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The first mention of a hammer mill in the Muldental valley near the town of Aue is in 1526. In the early 17th century, the Auer Hammer was one of the most important hammer mills in the Erzgebirge. After several changes of ownership, in 1829 Dr. Ernst August Geitner began the industrial production of the copper/nickel/zinc alloy argentan – also known as nickel silver or alpacca – which he had succeeded in producing for the first time in 1822/1823. Geitner’s argentan factory was the first of its kind in Europe. Argentan production was the basis for the site’s transformation into a major cutlery and tableware manufacturer in Aue. There are plans to use part of the manor house, which was converted for residential use in 1886, as a museum.