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explosives factory / Taino / 1914 - 1972 / 2007, 2008 / MONTECATINI SGEM Aulla


This factory was established in 1914 by the French company Davey Bickford & Smith. The site grew up quickly between the two world wars, employing more than 1500 people. During the 1930s the site experienced a significant growth, extending its productions to fulminates, retarders and primers. In 1935 the company merged with many similar others into the national explosives trust SGEM-Società Generale Esplosivi e Munizioni. Between 1943 and 1943 the factory, a major strategic site, was controlled by a joint-venture of SGEM and Società Italiana Dinamite Nobel, both subsidiaries of Montecatini group. As expectable, the site was heavily damaged by air raids. Once restored, the factory returned to manufacture explosives for civil uses, such as detonating caps used in the excavation of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The transition from Montecatini to Montedison (1966) was followed by a release from the explosives and ordnance sector. After a failed reconversion, the Taino factory was closed in 1972.