Today, the playing card factory is more of a workshop than a museum. Work is also carried out on all the historic machines, so that a vivid impression of the working conditions in an old print shop can be conveyed. As a visitor, you can look over the employees' shoulders or find out more in an exhibition.
In the 19th century, it became apparent that the production of playing cards was a profitable business in Stralsund, whereupon other companies were founded in addition to the existing ones. In 1872, the three Stralsund playing-card producers Ludwig v. d. Osten, Ludwig Heidborn and Theodor Wegener joined forces to form a joint-stock company. The new name was Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkarten - Fabriken Aktien - Gesellschaft Stralsund (VSS A.G.). The new company was now well-funded, could increase production, force other playing-card factories into bankruptcy and then buy them up.
The most important purchase for the future was that of the playing-card factory Lennhoff & Heuser, Frankfurt am Main, which brought a large number of popular card designs to Stralsund. Thanks to the commitment of the former co-owner Karl Heuser, who became director of VSS A.G. shortly after moving to Stralsund in 1883, the company continued to expand and, after taking over other manufacturers, also produced in the Halle and Altenburg departments. In Stralsund, meanwhile, modernization was carried out and the entire production was converted to the cheaper letterpress printing method from 1891/92. Despite further investments, the company was forced to decide at the Annual General Meeting on February 14, 1931 to merge the two production sites in Stralsund and Altenburg. The centrally located Altenburg was chosen as the headquarters because it was no longer possible to expand the factory in Stralsund. Despite numerous efforts to keep the site in Stralsund, negotiations began in September 1931 for the complete closure of the Stralsund factory, as a result of which the site was abandoned. Today, the playing card factory is more of a workshop than a museum.