1871 Gewerbeakademie


It all started in a cellar of the Berlin Trade Academy with a small test station. Since then, the Materials Testing Office, later renamed BAM, has grown steadily and has always taken on new responsibilities as technology has changed. The mission has remained the same through all epochs: BAM supports progress and ensures safety in technology and chemistry.


In the middle of the 19th century, the industrial revolution arrives in Germany. Novel constructions made of cast iron and steel, such as this railroad viaduct (1868) in Berlin, are now possible. But time and again, bridges collapse, wheel axles break, trains derail.

Railroad viaduct (1868) in Berlin

© ullstein bild – Fotografisches Atelier Ullstein

Backyard start

With this decree, the Prussian Ministry of Trade and Industry ordered ‘strength tests’ for iron and steel. The tests first started in a cellar, then in a shed of the Berlin Trade Academy in 1871.

15. Juni 1870

© Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Mechanisch-Technische Versuchsanstalt 1878