In 1768, Georges-Louis LECLERC, Count of Buffon, built the most modern forge in the world at the time. Indeed, the 3 steps of iron manufacturing were made in the same place : - in the furnace, the ore was melted for 12 hours at a temperature of 1200°C; - then, during the refinery process, the very brittle cast iron was melted again and turned into iron; - finally, in the foundry, the bars of pig iron were transformed into semi-finished items with a hydraulic hammer that shaped the tools. The conception of the factory is a remarkable example of the Age of the Enlightenment: the lodgings of workers were set nearby the industrial machinery.

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