what an automobile.
They made only one model (1913) in small numbers and sold out. They didn’t even have one in their possession until they performed a world-wide search to find one. And, one is all they found. It was located in Oslo, Norway, and they had to have it at any cost (which they wouldn’t reveal). Rumor has it that they paid about 6 million dollars for it!
Was It Worth It?
Though my remaining time in Germany is short, my visit to the Miele Museum was fascinating museum and worth the time I spent there. I learned about a company which I had never heard of before coming here. I leave with admiration for this massive company and the many products it has produced over the century.
Fact: Miele aims to make their products 100% carbon-neutral
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