Since the early 20th century, electricity has become the most important form of energy for human beings. In large cities and areas with little waterpower, steam engines were used to provide electricity in the early period. Where coal could be easily supplied, the conditions were ideal for these engines.
The piston steam engine presented at the TECHNOSEUM was built by the Maschinenfabrik Esslingen for the car maker H. Fuchs in Heidelberg-Rohrbach in 1908 and it was sold to Döllken & Co. in Essen in 1920. There it was used until the 1980s, albeit only as a back-up unit since the early 1960s. The engine is an excellent example of the self-reliance of companies that produced electricity for their own use – which is also characteristic of the time when a nationwide network did not yet exist.