The Iron Library Foundation
The name "Paradies" is strongly connected with the Iron Library, which has been situated in the west wing of the old convent building since 1952. The library owes its existence to the initiative of Ernst Müller (1885-1957), who was then the Managing Director of GF. He was the driving force behind founding the library on 31.12.1948 by offering his private collection as a basis for the foundation. Motives for establishing the foundation were on the one hand the individual industrial tradition of Georg Fischer Ltd. On the other hand, Georg Fischer Ltd. felt responsible for building and uniting cultural values in a destroyed, Post-World-War-II Europe.
In the following three years, the former guest wing of the convent was carefully restored and rebuilt into the library. Sculptor Walter Knecht (1895-1985) of Schaffhausen designed the stucco ceiling in the large library hall, which "at least modestly ties to the noble tradition of the old convent libraries" as the architect, Martin Risch (1880-1961), put it. The inauguration on May, 3rd 1952 was part of the 150 year anniversary of Georg Fischer Ltd. and attracted prominent guests from all over the world.
To this day Georg Fischer Ltd. generously subsidizes the foundation. The Iron Library, together with the Corporate Archives, is committed to preserving the cultural and historic heritage of Georg Fischer Ltd. The library welcomes anyone – scientist or amateur – to use its media.
The "Paradies" convent, situated directly on the banks of the Rhine to the east of Schaffhausen, was founded in the middle of the 13th century by the Count of Kyburg and belonged to the order of the Poor Clares. During the Protestant Reformation the convent was almost secularized and after a fire in 1587 it had to be rebuilt. After the convent was closed in 1836 the buildings were primarily used as a farm estate.
In 1918 Georg Fischer Ltd. in Schaffhausen bought the Klostergut Paradies with its surrounding estates. The intent of this unusual acquisition for an industrial company was to produce food on the farms. The majority of the harvest was cheaply sold to the employees or used in the canteen. For many years the old convent buildings served as worker's housing and later also as retirement apartments.
Nowadays the exemplarily restored convent buildings serve as a training center for Georg Fischer Ltd. and house the Corporate Archives and the Iron Library.