Printer Friendly

Schools and the paternalist project at Le Creusot, 1850-1914.

Eugene Schneider, head of the Le Creusot metalworks, the leading metallurgical center in France, died in 1875. Three years later, residents of Le Creusot launched a campaign to erect a statue in his honor. Their effort was crowned with success. Fifteen thousand subscribers paid for a sculpture by Chapu. Ferdinand de Lesseps presided over inauguration of the statue, the occasion of an enormous celebration in the summer of 1879.(1) The impressive bronze statue was a constant presence in Le Creusotins' lives. They passed it daily; its image adorned the student notebooks used in the city's schools.(2) The statue depicted a woman of the people directing her shirtless twelve-year-old forgeworker son's attention to the elevated presence of Eugene Schneider. A turn of the century poet captured this moment:

The mother, to her son, said, showing the Creator Of the great city: here is your benefactor Let your heart, my child, full of gratitude Place all its confidence in the name Schneider Love and respect a name which should he dear to you Love and respect a name your father respects.(3)

This statue's curious substitution of Schneider for the worker father encapsulated the way in which the authority of the firm, often described in the paternal metaphor, came to stand in for that of the father.4 The statue of Eugene's successor, Henri Schneider, incorporated a similar iconography. Paid for by 25,000 subscriptions collected after his death in 1898, it was placed in front of the Hotel-Dieu he had built.(5) The statue showed the three ages of man at Le Creusot: "the child in the uniform of the Schneider schools; the worker in his work clothes, the old man wearing the cap and frock of the factory retiree."(6)

Paternalist firms establish a system of benefits and institutions which act to insulate their workforces from the labor market; they use a variety of means to control freedom of expression and organization and to substitute managerial authority for that of the family, the shopfloor, and the community.(7) These phenomena are significant, but they obscure the way in which the most developed paternalist enterprises interpret their mission not simply as the attraction and control of workers, but as promotion of a set of techniques to create employees. In this instance, the paternalist system refers primarily to the metaphor of the father as progenitor; the other aspects of paternalist practice flow from this activity. It renders "natural" the social process of the formation of labor, both in terms of skills and personal attributes and in terms of a culture which shapes the employee from childhood. In recalling Le Creusot in the early twentieth century, an engineer explained, "I have the impression that at Le Creusot you were almost born a metallurgical worker, a mechanic. This was an integral part of ourselves; it was what I call the pre-formation."(8)

The foremost paternalist firm in nineteenth-century France was unquestionably the Le Creusot metalworks owned by the Schneider family. The network of social institutions established for workers at Le Creusot was as famous as the steam engines and armaments produced in its factories. Louis Reybaud wrote during the Second Empire, "the town and the factory are two sisters which have grown up under the same tutelage"(9); Victor Turgan described Le Creusot at the time as "paternally governed by the mayor who was also the factory director."(10) This insular setup in turn reduced state interference in the running of the community: the public prosecutor reported in 1858 that his deputy "was quite amenable to leaving repression of serious crimes to the paternal discipline of the managers.... The directors seek to make Le Creusot a kind of arcanum into which no outside eye can penetrate and compromise their authority as family fathers and their credit as businessmen."(11) Observers' references to a "paternal" culture mirrored the language used by the firm itself. It is impossible to comprehend fully managerial conceptions of Le Creusot culture without entering into the language of the father metaphor in which it was often articulated.

The firm actively promoted a communal life built around Schneider family celebrations: major festivities at Le Creusot coincided with events in the life of the family: births, baptisms, marriages and birthdays were occasions for dinners and public celebrations. Frequently the residents of Le Creusot offered a gift to the Schneider family which, like the statues, embodied that which the Schneiders most coveted: public confirmation of their own self-conception as the fathers of their workers.(12) The company conceived of community history in terms of father-employers past - and never more so than when the paternal order was threatened. In a notice posted during the 1899 strike, Eugene II, son of Henri and grandson of Eugene, reminded workers:

Thirty years ago, after a two-day work stoppage, the workers returned to the factory and had no reason to regret having put their faith in my grandfather and my father. Do as they did: those who take up their work will not regret having had faith in me.(13)

In 1900, the factory employed almost one-third of the city's population of 32,000 and provided livelihood to the rest."(14) The company became involved in all facets of community life: housing, programs to allow workers to rent or purchase their own homes, mutual benefits and pension funds, savings programs, schools, hospitals, and churches.(15) It offered assistance to mothers and familial allocations to their worker husbands. Reybaud's contemporary, Louis Simonin could write of his visit to Le Creusot, "We have seen how they make iron; it is time to say how they make men...."(16)

The key to Le Creusot's success in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century was its disciplined and skilled employees. Le Creusot early recognized the advantages of breaking with dependence on itinerant skilled labor.(17) The Revolution of 1848 only strengthened the company's desire to train and stabilize its own labor force.18 As Le Creusot's coal and iron ore deposits ran out, the firm came to depend more and more on what one commentator called its "deposits of labor of an incomparable quality."(19) The site of these "deposits" was the educational system. In establishing Le Creusot's first schools in 1837, Eugene Schneider and his brother Adolphe explained that "only the little children can regenerate us and save us and we must sacrifice all for these young shoots."(20)

