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The Brassery of Cerdon (Cuivrerie de Cerdon), situated in the French department of Ain, is made up of a hereditary craft and is an industry unique in France ; unique by its ancestral character, the methods and techniques used and by the history of the profession.


A Long Story

It was in 1854 that the Brassery was born. Three cousins, each boiler man, set up their company in an old wheat mill. Very quickly, a dozen workers were working there. Then, with the new industrial age, the history of the Brassery becomes associated with the ever changing technology of mechanics.

They start manually, working on the copper with hammers and mallets, after they pass it under a system of mechanic hammers called " martinet ", then in a ram press which presses and pushes the brass.
The development of the factory began in 1900 with an increase of the work force to 80 workers, who principally make items destined for North Africa as well as cutlery. The factory is one of the most important in FRANCE..

The two world wars dented the human potential of the factory.
The decline of the Brassery was announced and this led to the repossession of its goods in 1979.

The Brassery : its a history of Glory , of Hardship… and also of Resurrection.
In 1980, two young " cerdonnais ", sons of workers from the Brassery took the odds of a bet to revive the Brassery and give it a breath of fresh air by opening its doors to the public.

A hereditary Craft and Industry is saved !
The machines are now restored. They are now attached to modern tools and the three water wheels of the factory " appreciate " this new life.

In 1985, a museum of copper was introduced into the heart of the factory and in 1986, was created a subsidiary called " Presti-France " specializing in sports awards and other objets.

In 1994, a porcelain department was created opening a new page of history for the enterprise…


To increase Knowledge of a metal : Copper…

Commentated Slide Show.

  • The Mineral : extraction, producing countries, treatment
  • The drafting of Copper
  • Creation of half-finished products (copper bars, tubes, sheets…)
  • The history of work methods from the Bronze Age to the present

To familiarise you with moulding techniques, you will discover :

  • Hydraulic energy (water wheels)
  • The first machines (whole punches, scales, staplers, rollers, polishers, mechanic hammers…)

The Forge : An essential tool…

The Copper Workshops :
All the machines invented and installed at the Brassery since 1854 are presented there in working order and the majority powered by the water wheel are still used. These workshops contain a century of machinery and the story of a remarkable profession.

A very old job is that of the " Dinandier "
The"Dinandier" makes objects such as cauldrons, jugs, saucepans etc. by hand from sheets of copper that he moulds with the help of hammers.

Techniques of the Past, Present… and Future
Assist to demonstrations on machines from the past which are still used to make copper. Pressing and Pushing of Copper.

Don’t miss the shops of the Brassery to fulfill your visit (Decorations, Ornaments, Cutlery, Porcelain…) as well as Presti-FRANCE (cups, trophies, medals…)

Organizing your trip

Cuivrerie de Cerdon
01450 Cerdon
Contact : Claire-Lise
Tel. : +33 4 74 39 96 44
Fax : +33 4 74 39 93 55

Useful adresses

Tourist Office of Bourg en Bresse
Av Alsace Lorraine 01000
F-01000 Bourg en Bresse
Tel: +33 4 74 22 49 40
Fax: +33 4 74 23 06 28 

Tourist Office of Nantua et sa Région
13 Pl. Deportation 01130
F-01130 Nantua
Tel: +33 4 74 75 00 05 
Fax: +33 4 74 75 06 83 

Tourist Office of Poncin      
10 Pl. Bichat
F-01450 Poncin
Fax: +33 4 74 37 23 14 

Tourist Office of Cerdon
Pl. Allombert 01450
F-01450 Cerdon
+33 4 74 39 93 02

© — Updated: 05.05.2006
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