Two centuries of French glasses, from functional to high fashion
A small town in eastern France has been the ‘capital of French spectacles’ for more than a century.
Morez earned that title after decades of producing quality frames for the French glasses industry, which has supplied customers such as Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Nana Mouskouri and even politicians including Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
Jura known for metal work since 16th century
It all began in 1796 when Morez blacksmith Pierre Hyacinthe Caseaux, who specialised in pin nails, was looking to diversify, and created a pair of wire bésicles (spectacles).
A few years later, he hired a small team and started producing more than 3,500 lunettes annually, selling them in France and Switzerland.
It was a new awakening for the Jura area, which had been renowned for its metalwork since the 16th century.
Very light frames, nicknamed lunettes fils (wire glasses) or lunettes cheveux (hair glasses), became a speciality, as well as pince-nez, the glasses favoured by US president Theodore Roosevelt.
They are named after the French word pincer – literally, pinch the nose.
From 1826 to 1848, production in Morez increased from 3,000 pairs of glasses to 720,000 and reached 11 million pairs at the end of the century.
Manufacturing of glasses became so crucial to the area that specific training has been available since 1854.
Originally focused on making watches, the Ecole Pratique d’industrie de Morez, which developed into the Lycée Victor Bérard, still offers an education in optical and micro-mechanical tradition.
Today, between 8.5 and 12 million pairs of glasses are manufactured each year in factories based in Jura.
The Lunetiers du Jura is a collective of 29 industrial and commercial members (977 employees), specialising in all the skills related to the production of French eyewear. The network claims that more than 2,000 new models are developed in the region each year, and it produces more than 10 million glasses annually, half of which are exported worldwide.
This makes Jura the world’s sixth-largest exporter of spectacle frames.
Museum tells story of Morez
The Musée de la lunette in Morez, opened in 2003, celebrates the town’s historic industry.
María de Mota, spokeswoman for the museum, said: “It is the only museum of glasses in France. It is almost the only one in Europe [there is just one other, in Italy].
“One part is about the industrial history of Morez, because it was the centre of the production of glasses in France and then in Europe during the 19th and the first part of the 20th century.
“And then we have a second part, which is really interesting: one of the best collections of glasses and optical objects.”
There is also an eclectic range of exhibitions, including a donation from ophthalmic optics expert Jean-Pierre Bonnac, a collection of 85 paintings donated by François-Honoré Jourdain, and historic machines and equipment.
“The most popular is the Pierre Marly Collection. It is important all over the world,” says Ms de Mota.
It includes 2,500 objects – 300 of which are on display – celebrating the work of a very special French optician.
Pierre Marly changed glasses forever
“Pierre Marly was a self-taught man, and it was by chance that he became a celebrated eyewear designer,” says Gilbert Marly, his son.
After a career in the military, Pierre worked as an optician. He was passionate about the profession and became technical director at Lissac, Paris’s first major optician shop.
“In 1948, he got his diplome d’opticien and had only one idea in mind,” says his son – “to transform glasses from functional visual aids into fashion accessories”.
Pierre became a stylist to the stars, designing several models for his famous clientele.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he was responsible for some of the most striking frames to grace magazine covers and red carpets.
“In the press, Pierre Marly was known as le couturier des lunettes, or l’opticien qui habille les yeux du Tout-Paris,” says his son.
French quality is best
Now in the third generation, the Pierre Marly family business offers made-to-measure glasses in acetate or – staying true to the brand – rarer materials such as tortoiseshell or buffalo horn.
The shop has been at 50 rue François 1er, Paris, not far from the Champs-Elysées, since 1956.
“We intend to stay here as long as possible,” says Gilbert.
“As far as eyewear is concerned, historically in France, glasses are made in the Jura region.
“Today, in the face of foreign competition (Italian, Asian, etc), French manufacturing remains one of the best in terms of quality.”
Eyewear businesses based elsewhere in France, such as Lafont or Nathalie Blanc, also trust manufacturers in the Jura region for their savoir-faire and good reputation.
Rescue bid for historic maker
Maison Bourgeat is considered one of the oldest eyewear manufacturers in France, having made nearly three million frames in Morez since 1879.
It was recently rescued by optician Harry Bessis.
“I was looking for something different,” Mr Bessis said.
“Something that could have meaning and value. I also wanted to diversify my shops.
“I then found Maison Bourgeat, which was in receivership, as were most of the former workshops in the Jura. I did not hesitate for a second and launched myself into the adventure.”
Since then, the going has not always been smooth.
“Covid hit us hard as we opened four shops in late 2019, early 2020.
“I was afraid that the adventure would end. I then brought in three private partners who realised how lucky we were to have a 200-year-old treasure like this to develop and internationalise,” he says.
As far as possible, Mr Bessis is staying true to the business’s roots.
“All our frames are made in our Jura workshops – the Haute Lunetterie, our Muse range (affordable made-to-measure), and our limited series.”
The firm also works exclusively with Hoya, the world’s second-largest glass manufacturer, which makes its lenses in France.
While Japanese-owned, Hoya has a base in Emerainville, near Paris. It employs more than 150 people and makes nearly 2,000 lenses every day.
