When in 1842 François Scheppers left his trade house in Brussels to build a modern factory in Lot, a quaint village near the Belgian capital, it kick-started a migration wave, which led to a substantial growth of the little village. The hundreds of workers who had become unemployed when the construction of the Fort of Steendorp was completed now moved to Lot to work in Scheppers’ Société anonyme de Loth pour la Filature et la Fabricaton de Tissus de Laines Peignées. Scheppers built his textile factory right in the middle of the railway, the river Zenne and the canal Brussels-Charleroi. This prime location allowed him to make abundant use of the natural resources in the manufacturing process (e.g. the water from the river for textile cleaning) and also facilitated the transportation of the produced goods. In the following years, the factory blossomed and Scheppers was named a member of the prestigious Orde van Leopold I for the leading role that he played in the industrialization of the country. In its final years, the Société anonyme de Loth changed its name to Cartonnex. This new name unfortunately did not bring salvation. Cartonnex underwent the same fate that many Belgian textile factories succumbed to in this period; unable to compete with cheap foreign labour markets, the factory was forced to close its doors. Recently, large parts of the factory have been demolished while other parts are being reconverted.
Around 1850, this brand new textile factory was built next to the river in this quaint little village in the German rural hinterland. After a few years, it changed hands and was transformed into a paper factory. As the years passed by, the factory became the focal point of the village and an industrial catalyst for the region’s econmy. Complete production lines were built and the company gradually specialized in innovative types of paper – from crepe and textile woven paper to aluminium foil. Today, the two full-blown steam engines of this once pounding heart of Germany’s paper industry whistle no more – the factory is torn down.
Industrial textile washing and painting plant. The company was founded in the 1830s. For a period of time, it was the biggest industrial textile washing group in Germany, which furthermore played a leading role in the field of chemical washing technology. Around the 1920s, the group became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb) – a company owned by the people.
Abandoned spinning & weaving mill. This factory once belonged to one of Belgium’s major textile groups, which at a certain point in time employed more than 10.000 people. This textile group was established around WW1 when a noble family, several financial institutions and a couple of weaving mills decided to join hands. However, a drastic internal restructuring which took place a couple of years ago, rendered the factory superfluous and – as a consequence – it was left abandoned.