Industrial Heritage in Paris between Craftsmanship and Industry: The Couesnon Factory of Copper Music Instruments, 1881–1936

By Thomas Le Roux

Industrial heritage in Paris between craftomanship and industry : the Couesnon factory of copper music instruments, 1881-1936.

The « Maison des métallos » (« Steelworkers’ house ») located in Paris’ 11th district, saved from demolition in 2000 thanks to the active support of the inhabitants and associations within the « Comité Métallos » (« Steelworkers’Comittee »), is a remarkable example of Parisian industrial heritage. Built in 1881, it is made of six buildings, two of which have housed until 1936 the workshops and shop of the Couesnon factory, known for its copper music instruments. A large metal hall topped by glass roof, mezzanines, a basement, a factory chimney, are many reminders of the activity of the factory, highly rationalised, without however breaking away from the tradition of craftsmanship and urban landscape of this district. This « realm of memory », which contributed to the international renown of the Couesnon instruments, was also a place of sharing and socialisation that the C.G.T. trade-union preserved after 1936.


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