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Bois du Luc Ecomuseum

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Ecomusée du Bois-du-Luc

Centre minier du bBois-du-Luc

Rue Saint-Patrice, 2b





Technique   Ethnology   History


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The nature of the collections is linked on the one hand to the history of the non-trading colliery company of the Bois-du-Luc, and on the other hand to the activities of the Ecomuseum. Two types of collections which interact and complement one another and whose dialogue describes the daily and professional life of industrial Belgium. As part of the project of computerised access to all the major works of museum collections of the French community (AICIM), the Ecomuseum is busy setting up the retrospective archives of its collections. An online database gives access via minimal records (www.aicim.be). Mining and Industrial Heritage: When taking over of the Bois-du-Luc site, the Ecomuseum collected a number of items belonging to the mining industry. This equipment lets us observe the evolution of mining techniques (pit works and surface works, including administration). From the second half of the 19th century, the self-governing method of operation of the non-trading colliery company equipped its workplace with machinery-tools from Belgian and foreign companies. Throughout the show-tour, these stand together with other machinery-tools collected by the Ecomuseum since 1983. The carpentry shop has numerous specimens, most of which were made by Edouard Mennig (Brussels). These machines, which perform all of the wood works, from the chopping to the crafting, are connected to the underground transportation system by a series of pulleys and belts. Alongside this labour which connects man to machine, a number of tools depict the manual handiwork of wood. Occupying the mechanic workshop are a number of Belgian-made machines (Ame Fetu-Defize corporation; L.Bronne Dombret & Co of Liege, Demoor; SA Industrial Progress of Brussels, Atelier du Thiriau...) and also of foreign, but mostly American origin (G.Birch & Co; Mather and Platt of Manchester, The American Tool Works of Cincinnati; Thomas Spacing Machine of Pittsburgh, Atelier GSP of Paris ...). Other pieces collected since 1983 bring to light the industrial wealth of the Central region, particularly in the fields of glass-making and metallurgy. Ethnological Heritage: The diversity of the collections pays tribute to the activities of the Ecomuseum, set up on the model of French community and Canadian museums. Recalling industrial, ethnological, historic and folklore memories of the Central region, the Ecomuseum has collected material testimonials many of which have been included in the show-tour. The ways of domestic, administrative, social and cultural life are richly illustrated, as well as certain types of workmanship (plumbing, saddlery, clog-making, slate works, cobblering). Today, the Ecomuseum looks into the industrial past of the Central region and into its integration into the wider scope of Belgian and European trade history. In this effort, the museum is interested in whatever material testimonies you might have which could complete its expansion of mining techniques. If you have any objects pertaining to this sector and if you would like to participate in the project, the Ecomuseum Bois du Luc would be pleased to have a look at your collections. Buildings: The mine ... what is its world? Who are the craftsmen of the glory of the Wallon country? How did they work? Where is the evidence of the know-how of the workers, craftsmen and engineers? How do the stones and land reveal the epic tale of coal Stones, Land and Man: The Bois-du-Luc opens itself to these mystifying questions. It is here that unfold almost 300 years of intense work and a life under the shelter of the colliery company of the Bois-du-Luc. Founded in 1685 on a model of capitalism, it is one of the oldest and most prosperous in Europe. From the bowels of the earth to the interiors of the mining villages, discover the facets of a unique way of life which develops in meticulous detail into an ideal city, isolated from the socialist fortifications established in the cities. You will be transported into the realms of decision making, of manufacturing, of exploitation and finally, of living. The union between these areas is complete. The offices, the workshops, the pit of Saint-Emmanuel with its extraction shaft which swallows up men and spits out coal, are in harmony with the living places (mining huts, the Master