In 1486, the Duke of Jülich granted five Gemünd citizens the right to build an ironworks.
In the sixteenth century, the works really flourished, and more than a thousand wagons rolled through Gemünd each year carrying iron ore and charcoal. Here wrought-iron of a very high quality was produced, using a particular forging process on the pig-iron known as Schleidener Valley Work.
Then came war and hard times, and the works stopped production and fell into disrepair. After the rebuilding of the plant during the time of Napoleonic control, ironmaking flourished again for a short while. But soon afterwards, the factory fires were extinguished for ever.