Through the schools, Le Creusot set out to take control of existing forms of skilled worker endogamy. The familial unit was to reproduce labor power rather than skills; it would serve a disciplinary function since the family as a whole could be punished for the opposition of an individual member to the Schneider regime.(21) The goal, to use Michael Burawoy's terminology, was to replace patriarchal with paternalist management:

Under the patriarchal regime the family secured considerable autonomy from employers, whereas under the paternalistic regime the family was shaped, regulated and subjected to close surveillance by employers. From government by the family we move to government through the family. Community also lost its autonomy, so that from a bastion of resistance it became a vehicle of domination.(22)

The system at Le Creusot was remarkably successful both in producing skilled labor and in limiting labor conflict: between 1871 and the massive influx of workers during and after World War 1, only at the turn of the century did unskilled laborers, youths and women - workers and inhabitants not fully integrated into the network of social institutions at Le Creusot - and electricians hired from outside the town, launch strikes which disrupted the famed social harmony at Le Creusot.(23)

Workers at Le Creusot were divided into three categories. At the pinnacle were tenured workers (titulaires) who enjoyed relative job security. The firm boasted in 1870 that, with a brief exception in 1848, it had not laid off workers in the last thirty years. "It is like a family which does not calculate its relations on a day-by-day basis, and which remains attached by durable ties. It is not rare to meet three generations in the same workshop."(24) At the turn of the century, one-third of the personnel at Le Creusot had worked there more than twenty years: one-eighth had been on the company payroll more than thirty years.(25) (At the time a long-time engineer at Le Creusot claimed, "The Creusotins form, in reality, one big family; whoever is not of this family passes through Le Creusot, but does not settle down."(26)) All titulaires had to have begun work for the Schneider works before age 35; most came directly from school to the factory. A student who left Le Creusot before the draft lottery was theoretically banished from Le Creusot; a worker who departed before age 35 had to get the permission of his old boss to be rehired.(27) Workers hired after age 35 remained auxiliaires; unskilled laborers were categorized as journaliers ("day laborers").(28) Individuals from these groups could be fired from one day to the next and were denied perquisites like coal, medical care and a pension.(29) Management used this classification system as means of maintaining discipline. Temporary or permanent demotion to a lower category was a not uncommon form of punishment.(30) After the 1900 strike, many strikers who applied for readmission to the factory were demoted from titulaires to auxiliaires with the proviso that if they joined the "yellow union" they would regain their former rank.(31)

Only the smooth functioning of the town's school system allowed the Schneider works to insulate itself sufficiently from regional and national labor markets to operate such a system. In the model operational in the late eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century, a would-be metalworker learned the trade from his father or other skilled metalworkers who played this role.[32] Possession of skills was a valued resource, to be guarded both from other workers and from management. The patriarchal social philosopher and engineer Frederic Le Play defended this system: he believed that the empirical knowledge of skilled metalworkers far exceeded engineers' theoretical knowledge.(33) Factory operators, however, sought to break the workers' monopoly on the transmission of skills. Across France, metalworks set up programs to wrest control of operations from skilled metalworkers' families. Nowhere was this system more developed than at Le Creusot. Eugene Schneider always saw Great Britain as the primary competition for Le Creusot; after a trip there in 1846, he noted that French workers are "as intelligent, but less developed [moins formes]" than British workers.(34) Schneider set out to change this through schooling and he would have read with great satisfaction the English worker Robert Coningsby's comment after visiting Le Creusot in 1867 that unless his nation developed similar schools, the French would soon surpass it in machine-building.(35)

The primary purpose of the Le Creusot school system was to serve as "the reservoir" of company personnel.[36] "From 1850 on," Reybaud wrote at the end of the Second Empire, "the school prepared individuals for the factory which subsidized it [the modest school fees were ended in 1873(37) and the factory, like the school, profited from this exchange. In this association, the school had but one thing to do: stay in step with the factory relative to the number of individuals being prepared.(38) Many authors found the metaphors of industrial production irresistible in describing the school: "Of course, teaching was centered solely on the needs of the factory and, depending on orders, they produced more or less fitters, more or less accountants or draftsmen."(39) In keeping with this philosophy, Le Creusot forbade students to take state exams: the curriculum specialized in the applied sciences of use to the factory to the exclusion of the "intellectual and purely speculative disciplines" taught in republican schools.(40)

While elements of the educational system changed between the Second Empire and World War I schooling remained a primary determinant in an individual's career at Le Creusot. Attendance in the city's schools was not required for employment, but any student expelled from the schools was denied a job in the mines and factories.(41) And a worker who left Le Creusot before his draft call was banned from employment for life, since it was considered that he had not "reimbursed" the firm for his education.(42) (Since the company viewed conscription as an interruption in the worker's training from which he might not return, during the Second Empire it lent "skillful and well-conducted" young draftees from Le Creusot the money necessary to purchase exemptions and deducted it in installments from their wages.(43)

Each neighborhood in Le Creusot had an elementary school.(44) Boys' school teachers kept "a sort of running intellectual and moral account book by week and by year" for each student.(45) This record, which served as the basis for students' later placement, was described in terms similar to the daily accounting procedures which monitored the individual production (and pay) of workers in the factories. Upon graduation from elementary school, boys went to work or were admitted to the "Special Group" or "Special School" (founded in 1856). In 1900 a "Preparatory Group" (or "Pre-apprenticeship Group") was established for workers not admitted to the Special Group.(46) The Preparatory Group formed student-workers for one or two years before placing them in the factory; the highest rank a student tracked into this group could hope to achieve was that of subaltern supervisor. The Special Group prepared students for higher positions in the firm.

