Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 1950's Wool Industry of Mazamet

This (1950) video gives a beautiful insight in the historic wool industry of Mazamet in France, the troubles of the post-war period and the revitalization through the Marshall Plan. Mazamet used to be the world's wool spinning and manufacturing capital - supplying wool to the beret and blanket factories in the nearby Béarn.
Description US Government Archive: 
Women carry bales of wool for processing in Mazamet in France. Wool washed in large containers with warm and cold water. Clean wool put in a machine for drying, operated by a woman. Women sort wool from the cleaned bales. Old man wearing beret sits on a stone bridge, and lights pipe. He remembers the time just after the war when France had no money, industry and factories. Machines stand idle, streets with closed shops and houses with closed shutters. Closed banks. Men cutting logs of wood. Other men fishing in river. Afterwards Marshall Plan provided financial aid. People back to work. Factories opened up. Processing of wool taking place.


  1. Wow, where do you get all this stuff from? I really love tis blog, Daan! Every day it makes me proud of being a dedicated beret wearer.

    Regards from Germany

  2. Well... This blog started as a sideline of the book I am working on, but these days I find myself spending most of my work-time searching material for this blog. It's both a curse and a blessing, really. But, in the end, a wealth of material for the book - hopeful to have the manuscript of The Beret Book ready by July this year.
    Stay proud, Heinrich!

  3. Hello,si autrefois Mazamet était connue pour son industrie de la laine ,aujourd'hui en France quand tu dis Mazamet tout le monde pense aussitot à LAURENT JALABERT(JAJA)le grand champion cycliste,né dans ce village.
    Félicitations pour ton blog.
    Un porteur de béret français.

  4. Merci.
    Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of Jaja with beret though...
    Thanks for your comment!