USINE S

USINE S

Sheep wool contains many impurities, such as lanolin (wool fat) and suint (sweat wool). Traditionally, wool washing was done directly in the river or by means of alkaline and hot baths in tubs and special machines. However, the lanolin, which is insoluble in water, could not be separated with this procedure. This factory, which was established at the beginning of the 20th century, used a new and revolutionary process, imported from the United Stated, which consisted of treating the fatty wool with naphtha or petroleum gasoline. This absolutely neutral product does not affect the fiber of the wool and only leaves it the percentage of fat that is needed to maintain its natural flexibility and elasticity. The naphtha is subsequently removed from the remaining wool by evaporation. Another interesting result of the “solventage” was the recovery of the fat extracted from the wool: completely pure lanolin. One of the various uses of wool-extracted lanolin was the manufacture of pharmaceutical soap and lanolin for the maintenance of hides and skins, but it can also be used in the preparation of oils, fat, wax, ointments, consistent fats, and so on.


LIMESTONE FACTORY

LIMESTONE FACTORY

The lime kilns mark a turning point in the industrial history of this small town. Halfway through the 16th century, according to the parish registers, there was already industrial exploitation of the quarries to a certain extent. In the mid-1850s, the municipality built a first oven. Almost 25 years later, a second oven was built and paid for by the operator of the first oven. Since 1890 the company has been operated by the same family. A third lime kiln was built in collaboration with another family. By the 1920s, these three ovens were operating at full capacity, only to be stopped some fifty years later. A large part of the old buildings has been abandoned. The buildings you see in the photos belong to the old forge, which now houses a museum.


CIMENTERIE

CIMENTERIE

Hidden in plain sight, this more than three acres wide industrial site has been waiting for a new destination since the beginning of the 1960s. The former cement factory was established there in 1883 on the site where lime had been extracted from the adjacent quarry since 1881. In the beginning, only lime was produced. Later the activities were expanded with the production of the artificial Portland cement. The factory was equipped with traditional ovens and vertical metal furnaces spread over a dozen atypical industrial buildings. The most striking and most impressive of these constructions is undoubtedly the 130ft high tower, which still contains the rusty remains of the machinery. The southern part of the site, with the old limestone quarry, has now been split off. In the mid-1950s this part was flooded. It is used today by a diving club. Members can dive to a depth of 130ft. The site was sanatized in 2013. A project developer intended to create lofts in the existing buildings, but these plans were never implemented. Meanwhile nature has regained control of the entire site…

The entire set can be viewed on my website. Click here


CIMENTERIE

CIMENTERIE

Hidden in plain sight, this more than three acres wide industrial site has been waiting for a new destination since the beginning of the 1960s. The former cement factory was established there in 1883 on the site where lime had been extracted from the adjacent quarry since 1881. In the beginning, only lime was produced. Later the activities were expanded with the production of the artificial Portland cement. The factory was equipped with traditional ovens and vertical metal furnaces spread over a dozen atypical industrial buildings. The most striking and most impressive of these constructions is undoubtedly the 130ft high tower, which still contains the rusty remains of the machinery. The southern part of the site, with the old limestone quarry, has now been split off. In the mid-1950s this part was flooded. It is used today by a diving club. Members can dive to a depth of 130ft. The site was sanatized in 2013. A project developer intended to create lofts in the existing buildings, but these plans were never implemented. Meanwhile nature has regained control of the entire site…

The entire set can be viewed on my website. Click here


FOUR DE C.

FOUR DE C.

This steel factory was founded in 1853. When the owner was on the verge of bankruptcy because of the high financial requirements for the construction of a railway, he was saved with the financial help of an accountant within his company. After the death of the founder in 1880, he left the company to that accountant, who continued and expanded the company under his own name. By 1897 the company had 1200 employees. By 1913, the company had two blast furnaces, two batteries of 41 coke ovens; two steel factories, rolling mills, forges, workshops, etc. During the First World War, the factory was dismantled and demolished, but from 1919 it was rebuilt with new blast furnaces and coke ovens with a production capacity of 200.000 tons of iron per year. During the interbellum, there were more expansions to the factory. The company flourished until the 1970s, but from then on, as with other steel industries, was struck by the steel crisis. The number of employees was reduced to one third. From then on, the company had a succession of acquisitions and mergers. The current owner, a Russian partner of the last acquirer, has been producing hot and cold-rolled steel since 2016.


FOUR DE C.

FOUR DE C.

This steel factory was founded in 1853. When the owner was on the verge of bankruptcy because of the high financial requirements for the construction of a railway, he was saved with the financial help of an accountant within his company. After the death of the founder in 1880, he left the company to that accountant, who continued and expanded the company under his own name. By 1897 the company had 1200 employees. By 1913, the company had two blast furnaces, two batteries of 41 coke ovens; two steel factories, rolling mills, forges, workshops, etc. During the First World War, the factory was dismantled and demolished, but from 1919 it was rebuilt with new blast furnaces and coke ovens with a production capacity of 200.000 tons of iron per year. During the interbellum, there were more expansions to the factory. The company flourished until the 1970s, but from then on, as with other steel industries, was struck by the steel crisis. The number of employees was reduced to one third. From then on, the company had a succession of acquisitions and mergers. The current owner, a Russian partner of the last acquirer, has been producing hot and cold-rolled steel since 2016.


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