The iron founder Jean-Baptiste Godin (1817-88) was inspired by the writings of the utopian socialist Charles Fourier (1771-1837) and in 1859 established a foundry in a meander of the River Oise, and around it constructed a self-contained industrial colony some of whose buildings were directly inspired by Fourier’s writings. The dwellings are organised on four levels, with galleries running around rectangular glass-covered quadrangles, designed to provide both light and opportunities for association between families. The communal buildings include a school, a nursery, a communal eating place and shops.
The foundry made, and still makes cast-iron stoves, and was also celebrated for its enamelled bathtubs. A small museum displays the foundry’s products and documents relating to the history of Guise.