The Info List - Bazacle Milling Company

The Society of Moulins du Bazacle was founded in Toulouse in the 12th century by the citizens of the city, seven centuries before the Industrial Revolution, to share operating a series of mills installed on the site of the Bazacle.[1] The mills are used to process wheat harvested in the Toulouse plain into flour. It is the first recorded European joint-stock company.


1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Conflict with Seabream Mills

2 Operation 3 Modern history 4 References

History[edit] Early history[edit] The first mills of Bazacle [2] that capture the vast reserve motive force of the Garonne, are erected along the river to 1070. At the xi th century, there were already sixty. They are then referred to as mills with nave, built on boats or simple floating pontoons, replaced in 1190 by land mills. These "giants" of wood will make the richness and the pride of Toulouse. "In the xviii th century, the Bazacle mills were an example of technical modernity famous throughout Europe and appeared in the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert," say Corinne Clément and Sonia Ruiz, in "Toulouse secret and unusual."[3]

Moulins du Bazacle. Eugène Trutat, Muséum de Toulouse.

The mills of Bazacle were recognized by the Toulouse capitouls from 1152. A written act granted in 1177 by the owner of the site, the priory of the Daurade, signals the exploitation of these mills near Toulouse, which is then a city of 50 000 inhabitants and the capital of a cereal region. Set on wooden pavements, resting on hard marl benches, crossing obliquely the course of the river, some sixty high oak and iron mills, which supplied energy to the local millers, were divided between three fords the Garonne: the Daurade, the Château Narbonnais and the Bazacle.[4] Widths of nearly half a kilometer and very shallow, these "carriageways" made it easier to anchor the mills on several large reinforced piles, in order to better benefit from the hydraulic energy provided by a "jump" Garonne on a height of 4 meters. The main one, the Bazacle dam, mentioned in 1177, was 400 meters long. It consisted of trunks of oak trees sunk in the bottom of the river. In 1183, shortly before the crusade of the Albigenses, the Count of Toulouseofficially authorizes the construction of this causeway linking the two banks of the river wide of a hundred meters. The first floating mills are built nearby to better exploit the current. To bring the waters of the river in the wake of the mills, industrialists of the time set up dykes which require regular maintenance work, for the river crusts generate high humidity and accidents. Their construction and repairs requiring money; their owners are then forced to unite. Conflict with Seabream Mills[edit] Downstream of the Moulins de la Daurade , those of the Bazacle can considerably hinder them by the height of their causeway. After attempting unsuccessfully, between 1278 and 1329, to raise theirs to the detriment of the Moulins of the Castle , the bows of the Seabream will want to guard against the companies of those of the Bazacle. In 1316, they obtained an arbitration which fixed the maximum height of the roadway of the Bazacle.[5] After the great flood of 1346 which destroyed the Moulins du Château and probably damaged those of the Daurade , the bets of the Bazacle took advantage of damage caused on their cause by Charles le Mauvais,[6] to obtain from the Parliament of Paris the authorization of the remake in 1356 ... much higher than before. Immediate complaint of the sea breams of Daurade whose mills can no longer function. They won their trial in 1358 but could not enforce the sentence because of a call that dragged on until 1366, when the Parliament of Paris orders that the bets of the Bazacle lower their pavement and pay 1000 livres tournois to those of the Daurade . The sum is paid in 1367 but the Mills of the Daurade are ruined for years. The floor, it does not move[7] ... The last pariers of sea bream still try to force those Bazacle to comply with court decisions in 1380, in alliance with the pariers Castle, unhappy with the new floor built at the Bazacle after the flood of 1377-78. They obtain a new condemnation of the Bazacle, which is no more executed than the previous one because of long calls and exhaustion of the complainants. Dropped by the bets of the Castle, the bets of Daurade obtained permission in 1384 to withdraw, which they did one after the other until the extinction of the complaint in 1408.[8] Operation[edit] In order to raise the capital needed for the construction of these dams, the millers formed a company to which they entrusted their savings, in return for which they received notarized papers attesting to their placement. These notarial papers were called uchaux. Anonymous as the actions of the current limited companies, they could pass from hand to hand so quickly, ownership of three companies operating the dams escaped millers to move to the Toulouse bourgeoisie eager for good investments.[9] The company consisted of 96 uchaux, which the owners have the right to resell without control of the other partners, nor right of preemption . These cows exchanged at a price which varied according to the economic situation, the good or bad operation of the mills. From 1372 onwards, the Société des Moulins de Bazacle owned the mills and not only the roads connecting them. It no longer serves only to share equally the work of maintenance of the roadway but also to distribute the benefits of the operation of the mills. Each owner of shares, or shares called "uchaux," touches one-sixteenth on each sack of wheat deposited by the peasants, who came to grind the wheat. The mills are unparalleled in prosperity and their owners, these "gentlemen of the Bazacle", make a fortune. For the first time capitalist companies are being spoken of, because their owners, the "bets", receive their revenues according to their shares. In the Middle Ages, the old mill became the first known per-action company. This hard monopoly until xix th century. On the eve of the Revolution, the commune of Toulouse authorized the installation of nine amidonniers - hence the name given to the district - five tanneries and two paper mills ... "In the xviii th century, the mills of Bazacle were a famous example of technical modernity throughout Europe and appeared in the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert".[10] The dividend, paid in kind, equivalent to 120,000 pounds per year in 1771.[11] It was not paid in cash until 1840, with the appearance of the Société Anonyme du Moulin du Bazacle. Modern history[edit] In 1840, the Société Anonyme du Moulin du Bazacle appeared. In 1886, it disappeared in front of one of the first hydroelectric plants in France and took the name of the Toulouse Electricity Company.[12] In 1876, the company of the mills of the Bazacle emits for the first time new shares to the number of 135, with the same rights as the old ones. In 1887, the site and equipment of the Bazacle were leased to "The Toulouse Electricity Company (STE)". The motive power of the mills is distributed to several factories along the Canalet, using an underground network. The first factory to use this energy is the Boyer-Fonfrède cotton factory, founded by a Bordeaux entrepreneur in 1790. Another famous factory is the Garrigou scythe, which was in operation until 1865. At that time, the activity of the 500 workers of the factory is intense. We can hear "the noise of the hammers, which throughout the year, day and night, resound in the quarters of the Bazacle." In 1888, the Toulouse Power Corporation transformed the Bazacle mill into a hydroelectric plant. The Toulouse Electricity Company will absorb the Société Anonyme du Moulin du Bazacle. This merger was effective in 1910. The new entity was called the Toulousaine Electricity Company of the Bazacle (STE). This one passed under the control of the Reille group, via its backing to the Pyrenean Electric Power Company. The company was finally nationalized in 1946. The installation belongs to EDF and still works. In the xx th century, the factories located along the banks are closing one after the other. The Manufacture of Tobacco, whose production exceeded 2,300 tons per year in the 1950s,[13] was the largest plant in the sector. In 1910, it employed nearly 2,000 workers, mostly women. The last Ninas cigarillos were produced in 1979 and the definitive closure of the factory was announced in 1987. Its disappearance marks the end of the industrial exploitation of the Garonne in Toulouse. In memory of Toulouse, the Bazacle is a symbol of the economic miracle which benefited the city until the end of the xix th century. A place of toil and wealth production for almost ten centuries, the monument has re-emerged in recent years from the ashes of its glorious industrial past, transformed into a space devoted to discovery and culture. The characteristics and power of the current hydroelectric plant, reflecting the exploitable power of the site, are a flow of 90 m 3 / s equipment, a drop height of 4 to 4.7 meters and an installed capacity of 3000 kilowatts.[14] References[edit]

^ http://www.fb-bourse.com/les-moulins-du-bazacle/ ^ Bazacle derives from the word lain vadaculum , meaning "little ford". ^ http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/20110223233318/http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2010/10/29/937855-le-bazacle-du-capitalisme-a-l-ecologie.html ^ "The Garonne and the ancient vestiges" by Henri Molet, Memoirs of the Archaeological Society of the Midi of France ^ See Sicard, "Toulouse mills in the Middle Ages" , p. 106 and 107. ^ Lieutenant King in Languedoc from May to November 1351. ^ Bazacle bets will play in the vagueness of the judgment of the Parliament about the costs of demolition. See Sicard, op. cit. , p. 113 , note 60. ^ On all this, see the chapter "An example of conflict between private interests and the rights of waters pariers Bazacle and bream in the second half of the XIV th century" in Sicard, op. cit. , p. 108 to 118. ^ http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/20160606141301/http://www.herodote.net/histoire/synthese.php?ID%3D69 ^ Toulouse secret et insolite, par Corinne Clément et Sonia Ruiz ^ Dictionnaire universel de France, par Robert de Hesseln, 1771 ^ http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/20110223233318/http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2010/10/29/937855-Le-Bazacle-du-capitalisme-a-l-ecologie.html by Gauthier Guigon, in La Dépêche du Midi of December 29, 2010 ^ http://www.persee.fr/doc/ingeo_0020-0093_1954_num_18_4_1410 ^ https://www.edf.fr/groupe-edf/producteur-industriel/energies-renouvelables/hydraulique/espace-edf-bazacle/presentation

Coordinates: 43°36′15″N 1°25′55″E / 43.60417°N 1.43194°E / 43.60