About 1830, the efforts of the State of Berne and of the local pioneers of Brienz craftsmanship began to bear fruit. The developing tourism, the reliable work-force and the skilled craftsmanship of the Brienz people made the economic position of Brienz increasingly attractive. When the gentlemen Sebastian Binder from Uders, Tirol, J.M. Roetter from Baden-Baden and Chr. Stuffer from Gröden, Tirol founded a firm in 1835 for the manufacture and sale of craftwork, they benefited from the huge growth of the young branch. After five years, the undertaking had already expanded and a new house and business premises were erected on the same site as still exists today.
The firm recorded its first international successes already before the first generation change. With awards that were brought back from world exhibitions in Paris and London, the first export channels in Europe and overseas were opened up. Out of the initial, simple, turned and carved wooden products, developed an enormous varied range of human and animal figures, small pieces of furniture, ornamental boxes, musical boxes and musical chalets. With the expansion of the business, shops were opened in Interlaken, Lucerne, St. Moritz, Zermatt and Montreux. Diversification into gastronomy took place in Brienz, and in Zürich into lamp production.
With the outbreak of the Franco-German war, the period of prosperity came to an end. With the end of the war, the crisis also ended and the second upswing of the firm began to take off. Once again, Brienz became the target resort of many foreign tourists. In 1900, the factory was built and still stands today. At that time the firm had 250 employees. In 1911, the firm became the first Brienz company to connect up with the electricity network of the Reichenbach Electricity works near Meiringen.
With the outbreak of World War 1, both the firm and Brienz craftwork suffered their second decline. The changed economic, political and social conditions destroyed the former demand for craftwork production from Brienz. In the following years of crisis, the various branches were closed. The stocks of these sales outlets, if not sold, were returned to Brienz where they were then stored for about 100 years, forgotten, rediscovered, and are now on display today.
In 1926, Eduard Binder II died and his son-in-law, Eduard Jobin I, took over the crisis-stricken firm in danger of bankruptcy. The crisis lingered on but when the economic situation gradually improved again in 1953, Eduard Jobin I died at the age of 56. At the age of 22 his son, Eduard Jobin II, took over the business together with his mother. The business was still heavily in debt.
The world economy which was developing positively and the American soldiers who were stationed in Europe helped tourism and the firm enjoyed a renewed upturn.
It was the start of modern tourism and Brienz benefited from the growing reputation and popularity of the tourist centres of Lucerne and Interlaken. A visit to Jobin's in Brienz became a shopping experience for tourists and as time went on the variety of the stock increased in accordance with demand. Although the firm opened up local as well as international outlets, the actual craftwork business remained in crisis. In spite of renewed modernisation in production and marketing, Brienz wood-carving made significant losses in its own business as well as in outside sales.
Nevertheless, thanks to timely efforts in export and to the good reputation of our brand name, the firm succeeded in establishing itself as a producer of high quality and traditional musical boxes. These represent the central function of the company.
In 1997, Eduard Jobin II retired from operational direction and in 2002 handed the company over to the 5th generation.
With the production of its own mechanical, musical articles, the company became more entrenched in creativity on the one hand, and on the other hand became the only Swiss firm which developed, produced and sold musical boxes as well as other mechanical, musical articles under one and the same roof.
In the same year, production and administration were also modernised. Computer supported production was introduced and increased productivity of regular lines and the development and production of items specified by customers.
Gleichenjahrs werden Produktion und Administration modernisiert.
In 1998, the first stage in extending the Living Museum took place. The second stage, with the integration of additional craftworks, followed in 2001. Parallel with the extension of the Museum, the sales section "Events" was created. With "Hands on Events" the very crafts which have been practised for generations now became available as leisure and holiday experiences.
Both today and in the future, the Jobin company sees itself as being a concept and platform for traditional, living and skilled craftwork and as an authentic Swiss experience.