Mettlach - Historic events

Anyone who does not have a relation to ceramics will not be able to understand the term "Mettlach". And frankly, until my visit to the Ceramics Museum , Mettlach was for me a very normal idyllic provincial town where a well-known manufacturer ( Villeroy & Boch ) produces ceramic products. I really did not know about the importance of the company in the nineteenth century and since I am very curious by nature, I concerned myself with the literature on the company and researched diligently on the Internet. In the following I summarized the most important historical events from the 19th century.

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In Mettlach a stoneware factory was already established in 1809 by Jean Francois Boch-Buschmann (the nameJean Francois Boch "Buschmann" he had adopted by marriage with Rosalie Buschmann in 1806) in order to put his knowledge acquired from the "Paris Ecole des Sciences" into practice.

As building served an old Benedictine abbey which he had acquired in April 1809 for F 22370 by a certain Jacques Leistenschneider (book printer in Trier). One can now ask the question how a book-printer could buy such a (huge) abbey. To do this one must know something about the history (not necessarily my strengths). The building complex belonged before the sale the french government which managed it as so-called "national property". The monks living there were expelled from the monastery after the French Revolution (1789) and the subsequent expansion of a man named "Napoleon". This abruptly put an end to the monastery time in the Mettlacher valley which stretched over 1100 years.

One of the reasons for this location selection for the young company founder was the river "Saar" , which was navigable at that time and was of strategic importance for the supply of basic fuels and for the transport of finished products. But also the proximity to the coal mines around the town "Saarbrücken" were an important argument for this choice, since the wood prices at that time were very high and the hard coal was recognized as an alternative fuel for the kilns.

However, the lack of suitable workers was unfavorable for this choice of the company location and the surrounding area were only sparsely populated. However, Jean Francois Boch succeeded in forming a permanent staff because he took "old" employees from the factory Septfontaines (Luxemburg) to Mettlach which belonged to his father. Over the decades, the company's labor market deficit has changed as the growing success has attracted more and more people to Mettlach and the surrounding area. But also the initial restraint of the locals became less and less and a a lot of them dared now the step of an employment in the company.

John Francois Boch met Nicolas Villeroy from Wallerfangen (who ran a faience there) through a wine trade which he had a short time near his manufactory (~ 1818). Very quickly, both entrepreneurs agreed on a cooperation. For a few years Boch had his supplies of Mennige (Mennige = red powder) delivered by Villeroy from Wallerfangen but also the shared use of a glass mill in Saarhölzbach is proof of the progressive approach.

In 1836 the company then took the step of merging the works in Mettlach and Wallerfangen . Together with the Boch factory in Septfontaines (founded in 1767), the company " Villeroy & Boch " was founded. The works of Mettlach and Wallerfangen, together with all of its existing buildings, belonged to the company. The plant in Septfontaines was one half each involved.

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