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Witness to an industrial adventure of more than 160 years, the Cuivrerie de Cerdon is reborn in 2022 to offer you an incredible immersion in the secrets of the workshops and make you discover demonstrations of unique know-how.



An element of French heritage at the crossroads between industrial, ethnological and intangible heritage, the Cuivrerie site promotes techniques and know-how.


Set off to discover the old factory and the secrets of its workshops: an animated tour takes you in the footsteps of the family of founders, those of the workers, the first factories in Cerdon and their machines.




The village of Cerdon then takes advantage of its waterways:they offer their hydraulic power to the new factories.


Indeed, it is the hydraulic force offered by the watercourse located under the Copperworks which allows the era of the Industrial Revolution to activate the machines that you will discover, to transform the objects.


In 1871, the French engineerPaul Brunat is mandated by the Japanese government to supervise the construction of the first modern state spinning mill in Tomioka. The merits of “Main & Son” catch his attention.


300 basins for unwinding and spinning cocoons are ordered from “Main & Son ".

Jules Chatron, Main's first worker, left for Japan in 1872 for two years. He shares the adventure with 8 other people selected by Paul Brunat: engineers, silk workers and spinners.


Mission accomplished!

The Tomioka spinning mill quickly begins production. The following year, she won second prize at the Vienna World's Fair for her raw silk.

The know-how of “Main & Fils” was awarded the bronze medal at the Lyon International Exhibition in 1872 in the “Silk Production” category.

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This spinning table, invented and produced by Main & Thread, improves the technique of extracting thread from silkworm cocoons.


Made up of copper basins on brass decking, it allows this wire to be “pulled” effortlessly and to optimize its quality.

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Leaning against the old mill, a high brick chimney has long marked the location of the factory in the Cerdonnais landscape.


This symbolic and striking construction of the architecture of the Copperworks no longer exists. But, in a nod to this element, a new fireplace has been installed on the reception platform.



In 1924, the acquisition of a stamping press from the American company Bliss allowed them to increase production and recruit 70 workers over the decade.

Among the many teapots and coffee makers, we find special products such as the larger lemonade coffee maker.

Each object passes through the hands of the goldsmith who ensures the finishing touches such as the silver appearance or the addition of chiseled patterns.

The ewer

There are numerous productions for the Orient: lamps, trays, tea sets. This ewer is a fairly emblematic example.

The balance plates
Mass production emblematic of the Copperworks, they come in a wide variety of sizes, in copper, nickel silver, nickel or aluminum. Most of the trays, made using the lathe embossing technique, have a classic, round shape. But some can be square, pan-shaped or even hollow with a spout. The depths are also diverse and offered in the catalog: semi-deep, deep, extra-deep.



Presses are machines capable of generating continuous and progressive pressure, in order to cut or deform the material placed in the mold, generally a sheet of metal called a blank.

This mechanical press allows you to carry out one of the most widespread techniques for manufacturing copper objects: stamping.



The building of the forge, placed above the river, was created in 1885 then enlarged in 1926. The height of its metal frame allows smoke and hot air to be evacuated.

This 6 hearth forge is part of the essential equipment for production. It consists of a sheet metal formwork (the caisson), filled with refractory bricks which accumulate heat. The fire is activated by an electric ventilation system - replacing the traditional bellows - and the air guided by the nozzle emerges in the center of the box. The worker modulates the force and the direction of the breath which escapes from this pipe, to obtain a broad or narrow fire.


The work on the forge is used for the manufacture or repair of iron tools, and to design small parts such as handles.


Softened by the fire, the iron is transformed hot on the anvil.
Hearths can also be used to heat copper during annealing or brazing operations. It cannot be forged, it is cold worked.



The forge building has augmented reality glasses that will allow you to discover the work of the workers of this era!



This is a method of shaping by deformation of a circular sheet of metal (blank). It is clamped between a mandrel (corresponding to the shape of the part to be produced) and a buffer. The worker operates the spinning lathe and presses the metal sheet with a tool called a spoon, to make it conform to the shape of the chuck. The worker is connected to the machine by a strap which gives him more strength. Once the shape has been obtained, the repeller smooths the surface, then with a cutting tool, it shapes the edge of the part.

This method can only be used for the production of circular or oval parts. Spinning requires large amounts of grease to prevent the tool from seizing up, and chucks must be changed frequently because the pressure of the metal quickly renders them unusable. This efficient technique for mass production was used for a long time in the manufacture of the weighing pans that the Copperworks produced in large numbers.

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