The factory periodically made known its labor demands; it was thus able to regulate the entry of workers of various types in accord with changes in the market and technology. Once the factory had transmitted its needs to the school director, he went to the students and announced that so many of one type or another of workers were needed. Jean-Baptise Dumay, an alumnus of the Le Creusot schools in the 1850s, at the very beginning of the new pedagogical system, reports how children like himself volunteered: "Anyone could raise his hand provided that he was at least twelve, and this without any counsel from his parents, often without any aptitude for the available job, but driven by one thing: the pleasure of quitting school." The twelve-year old Dumay had intended to wait until a position as a fitter was announced, "but one fine day they asked for apprentice turners, and as the schoolmaster had slapped me that morning for something or other I was in a bad mood and signed on."(47)

The factory did not have an apprenticeship program per se when Dumay was hired: teen-aged workers labored side-by-side with adult workers and were paid by production.(48) Dumay was put to work with the thirty other youths making bolts and screws at minimal piece rates. While assigning youths to such specialized piece labor was advantageous for the firm - "this apprenticeship which was not one", Dumay called it - it failed to give young workers the full range of skills required by their trade.49 Fired after leading a movement of youths against a ten per cent reduction in their pay, Dumay left Le Creusot at eighteen for Paris where he found that his specialization in the production of bolts left him ignorant of other facets of the turner's craft.(50)

Students selected for the elite Special Group generally pursued careers as supervisors, accountants and draftsmen. Each year management posted available jobs and students picked from among them. Positions were awarded in the order of students' placement in school. From research in Le Creusot employment records, Patrice Bourdelais notes that while the number of workers remained constant, there was a dramatic increase in the number of supervisory personnel and white collar employees in the late 1880s and early 1890s. He attributes this change to a new degree of managerial control which accompanied increased diversification of production.51 The training of draftsmen in the Special Group was particularly crucial to Le Creusot's strategy of limiting workers' autonomy in decisions concerning production. "In the design offices of Le Creusot, where one hundred engineers [draftsmen] work," Georges d'Avenel wrote in 1896, "it is commonly said that a piece designed is a piece made: the theory is so exacting on this point that the workers are fully broken into its practical execution."(52)

The top eight students from each class in the Special Group were sent to the state Arts et Metiers engineering schools. Individuals selected who otherwise would have had to go to work to support their families were given loans (prets d'honneur) to be repaid once they had finished their training and begun work.(53) The firm ended this practice and introduced its own program for training engineers in 1899, at a time when labor at Le Creusot offered its most severe challenge to the Schneider system. This three-year course, known as "le Caboulot," was taught by graduates of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Centrale in the Le Creusot management.(54) The Arts et Metiers was a secular republican institution; Le Creusot established "le Caboulot" in part to instill ideals more in keeping with company ideology.(55) The firm also saw such a program as assuring greater stability and a training in tune with the aptitudes of the students and the particular needs of the factory.(56) At a rate of eight students per year, "le Caboulot" produced 152 graduates between 1899 and the end of the program in 1919. One retired "Caboulotin" noted that the firm would seemingly stock up on graduates in order not to interfere with the continuity of recruitment: "They hired them even when they weren't needed, so as to assure that there would not be a break in the generations." These individuals were, as a rule, grateful to Le Creusot and often spent their entire careers in its employ. The retired "Caboulotin" recalled, "We were all little Schneiders, we were at Schneider, we were all Schneiderized."(57) Eugene II in turn interpreted the labor force as a whole in the light of the students of the Special Group and the "Caboulotins."(58)

The Schneiders denied "Caboulotins" the autonomy and professional status that engineers of their calibre enjoyed elsewhere. Unlike graduates of Arts et Metiers, individuals who went through "le Caboulot" received no professional accreditation. "The scientific training was quite advanced," writes Renee Bedarida, "but since no diploma was given, the |Caboulotins'could not hope for promotion except at the Schneider factories, exclusive beneficiaries of this investment in human capital."(59) Until 1945 there were only two individuals with the title engineer at Le Creusot, the heads of the metallurgy and mechanical construction departments. The hundreds of individuals whose education and responsibilities would have earned them the title "engineer" elsewhere were identified solely in terms of their function. The internal hierarchy which operated at Le Creusot created the social distance and authority which the professional title "engineer" bestowed at most firms. If, one Le Creusot native opined, "there were no engineers at Schneider, it was quite simply because Schneider had decided that there would be no engineers." Only union intervention after World War II introduced the title of "engineer" as it was used in industry elsewhere in France.(60) The training and insertion of engineers at Le Creusot epitomized the Le Creusot system. Access to the engineering ranks was theoretically open to all; within the Le Creusot "family," however, engineers were denied the professional position which their education and job earned them elsewhere.

