The seat of the Ethnographic Museum of Iron, Arts and Popular Traditions occupies two forges which originally belonged to the Family Morandini “Stefani”, then handed over to the Panteghini Family and afterwards transferred to the Municipality of Bienno in 1985.
The last “padèlé|r” who managed these two forges was Bortolo Mendeni, who also converted the forge “cavatura” for the production of frying pans into a “scartadura” one for the production of agricultural tools. These forges remained active up to the eighties. This factory is documented as well with the number 803 on the Napoleonic Map of 1821.
In its interior there are preserved machineries for the ironworking such as: hammer, vine-shoots, wheels, pumps, “tina de l’ora”, lathe for the frying pans, shear and wood-burning oven, as well as the tools and their related ferrous products.
After the restruction, when the forge was turned into a museum, in the first premise there is the didactic area, while in the second one are still active the hammer and the vine-shoots, both connected to the wheel through the “érbor” (the drive shaft); the “mànek” (the hammer arm) is also well-preserved and made up of a walnut trunk at the end of which is fixed the “co del mai”, or rather the steel hammer with a lower hollow in which is fixed the “bóca”, that is the part that strikes the iron during the working.
Depending on the working, the “bóca” has a different form and here it is possible to see the different typologies. You have to observe how has been preserved the placement of the original forge not only in the hammers, but also in the position of the furnace that was fed with wood or coal, housed in an adjoining closet called “mànega”.
You have to remember that the coal (brown) was produced in the mountains with the “poiat”, or rather through the stacking up of wood arranged in dome-shaped that burned down covered with land.
Even today in the wood you can see small clearings “iai” where were made the “poiacc”.
It is well evident the functioning of the “tina de l’ora”, that produced the compressed air for the inflation of the furnace. In the exterior is clear the functioning of the Vaso Ré (the Rè duct) system with the adduction pipe, the wheels for the hammer and vine-shoots, with different dimensions and their pumps.