Le Creusot

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Creusot, Le

(lə krözō`), city (1990 pop. 29,230), Saône-et-Loire dept., E central France, in Burgundy. Situated in a former coal-mining region, it is the site of the historic Schneider iron and steel mills and munitions factories (founded 1837). A Le Creusot economic development museum is in the former Schneider residence, Château de la Verrerie. Diversification has led to the establishment of textile, electronics, and high-energy-applications industries.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Le Creusot


a city in central France, in the department of Saône-et-Loire, on the northeastern edge of the Massif Central. Population, 34,000 (1968). Production center of special steels and the machine-building and defense industries. Coal is mined nearby.

Le Creusot sprang up in the late 18th century at a coal-mining site. The first industrial enterprises were created in 1774. In 1782 pig iron was smelted with coke for the first time in France in Le Creusot. The defense industry developed in 1782. In 1836 the enterprises were taken over by the brothers Adolph and Eugene Schneider, who founded the stock-holding firm Schneider and Company.

Machine-building and the production of special steels developed in the city in the mid-19th century. In January and March 1870 there were mass strikes in Le Creusot of metalworkers and miners, against whom troops were deployed. In a plebiscite of May 1870 the majority of voters cast ballots against the constitution of Napoleon III. From Sept. 4, 1870, to May 28, 1871, Le Creusot had municipal autonomy, and J. B. Dumay, a worker, was the city’s mayor. On Mar. 26, 1871, the Commune was proclaimed in Le Creusot, but by March 27 it was crushed by government troops.

In the 20th century, Le Creusot has been one of the centers of the democratic movement in France. During World War II, underground Resistance organizations were active in Le Creusot, and the city suffered from bombings.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Le Creusot

a town in E central France: metal, machinery, and armaments industries. Pop.: 26 283 (1999)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In recalling Le Creusot in the early twentieth century, an engineer explained, "I have the impression that at Le Creusot you were almost born a metallurgical worker, a mechanic.
The foremost paternalist firm in nineteenth-century France was unquestionably the Le Creusot metalworks owned by the Schneider family.
The firm actively promoted a communal life built around Schneider family celebrations: major festivities at Le Creusot coincided with events in the life of the family: births, baptisms, marriages and birthdays were occasions for dinners and public celebrations.
Reybaud's contemporary, Louis Simonin could write of his visit to Le Creusot, "We have seen how they make iron; it is time to say how they make men...."(16)
The key to Le Creusot's success in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century was its disciplined and skilled employees.
Through the schools, Le Creusot set out to take control of existing forms of skilled worker endogamy.
The system at Le Creusot was remarkably successful both in producing skilled labor and in limiting labor conflict: between 1871 and the massive influx of workers during and after World War 1, only at the turn of the century did unskilled laborers, youths and women - workers and inhabitants not fully integrated into the network of social institutions at Le Creusot - and electricians hired from outside the town, launch strikes which disrupted the famed social harmony at Le Creusot.(23)
Workers at Le Creusot were divided into three categories.
Nowhere was this system more developed than at Le Creusot. Eugene Schneider always saw Great Britain as the primary competition for Le Creusot; after a trip there in 1846, he noted that French workers are "as intelligent, but less developed [moins formes]" than British workers.(34) Schneider set out to change this through schooling and he would have read with great satisfaction the English worker Robert Coningsby's comment after visiting Le Creusot in 1867 that unless his nation developed similar schools, the French would soon surpass it in machine-building.(35)
The primary purpose of the Le Creusot school system was to serve as "the reservoir" of company personnel.[36] "From 1850 on," Reybaud wrote at the end of the Second Empire, "the school prepared individuals for the factory which subsidized it [the modest school fees were ended in 1873(37) and the factory, like the school, profited from this exchange.