In principle, hiring and employment at Le Creusot were rigorously meritocratic; company literature stressed that placement was based solely on grades and aptitudes "without distinction by families."(61) In this sense, the system bore many similarities to state employment practices; the opportunity for the son of a worker to be trained as an engineer was equivalent to the celebrated marshal's batons in the knapsacks of Napoleon's soldiers. While use of the paternal metaphor and the existence of authoritarian industrial enclaves largely outside of republican control were an affront to republican ideology and officials, this should not obscure the ways in which a vocally paternalist management like that at Le Creusot could justify itself with reference to a school system similar in structure to that of the Third Republic and in the language of opportunity and meritocracy used by republican politicians.

It was a commonplace of Le Creusot company literature to cite the possibility for the son of a factory worker to become a supervisor and for his son to become an engineer.(62) On occasion, living examples of such social ascension were produced. A. M. Burdy spoke in front of the statue of Eugene Schneider on the one-hundredth anniversary of this Schneider's birth in 1905: Burdy had begun working for the firm as a thirteen-year old in 1838; his son was a white-collar employee and his grandson was training to be an engineer.(63) A sympathetic account of Le Creusot at the time of the 1899 strike suggested the inversion of patriarchal authority which this could produce within the workingclass family: "How could workers not appreciate the benefits, when they see a grandfather work under the direction of his son who has become a clerk or a foreman, and his grandson who has become, thanks to the school, a company engineer?"(64)

The place of worker-fathers in this system was clearly a source of controversy. The Schneider Company played up the image of the father anxious for his son's success taking time after work to explain a design or how a machine worked.(65) However, hostile observers saw the system as corrupting both son and father. Dumay wrote:

You will never make an accountant at Le Creusot believe that a worker can be his equal as to intelligence and we have seen some employes no longer want to speak to their worker fathers in the street. The advantages from which these employes benefit make of them a sort of privileged caste in the midst of the population.

Therefore these posts are very sought after and it is all too common to see family fathers shrink from no humiliation to get their sons into an office rather than at the anvil or bench-vice.(66)

Until around World War I Le Creusot schoolboys dressed in uniforms which identified their place within the school system. Students wore blue-and-white checked frocks and oilcloth kepis with a top and visor of black leather. Their copper belt buckles were stamped with the Schneider emblem: intersecting cannons superimposed on a S. A colored border on the kepi identified the student's neighborhood school - yellow, red, green, blue and violet; an escutcheon embroidered on the kepi indicated the student's class in school.(67) "The whole served to even out all social disparity among children who wore it all the time, even to required Sunday mass."(68) (Schoolgirls also wore uniforms with cloth sashes of different colors to mark their grades, and numbers and letters for their individual classes.(69))

If school brought youths together, whatever their fathers' positions, it was also the organ of later differentiation within the family. All Schneider employees dressed appropriately to their status. Within the factory, wearing a cap - and what sort - distinguished grades of workers.(70)

At Le Creusot the levels of the Schneider hierarchy were clearly marked by differences in apparel. At the factory exit a careful observer could distinguish, without error, the workers, the crew leaders, and the foremen. As to the accountants and draftsmen, while they both had white collars, only the department heads had the right to a jacket.

In the same family and by ranking upon leaving the Ecole Speciale Schneider, two brothers could have quite different appearances, the draftsman of the |First' in bourgeois garb and the turner of the |Third' in working-class dress, carrying his dirty |blues' under his arm Saturday evening. One arrived at a prototype for each social class in the factory, from the laborer to the department manager. It was an established fact, natural, and no one dreamed of being amazed at it. The turner would have been surprised if one had remarked to him how different his draftsman brother was from him, and if one day this simple turner became a foreman, he would find it quite natural to rejoin his brother in the cohort of white collars and derby hats.(71)

While employees of different ranks mixed within the family, it was recommended to supervisors and white-collar employees that they avoid relations with their former schoolmates who had gone to work in the mines and factories.(72) The two groups dressed differently and lived in different kinds of houses.(73) A department head commented on the effectiveness of the system: "The accountants are only calculating machines with no humane consideration for the workers' situation."(74) There is, in company literature, the suggestion that the elaborate system of differentiation introduced by the company was a means of replacing class divisions with a more economically efficient set of differentiations based on abilities and achievements in school and the workplace. "This regime ... strongly reinforced respect for authority by showing that it must be confided in the most capable hands. This was a means to erase at Le Creusot class distinctions and the denomination |working class' which is not a class in truth because it lacks limits."(75) And since in the quarter-century before World War 1, there was a dramatic increase in the number of subaltern supervisory and clerk positions in comparison to the size of the labor force, the schools appeared to many Le Creusotins to work successfully as mechanisms for social mobility.(76)

