From forges to metalworking industries

At the end of the 18th century, the 8 forges operating in the Crempse and Caudau valleys produced iron ingots, locksmithing, kitchen utensils, firebacks, boilers for cane sugar and cannons for the royal navy. The obsolescence of the techniques still used in these forges in the 19th century and the Franco-British free trade treaty of 1860 led to the closure of the last forest forges.

At the same time, the first metallurgical industries were set up as close as possible to l’Isle and then to the railway. The Coly forge at Le Pizou, the largest in the valley in the 1850s, remained in operation until 1955. In Périgueux, in Toulon, the construction and repair workshops for the railway equipment of Paris-Orléans were set up there in 1865 and quickly became the biggest employer in the department with 2000 employees. In Mussidan, two rival metal construction workshops, those of Duperrier and Seillan created from 1900 onwards, developed rapidly.

Illustrations :

– Photograph of the forge of Lavaure in Bourgnac. (©Musée André Voulgre)

– Postcards of the Duperrier metallurgical factories of Mussidan in 1909 (©Musée André Voulgre).

– Roller curtain plate of a shop of the Duperrier de Mussidan factories. (©Musée André Voulgre)

– Letterhead from the Duperrier metallurgical plants (Escarment Collection)

– Postcard of the SATM factory, ex Seillan, by Mussidan in the 1960s (Escarment Collection)

– Advertising of the SATM factory, formerly Seillan, in Mussidan in 1969, now ATEMCO.

– Advertising of the SATM factory, ex Seillan, de Mussidan in 1935, today ATEMCO.

– Letterhead of the SATM, ex Seillan, in 1952 (Escarment Collection).

– Postcard of the workers leaving the workshops of the Compagnie du Paris Orléans in Périgueux around 1900 (Archives Départementales de la Dordogne, 2 Fi 1784).

– Postcard of the Coly forge in Le Pizou at the end of the 19th century. (Archives Départementales de la Dordogne, 2 Fi 2322).