The museum 'tells' the story of industrial production in Terra d'Otranto and, in particular, that of the town of Maglie. It is important not only for what it represents, but above all is a complementary element of a broader path of knowledge, valorisation and integration with the territory.

The territory concerned is the Terra d'Otranto (today known as Salento), with the current provinces of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto, where flourishing industries and far-sighted entrepreneurs have written a memorable page in the history of industry in Apulia.
Salento was a land where there was a rich and consolidated tradition for the production of lampante oil, much appreciated and sought after by the most famous European wool industries. This production activity gave rise to two new industries in the area: the production of oil extracted from pomace using carbon disulphide (sansifici) and that of soaps (saponifici).

From the 1860s onwards, there was a considerable demand from both foreign and domestic markets for blending wines: Terra d'Otranto became 'the cellar of Europe'. However, the amount of wine produced in the area is huge and generates a great demand for barrels, necessary for storage and transport. The waste from wine-making fuels the development of distillation for the production of alcohol.
From 1890 onwards, the cultivation, indigenous production and pre-manufacturing of tobacco developed throughout the Salento.
Alongside activities in the agri-food sector, manufacturing activities were well spread throughout the Salento area.