When completed, Bourdelais' prosopography of Le Creusot employees from the mid-nineteenth century until World War I will reveal how well the system worked to produce the workers and supervisory personnel the firm required.(77) In his study of draftsmen, Bourdelais writes of the "incontestable success of the effort of training in the local schools carried out by the Schneider family since the 1850s" and of "the extraordinary stability of personnel: until 1914, one observes the development of complete careers, sometimes interrupted by death, but very rarely by the departure or resignation of the individual."(78) The school's role in company endogamy was clear. The Etablissements Schneider reported in 1912 that since creation of the Preparatory Group in 1900, more than 80% of its students had been hired by the factory. Ninety per cent of the youths in the Special Group were the children of Schneider personnel; the firm hired 86% of students in the Special Group.(79)

Le Creusot challenged the nexus of patriarchal authority within the family by taking control of the training and hiring of employees largely out of father-workers' hands. In a system designed to produce and order sons, it is not surprising that the women of Le Creusot provide the coda to this tale of restructured paternal authority. Le Creusot did not employ wives and therefore they stood largely outside of the town's primary managerial system.(80) For Le Creusot enthusiasts like the one-time director Emile Cheysson, "morality finds in this presence of the woman in the domestic household the best of all guarantees."(81) Yet women are often depicted as questioning company authority: they threatened the patriarchal relationship of Schneider to his son-workers. The story circulated around town, for instance, that the woman at the base of the statue of Eugene Schneider was saying to her son, "Look, he's the one who took your shirt."(82) A. Habaru paints the memorable turn-of-the-century strike scene of a woman, like the one in the statue, climbing it and unfurling a red flag.(83) Priests charged women with tempting their husbands to leave "the family" at Le Creusot to look for better pay elsewhere.(84) The head of the blast furnace department accused wives of encouraging their husbands to join the union.(85)

In a world constructed around the production of men and machines, the company's policy of refusing employment to wives opened them up to suspicion. For some, the apparent idleness of the housewife left to tend house and raise children was problematic.(86) For others, the wife embodied consumption: the head of the steelworks department saw wives' desire for consumer goods as throwing households into chaos. What was needed was to "seek to improve the mother of the family by teaching the girls to become less idle and as a consequence better advisors than those today."(87) In response, the firm followed the same pedagogical strategy it had used with boys a half-century earlier: it introduced home economics programs [ecoles menageres] for schoolgirls in 1906 with the motto, "To know how to content oneself with little, there is wisdom and truth."(88)

While the ostensible aim of a paternalist firm like Le Creusot was to homogenize the workforce, in the sense of giving it a single father, it worked to create new sites of differentiation as well. The collective experience of schooling was the primary element in this individuation. Le Creusot paternalism strengthened families by discouraging labor mobility. Yet it also altered familial relations, especially those between father and son, by making the firm rather than the father the primary institution for the transmission of skills and opportunities for job placement. And just as the Schneiders began with the idea that the school could rationalize the training and allocation of male labor, it eventually turned the same logic on the mother-centered family in the ecoles menageres. Paternalism at Le Creusot worked therefore to transform the working-class family from within by transferring elements of what were once primarily informal, familial activities - training, hiring, homemaking - into affairs to be managed through teaching and assessment in school. Of course, such a system is never totally successful. Families remained places where illicit knowledge was conveyed (i.e., strikes in the past) and illicit practices sanctioned (i.e., bribes to foremen to hire otherwise ineligible workers).(89) What Le Creusot paternalism did was to define and delimit both licit and illicit familial activities through multiple forms of intervention in inhabitants' lives, of which the schools were a central element.


