Le Creusot in Burgundy is a place of prime importance in the industrial history of Europe. In the 1780s ironworks and glassworks utilising technology from England were established there by William Wilkinson, and the evidence of migration of workers is provided by the settlement called la combe des mineurs.
From 1836 under the direction of Joseph-Eugene Schneider and his descendants Le Creusot became the centre of a vast mining, ironmaking and engineering enterprise.The steam hammer was developed there in the late 1830s and a 1300-tonne hammer, the largest in the world, adorns the entrance to the town.
The Ecomusee, established in 1973, as heavy industry began to decline, is based in a former Schneider residence that was adapted from the glassworks of the 1780s. It houses displays illustrating the history of the region, and is the starting point for tours interpreting the surrounding industrial landscape.