Background

1475: Simon de Thysac, a gentleman glassmaker, was granted the right to found a glassworks at "Les Rochiers". This deed is recorded in National archives. At the very beginning, it would seem that window glass was made at La Rochère, using the "collar" method (a large cylinder cut lengthwise), very probably in addition to articles for local requirements.
1595: The village was completely destroyed in a fire. The glassworks was rebuilt three years later.
1636: La Rochère was once again destroyed during the 30-years war.
1666: The furnaces were re-lit and to this day have never stopped burning.
1858: The glassworks was taken over by François-Xavier Fouillot and two associates.
1868:
The associates left and it is the descendants of François-Xavier Fouillot who run the glassworks today.
1870:
Marked the beginning of glass tile manufacture. This diversification can be explained by the presence of a number of tile makers in the village. La Rochère was also already working with cafes, hotels and restaurants, supplying glassware, such as carafes, glasses for daily use and pitchers.
1895: An exhaustive catalogue of products made at La Rochère was published (many cut-glass serving glasses, salt cellars and jam pots, but also medical equipment, lighting and roof tiles).

 

1923: The "La Rochère and Clairefontaine" glassworks became the "Société Anonyme Etablissement Boileau-Mercier"
1960: The glassworks became the "Cristallerie de La Rochère"
1967: Production was automated. Hand presses were replaced by automatic presses. A tank furnace was installed. Bricks, tiles and blocks were now mechanically and automatically pressed. Productivity and working conditions improved. The first mechanised tableware products were ice cream dishes and LR was soon to become a market leader in this product.
1970: Handmade glass was developed with the arrival of decorative articles, such as lamps and vases, in which we developed acknowledged expertise (Art Nouveau lamps, brightly coloured vases,etc).
The site is open to the public and the glassworkers can be seen at work. An art gallery was also inaugurated, where we exhibit the works of regional artists and glass artists. A Japanese garden adds attraction to the visit.

1980:
The legal status of the company was changed to a simplified joint-stock company (SAS).
1999: A more modern works was built to house a second tank furnace and new presses. Constantly developing its machines, La Rochère invested in this furnace to meet an increasing demand for tableware.

2004: The legal status of the company was changed to a simplified joint-stock company (SAS).
2009: 75,000 were welcomed at La Rochère, making it the top tourist destination in the Haute Saône and the third most popular in Franche Comté (after the Citadelle of Besançon and the Saltworks of Arc et Senans).
Although production became more mechanised in the 1970s, this does not mean that La Rochère has abandoned its "handmade, mouth-blown" products that are the pride of the company and the highlight of every tourist visit to the site.
The two types of production – mouth-blown glass and machine glass – explain the considerable difference in price between products.
In both these sectors, we are on the edge of top-range products. Our keen prices are the result of several factors that are not necessarily disadvantageous and that we assume: our small size (145 employees in the Haute-Saône), which gives us a certain flexibility, our expertise and our genuine customer care.

 

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