(1.) H. Chazelle and P. Marchand, Le Creusot. Histoire generale (Dole, 1936), p. 232. Joseph-Antoine Roy, Histoire de la famille Schneider et du Creusot (Paris, 1962), p. 42. (2.) Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, Les Schneider. Une dynastie (Paris, 1986), p. 155. (3.) La mere, au fils, disait, montrant le Createur De la grande Cite: Voici ton bienfaiteur Que ton coeur, mon enfant, plein de reconnaissance, Donne au nom de Schneider toute ta confiance; Aime et respecte un nom qui doit t'etre bien cher; Aime et respecte un nom que respecte ton pere. Claude Pallot, Au Temps du pilon. Scenes et chroniques du Creusot d'autrefois (Le Creusot, 1976), p. 110. (4.) Playing off the meanings of "patron," Eugene's son and successor, Henri Schneider, had a large stain glass window of himself as Saint Eloi, patron saint of forgeworkers, installed behind the altar of the church in Le Creusot. Roy, Histoire, pp. 82-83. Le Creusotins understood this appropriation of religious legitimacy; during the 1899 strike workers made up a confiteor which placed Schneider in the place of God the father. Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, p. 183. (5.) However, the statue was not dedicated until 1923. Roy, Histoire, pp. 68-69. (6.) A. Habaru, Le Creusot. Terre feodale. Schneider et les marchants de canons (Paris, 1934), p. 14. Henri Schneider built a retirement home and told the first workers to enter it in 1887, "We love you and will treat you as the children of our big family of Le Creusot." Roy, Histoire, p. 82. (7.) See Gerard Noiriel, "Du |patronage' au paternalisme': la restructuraton des formes de domination de la main-d'oeuvre ouvriere dans l'industrie metallurgique francaise," Le Mouvement social 144 (July-September 1988): 17-35; Donald Reid, "Industrial Paternalism: Discourse and Practice in Nineteenth-Century French Mining and Metallurgy," Comparative Studies in Society and History 27 (1985): 579-607; Peter Stearns, Paths to Authority: The Middle Class and the Industrial Labor Force, 1820-1848 (Urbana, 1978); and Judith Vichniac, The Management of Labor: The British and French Iron and Steel Industries, 1860-1918 (Greenwich, Ct., 1990). (8.) Luc Denias, "Debats," in Andre Thepot, ed., L'Ingnieur dans la societe francaise (Paris, 1985), p. 303. (9.) Louis Reybaud, Le Fer et la houille (Paris, 1874), p. 36. (10.) Victor Turgan, Les Grandes usines. Etudes industrielles en France et a l'etaranger (Paris, 1866), 6:1-2. (11.) Jean Vial, L'Industrialization de la siderurgie francaise 1814-1864, 2 vols. (Paris, 1967), 1:426n4. (12.) These gifts were paid for by subscription drives (like those which raised the funds for the statues). For details see Roy, Histoire, p. 42; Vial, L'Industrialisation, 1:346n4; Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, pp. 134-139, 214; and Jean-Pierre Frey, "Festivites et quoti-diennete dans les pratiques urbaines au Creusot," Milieux 7-8 (October 1981-January 1982):30-35. (13.) Roy, Histoire, p. 97. Forced to make wage concessions in June 1899, Eugene II presented them as a gesture to mark the anniversary of his father's death. Rend Parize, "La Strategie patronale au Creusot pendant les greves de 1899-1900," Cahiers de l'Institut Maurice Thorez 12 (1978): 22. (14.) Roy, Histoire, p. 93. (15.) Most studies of Le Creusot place particular emphasis on the development of the city. Christian Devillers and Bernard Huet, Le Creusot: Naissance et development d'une ville industrielle 1782-1914 (Seyssel, 1981); Jean-Pierre Frey, La Ville industrielle et ses urbanites. La Distinction ouvriers/employes 1870-1930 (Brussels, 1986); Paul Rabinow, French Modern (Cambridge, Ma., 1989), pp. 87-103. (16.) Louis Simonin, La Grande industrie francaise. L'Usine du Creusot (Paris, 1866), p. 25. (17.) For an examination of the problems which such workers could pose, see Donald Reid, "The Origins of Industrial Labor Management in France: The Case of the Decazeville Ironworks During the July Monarchy," Business History Review 57 (Spring 1983): 1-19. (18.) The world turned upside down of 1848 took on mythic status at Le Creusot. The English worker Robert Coningsby reported, "I have heard that M. Schneider, the chief proprietor of the works at Creusot, was, during the troubles of 1848, compelled to go into his own factory and work there day after day, at the most menial jobs which could be found for him." "The Condition and Habits of the French Working Classes (Special Report)" in Reports of Artisans Selected by a Committee Appointed by the Council of the Society of Arts to Visit the Paris Universal Exhibition, 1867 (London, 1867), p. 449. (19.) Jean Chevalier, Le Creusot, 2d. ed. (Paris, 1946), p. 197. (20.) Roy, Histoire, p. 27. Le Creusot was not unique in its reliance on an advanced educational system. Louis-Philibert Nolet, the Le Creusot headmaster who revamped the town's school system in the 1850s, did so after a visit to Mulhouse to study the relationship of industry to education there. Felix Courtois, "Les Ecoles du Creusot (1787-1882)," Memoires de la Societe Eduenne 21 (1893): 138. (21.) Jean-Baptiste Dumay, Memoires d'un militant ouvrier du Creusot (1841-1905) (Paris/Grenoble, 1976), p. 141. The schools played a particular role in turning the family into an organ for controlling the labor force. After the 1870 strike broke out, the teachers assigned students an essay on "the strike" to find out their parents' views. Roy, Histoire, p. 60. (22.) Michael Burawoy, The Politics of Production. Factory Regimes under Capitalism and Socialism (London, 1985), p. 98. (23.) J. Poirey-Clement, Schneider et Le Creusot (Paris, 1924), p. 5. Marcel Sutet and Jean-Pierre Brasillon, Du Terroir a l'usine. Le Creusot/Montceau-les-Mines autrefois (Le Coteau, 1983), p. 202. Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, p. 185. However, the period immediately following the 1870 strike was marked by significant turnover, especially of the skilled but exigent puddlers, no longer of such value to the firm as it converted to steel production. Jean-Baptiste Martin, La Fin des mauvais pauvres (Seyssel, 1983), pp. 166-167. (24.) Le Creusot. Son industrie. Sa population. Note remise au jury special pour le nouvel ordre de recompenses. Exposition universelle de 1867, a Paris (Paris, 1867), p. 24. (25.) Roy, Histoire, p. 93. Emile Cheysson, director of Le Creusot between 1871 and 1874, considered labor force stability the best indicator of a well-managed firm and used Le Creusot as his examplar. "L'Economie sociale a' 1'exposition de 1889," Reforme sociale, second series, no. 8 (1 July 1889): 12-14. (26.) Gaston Bonnefont, Souvenirs d'un vieil ingenieur au Creusot (Paris, n.d.). (27.) Jean-baptiste Dumay, Un Fief capitaliste. Le Creusot (Paris, 1882), pp. 23, 24nl. (28.) Etablissements Schneider, Economic sociale (Paris, 1912), p. 81. (29.) Poirey-Clement, Schneider et Le Creusot, p. 7. (30.) Etablissements Schneider, Economic sociale, p. 84. (31.) Poirey-Clement, Schneider et Le Creusot, p. 7. (32.) Denis Woronoff, L'Industrie siderurgique en France pendant la Revolution et l'Empire (Paris, 1984); Yves Lequin, Les Ouvriers de la region lyonnaise, 2 vols. (Lyon, 1977), vol. 1. (33.) Fredric Le Play, "Description des procedes metallurgiques employes dans le pays de Galles pour la fabrication du cuivre," Annales des mines, fourth series, vol. 131 (1848): 13-20. France Anault, "Frederic Le Play, de la metallurgie a la science sociale," Revue francaise de sociologie 25 (1984): 449. (34.) Roy, Histoire, p. 31. (35.) Coningsby, "The Condition," p. 447. (36.) Emile Cheysson, Le Creusot. Condition materielle, intellectuelle et morale de la population. Institutions et relation. Institutions et relations sociales (Paris, 1869), p. 5. (37.) Roy, Histoire, p. 41. (38.) Reybaud, Le Fer et la houille, p. 54. See the instructions given by the head of the Le Creusot school system to teachers in 1909, cited in Jacques Freyssinet, Politiques d'emploi des grands groupes (Grenoble, 1982), p. 25. (39.) Jean Forest, L'Emprise (Paris, 1971), p. 150. (40.) Devillers and Huet, Le Creusot, p. 126nl. Dumay reports that teachers from religious orders were not considered suitable because their inability to teach mathematics and mechanical design would have interfered with the school's mission of supplying the factory with well-trained labor. Un Fief capitaliste, p. 7. (41.) Le Creusot. Son industrie, p. 14. (42.) Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, pp. 170, 206-207. (43.) Coningsby, "The Condition," p. 437. (44.) The factory turned the elementary schools over to the municipality in 1882, but retained control of the higher levels of education. (45.) Le Creusot. Son industrie, p. 14. (46.) Martin, La Fin des mauvais pauvres, p. 91. (47.) Dumay, Memoires d'un militant, pp. 81-83. Dumay's father died in an accident in the Schneider mines before he was born; his mother remarried a forgeworker when he was six. The issues of paternal guidance and Schneider as father figure were posed more sharply for Dumay than for most of his classmates. (48.) Le Creusot. Son industrie, p. 9. At the turn of the century, the passage of legislation limiting the number of hours which teenagers could work led Le Creusot to set up special programs for apprentices. They were placed in separate quarters, under the direction of specially selected employees. Etablissements Schneider, Economie sociale, p. 63. (49.) Dumay, Memoires d'un militant, p. 83. (50.) Ibid., p. 85. (51.) Patrice Bourdelais, "Employes de la grande industrie: Les dessinateurs du Creusot. Formations et carrieres (1850-1914)," Histoire, Economie, Societe 8 (1989): 446. (52.) G. d'Avenel, Le Mecanisme de la vie moderne (Paris, 1896), 1:139. (53.) Etablissements Schneider, Economie sociale, p. 39. Bourdelais compares the careers of draftsmen who graduated from the Special Group to those who went on to graduate from the Arts et Metiers. Not surprisingly, the latter were much more likely to receive at least one promotion during their career at Schneider (98% for Arts et Metiers vs. 38% for the Special Group). "Employes de la grande industrie," 442-443. (54.) Chazelle and Marchand, Le Creusot, p. 202. (55.) See Charles R. Day, Education for the Industrial World. The Ecoles d'Arts et Metiers and the Rise of French Industrial Engineering (Cambridge, 1987). The Le Creusot management shared with Le Play a general suspicion of school-trained engineers. After graduation, all Le Creusot engineers had to spend six months as workers. d'Avenel reported that "The son of the chief engineer, seventeenth in his class at the Ecole centrale, began as a laborer in the steel mills." Le Mecanisme, 1: 1 53. (56.) Rene Parize, "Debats," in L'Ingenieur, p. 252. Henri Pretet, a retired Le Creusot engineer, noted that, unlike other Arts et Metiers engineers, those from Le Creusot knew they would return there and so never developed the openness which characterized their schoolmates. Ibid., p. 308. (57.) Denias, "Debats," in ibid., p. 303. (58.) Sutet and Bresillon, Du Terroir, pp. 199-200. (59.) Renee Bedarida, "Avant-propos" to Edouard Morin, Un Non-conformiste chez Schneider. Edouard Morin (1897-1967) (Paris, 1984), p. 12. (60.) Jean Lagarde, "Debats," in L'Inginieur, pp. 309-310. M. Decreau, in ibid., p. 310. (61.) Le Creusot. Son industrie, p. 14. Courtois, "Les Ecoles," p. 146. (62.) Bonnefont, Souvenirs, p. 19. An employee celebrated this in verse in 1906:

