Museum of the Canson and Montgolfier Paper Mills

The Musée de Papeteries Canson et Mongolfier at Davézieux in the Ardèche region of south-central France is centred on a water-power site that was used for paper-making from 1557. Michel and Raymond Montgolfier arrived to work there in 1692, married the two daughters of the owner, and built a second mill in 1720. In 1783 Louis XVI ennobled Pierre Montgolfier for the contribution of his family to paper making, and the following year he bestowed the title of ‘Manufacture Royale’ on the factory. The family home at Davézieux, which became a museum in 1987 stands alongside a river in a parkland setting. It was the birthplace of the pioneers of ballooning the brothers Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (1740-1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (1745-99). The museum portrays the achievements of the two brothers as well as the history of paper-making over several centuries. In 1801 Barthélémy de la Lombardière de Canson (1774-1859) entered the company, which from 1807 was known as Mongolfier-Canson. In 1820 he installed a paper-making machine of the kind developed in France by Nicholas-Louis Robert (1763-1828). The company became famous for the high quality papers it produced for artists, and it began to make photographic papers from 1853. It became a public company in 1881. The museum is claimed to be the only one that demonstrates a working paper-making machine, on which visitors are able to experience that dramatic moment when pulp become a sheet of paper. The machines are on the ground floor, part of a displaying showing the history of paper-making from the seventeenth century to the present, above which there are displays on two storeys of the history of the Montgolfier and Canson families.

Museum of the Canson and Montgolfier Paper Mills
Musée de Papeteries Canson et Mongolfier
Rue de Vidalon
07430 Davézieux
+33 (0) 475 - 698920

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