La Forge à la catalane dans les Pyrénées ariégeoises.Une industrie à la montagne (XVIIe- XIX siècle)

    Full details

    English titleCatalan Forge in Ariège, Pyrenees. An industry on the mountain (17th-19th century)
    Authors & editors

    Cantelaube, Jean [Author]

    Publisher CNRS/ Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail
    Year of publication 2005

    French (main text)

    Medium Book

    Mining & extraction > Iron


    Scope & contentPart of the Histoire & Technique series of books/ journals, from the "Méridiennes" collection. Title: La Forge à la catalane dans les Pyrénées ariégeoises Une industrie à la montagne (XVII e- XIX siècle) Author: Jean CantelaubeSynopsis: Chapters on research into the development of the Catalan forge which played a very important role in industrial development. This book focuses on the Catalan forge in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of southwestern France, in the Pyrenees, from the 17th century to the 19th century. Gives information on the area- once nicknamed the Iron Country, now largely forgotten. Gives information on the Catalan Forge- a set of technological processes intended to obtain iron, by a direct reduction of the ore- without passing through the cast iron as in a blast furnace. The Catalan Forge uses a hydraulic force to operate, on the one hand, a hammer or equivalent, and on the other, a ventilation system (‘the horn’) intended to maintain the combustion of the hearth. Discusses the term Catalan Forge, which refers to both the technology itself and the building in which it operates. It also presents research into the origins of the name. Discusses the popularisation of the expression. Briefly mentions other areas of interest. For example, contrary to what its name suggests, this type of forge was used almost everywhere from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries in the mountain areas, from the Alps, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, to being used by the first American colonists. Discusses the areas that are considered the most important elements of the history surrounding the production of iron. Includes information on the metallurgy; which used rich, easily melted minerals, such as brown hematite’s, decomposed and hydrated carbonates. These were placed in circular fireplaces dug in the ground and built roughly in clay, fed with charcoal, and activated by two bellows of leather. These minerals formed a mass of malleable iron, called “loupe,” which was beaten with hammers to be cleared of its impurities. This is called the “hand forge,” or “flying forge”. It was installed on the very spot where the ore was found. When the vein was exhausted, or the charcoal was missing, the “metalworkers” left the premises and went to settle elsewhere, abandoning the crucibles and piles of slag. Discusses key historical sources, such as official administrative sources, i.e. government registers from the 17th century onwards. Discusses other areas such as the consumption of charcoal, which was one of the major causes of the deforestation of the Pyrenees. Also discusses conflicts that ensued such as the War of the Demoiselles. Discusses the increase in the “imbalance between men and resources.” Information on the scope of the project- discusses the four most important elements of new research, i.e. the main areas to focus on. Firstly, the definition of the Catalan forge, as there are two ‘definitions’ of this- the machinery and the location. The materials used. Why the area was so busy and well-known, but has since been largely forgotten. Information is given on key people from miners to entrepreneurs of the technology, including Frédéric Le Play, from 1848, who was a mining engineer in the area. includes a chapter on archaeological studies by industrial archaeologists and the information that can be determined from this. Also discusses key historians and archival materials. Discusses various changes and modifications made to the technology, particularly in terms of changing the ‘air flow’ systems. Also discusses key characteristics of the type found in the Pyrenees. The trunk (or “trombe”)- a structural element of the forge, reached the French Pyrenees by the middle of the 18th century and then spread throughout the Pyrenean area, including Ariège.

    Copies held

    Accession no. 229977

    • Shelf location: Z00