Grace a messieurs Schneider, qu'un meme but resserre, Le Travail, le savoir ont banni la misere, Car les enfants, choyes par eux des le berceau, De si bas qu'ils soient nes peuvent monter tres haut."

Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, p. 170. (63.) Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, pp. 204-205. Claude Beaud's researches on individual engineers born in the nineteenth century suggest that their low social origins put a cap on advancement at Le Creusot, although this cap rose greatly between the generation born in the July Monarchy and those born later and who went to the Arts et Metiers. "Les Ingenieurs du Creusot a travers quelques destins du milieu du XlXe siecle au milieu du XXe" in L'Ingenieur, pp. 51-53. (64.) Henri Joly, "Au Creusot," Le Correspondant 159 (10 June 1899): 891-892. (65.) Etablissements Schneider, Economie sociale, pp. 38-39, 60. (66.) Dumay, Le Fief capitaliste, p. 7. (67.) Courtois, "Les Ecoles," 142. Chazelle and Marchand, Le Creusot, p. 198. Beaud, "Les Ingenieurs," p. 57. (68.) Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, p. 155. Many remarked on the military appearance of the uniformed school children. In the years before World War I, the students of the Special Group were transformed into three companies of the "Scholarly Brigade." Dressed in their school uniforms and carrying a knapsack and gun they drilled several hours weekly. Etablissements Schneider, Economie sociale, pp. 40-41. Pallot, Au Temps du pilon, pp. 113-116. (69.) Courtois, "Les Ecoles," p. 151. (70.) Claude Pallot, Au Temps des baculots (Le Creusot, 1975), pp. 199-200. (71.) Forest, L'Emprise, pp. 69-70. (72.) Dumay, Un Fief capitaliste, p. 8. (73.) See Frey, La Ville industrielle, p. 268, for a discussion of the "architectural inscription" of differences in rank at Le Creusot. (74.) Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, p. 167. (75.) Le Creusot. Son industrie, p. 14. (76.) Bourdelais, "Employes de la grande industrie," p. 439; Noiriel, "Du |Patronage' au |paternalisme'," p. 35. (77.) For an overview of the project, see Patrice Bourdelais, "L'lndustrialisation et ses mobilites (1836-1936)," Annales: E.S.C. 39 (1984): 1009-1019. (78.) Bourdelais, "Employes de la grande industrie," pp. 446, 442. (79.) Etablissements Schneider, Economie sociale, pp. 15-16. (80.) However, Henri Schneider's wife did introduce the production of sweaters by Creusotin women at home which she then marketed in major commercial centers. d'Avenel, Le Mecanisme, 1:152. (81.) Cheysson, Le Creusot, pp. 20-21. (82.) Pallot, Au Temps du pilon, pp. 109-110. (83.) Habaru, Le Creusot, p. 78. (84.) Beaucarnot, Les Schneider, pp. 165-166. (85.) Parize, "La Strategie patronale," p. 27. (86.) Joly, "Au Creusot," p. 893n1. Le Creusot also witnessed a spectacular decline in its birth rate at the turn of the century. Reid, "Industrial Paternalism," pp. 583-584n 17. (87.) Parize, "La Strategie patronale," p. 27. (88.) Rene Parize, "Savoir de soumission ou savoirs de revolte? L'Exemple du Creusot," in Les Sauvages dans la cite ed. Jean Borreil (Seyssel, 1985), pp. 102-103. See also Noiriel, "Du |Patronage'au |paternalisme'," p. 32 on the role of such ecoles menageres in the making of working-class wives. (89.) See the memoirs: Dumay, Memoires d'un militant; Forest, L'Emprise; Pallot, Au Temps du pilon.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal of Social History
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Reid, Donald
Publication:Journal of Social History
Date:Sep 22, 1993
Previous Article:"Your old father Abe Lincoln is dead and damned": black soldiers and the Memphis race riot of 1866.
Next Article:A Cultural History of Gesture.

Related Articles
A successor to the AMX 13: the Mars 15.
The Spirit of 1848: German Immigrants, Labor Conflict, and the Coming of the Civil War.
Creative umbrella: the ambitious transformation of a provincial fun palace into a progressive postgraduate art school demanded an adventurous...
Algeria - Arzew Fertiliser Complex.
ALGERIA - Arzew Fertiliser Complex.
Gender, Civic Culture and Consumerism: Middle-Class Identity in Britain, 1800-1940 and Paternalism and Politics: The Revival of Paternalism in Early...
Professionalizing library education, the California connection: James Gillis, Everett Perry, and Joseph Daniels.
Digital textbooks raise concerns.
MTNA institutional members:.
Arzew Fertiliser Complex.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters