The History of The Emile Henry Company
A LONG HISTORY, A GREAT TRADITION 1850 Jacques Henry, potter, runs a small workshop in Marcigny, southern Burgundy. The production is already varied : jugs, pots, casseroles, dishes, plates and is carried out on 2 manual wheels. 2 kilns heated by wood are used for firing. 1882 Paul Henry takes over from his father, and from 1882 to 1894 he moves to Paris to expand his cutomer base. 40 people are employed and the kilns are run on coal. Mechanical wheels, run on gas, replace the manual ones. In 1912, steam, a symbol of power and independance, helps to modernize the production process. 1922 Emile Henry takes over the company. Born in 1885, he goes to war in 1914. Competition is strong from producers of metal cookware, and this leads to many potteries closing down. The Parisian customers remain faithful, and count for 40% of the total outlets. 50 people are now employed, and the finished products made are left unglazed for hoticultural use or glazed for culinary use. 1950 When Emile dies in 1950, Maurice Henry find himself at the head of the company at 32 years old. Production increases from 1100 T in 1950 to 3000 T in 1965 and 5000 T in 1975. Horticultural pottery is stopped in 1980 to concentrate exclusively on glazed pottery for culinary use. Firing changes from coal-run kilns to electricity, then to oil and finally gas. Firing times are reduced from one week to 72 jours, to 24 hours, to 12 hours and eventually to 4 hours. The company now employs 200 people. The Export market develops in Denmark, the Benelux countries and the United Kingdom, to reach 15% of the total turnover. 1983 Jacques Henry, after having run the company with his father Maurice for 9 years, sets new objectives : - to develop a stronger product using a unique process : Ceradon® - to develop a strong and recognised brand name : Emile Henry® - to develop the export market (the company now sells 50% of its turnover in more than 50 countries around the world). To cope with this expansion, the company doubles its production capacity between 1989 and 1992 and builds 2 new factory units in Marcigny. 2000 In 2000 the company is awarded the ISO 2002 international norm, guaranteeing a high level of quality and professionalism.
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