Exploration #53. The story starts in 1907, when Eng. Ottorino Magnani’s company bought a plot of land in Campaccio, owned by the sisters Cristina and Angelica Mira d’Ercole with the intention of building a factory for the production of dust explosive “Albite”.
However, this company lacked the funds necessary to carry out the project and the land was sold to the French company DAVEY BICKFORD & SMITH. The first two deposits for explosives were built in 1913 and the following year, the production of fuses and detonating capsules began. Initially 50 women and 13 men were employed.
The great expansion of the factory occurred in the years between the first and the second world war (1915-1945). The factory, pressed by needs wartime, gradually expanded the initial modest plants by purchasing other land and it came to employ up to 1500 employees.
In 1930 the factory expanded with the construction of new warehouses for the production of electrocuted, electric primers and retarders. In 1935 the Italian Bickford Society merged into one concentration of various explosives companies that took the name of GENERAL COMPANY OF EXPLOSIVES AND AMMUNITION (SGEM) with deposits e plants in various parts of Italy.
On July 27 occurred the most serious accident. At 2.35 pm the packaging department blew up: 35 people perished, of which 33 women. In 1943 the company was later named NOBEL-SGEM of the merger with the company S.A. Nobel dynamite.
After September 8, 1943, the factory was manned by a German military command under the orders of Major Rose. Vain attempts were made by the Allied planes to hit the factory, very well protected from the embankments and hidden by trees.
After the war, the factory continued its activity, producing among other things thousands of kilometers of detonating fuses used for the Mont Blanc tunnel.
In 1952 the factory was acquired by the MONTECATINI company. In 1969 following the merger of Montecatini with the Edison it became part of the MONTEDISON group and from that moment they started profound changes. The factory was no longer profitable and, after some space attempting to transform its production, the property decided to dismantle it.
At midnight on November 25, 1972 the factory was permanently closed.