Historic workshop restored
Mr Bessis has also refurbished all the Jura workshop’s original metal fabrication machines, has hired new employees, and added a full acetate production facility.
“We want as many people as possible to see these machines in operation, which are unique in the world,” he explains.
“Morez is the cradle of eyewear worldwide.
“Maison Bourgeat is one of the most historic and one of the last two bicentenary-old businesses here. It has never relocated production in its entire history.
“As far as the industrial part is concerned, we would like to open our doors to young designers or groups of opticians wishing to develop their own collections, with our know-how and using authentic machines and artisanal methods that are otherwise going to be lost.”
Trader Joe’s: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience
Discover the unparalleled shopping experience at Trader Joe’s, a renowned grocery store chain offering a wide range of high-quality products at affordable prices. Explore the diverse selection, innovative offerings, and friendly atmosphere that make Trader Joe’s a favorite destination for food enthusiasts.
Introduction: Welcome to Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s has revolutionized the grocery shopping industry with its distinctive approach to retail. With a commitment to providing unique and high-quality products, Trader Joe’s has garnered a loyal following of customers who are eager to explore the ever-changing assortment of items on their shelves. In this article, we will delve into the world of Trader Joe’s and explore the reasons why it stands out from the competition.
Trader Joe’s: A Shopper’s Paradise
A Haven for Food Enthusiasts
Trader Joe’s is more than just a grocery store; it’s a paradise for food enthusiasts. With an extensive selection of gourmet and specialty items sourced from around the world, Trader Joe’s caters to the discerning palate. From unique snacks and appetizers to artisanal cheeses and decadent desserts, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at Trader Joe’s.
Unbeatable Prices and Value
One of the hallmarks of Trader Joe’s is its commitment to providing exceptional value to its customers. While the store offers a wide range of high-quality products, it manages to keep its prices affordable. This combination of quality and value is what sets Trader Joe’s apart from its competitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers.
A Neighborhood Vibe
Step into any Trader Joe’s, and you’ll immediately notice the warm and welcoming atmosphere. With friendly staff members who are always ready to assist you, shopping at Trader Joe’s feels like a visit to your neighborhood store. The company prides itself on fostering a sense of community and creating an enjoyable shopping experience for its customers.
Exploring Trader Joe’s Selection
A Cornucopia of Fresh Produce
Trader Joe’s offers an impressive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced from trusted suppliers. Whether you’re in search of everyday staples or exotic produce, Trader Joe’s has you covered. From crisp apples to vibrant heirloom tomatoes, their produce section boasts a colorful array of options that will inspire any home cook.
Delightful Dairy and Cheese Selection
Cheese lovers rejoice! Trader Joe’s is renowned for its diverse selection of cheeses from around the world. From creamy Brie to tangy blue cheese, you’ll find a range of flavors and textures to suit your taste buds. Pair your favorite cheese with their assortment of crackers and you’re in for a treat.
International Flavors Galore
At Trader Joe’s, you can embark on a global culinary adventure without leaving the store. Their shelves are stocked with a wide variety of international ingredients and products, allowing you to explore different cuisines and expand your culinary horizons. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai curry, Italian pasta, or Indian spices, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to create authentic and flavorful dishes.
Unique and Innovative Offerings
One of the reasons why Trader Joe’s is so beloved is its constant introduction of unique and innovative products. The store takes pride in being a trendsetter in the grocery industry, and customers eagerly anticipate the arrival of new items. From seasonal treats to unexpected flavor combinations, Trader Joe’s never fails to surprise and delight its customers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What makes Trader Joe’s different from other grocery stores?
Trader Joe’s stands out from other grocery stores due to its unique selection of products, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere. The store offers an exciting array of gourmet and specialty items, all at affordable prices,making it a destination for food enthusiasts. Additionally, Trader Joe’s prides itself on creating a neighborhood vibe with its welcoming staff and sense of community.
2. Does Trader Joe’s offer organic and healthy options?
Yes, Trader Joe’s is known for its commitment to offering a wide range of organic and healthy options. The store carries a variety of organic produce, as well as organic dairy products, meats, and pantry staples. In addition, Trader Joe’s has a selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian products to cater to different dietary preferences and needs.
3. Are Trader Joe’s products affordable compared to other grocery stores?
Yes, Trader Joe’s is renowned for its affordability. While providing high-quality products, Trader Joe’s manages to keep its prices competitive. This combination of quality and value makes it an attractive choice for shoppers looking to get the most out of their budget.
4. Can I find international ingredients and spices at Trader Joe’s?
Absolutely! Trader Joe’s takes pride in offering a diverse range of international ingredients and spices. Whether you’re looking for exotic spices for a specific recipe or unique international snacks, Trader Joe’s has a selection that will satisfy your culinary cravings.
5. Are there any Trader Joe’s branded products?
Yes, Trader Joe’s has its own line of branded products. These Trader Joe’s branded items are carefully curated and developed to meet the company’s high standards for quality and taste. From snacks and pantry staples to frozen meals and beverages, you’ll find a variety of Trader Joe’s branded products throughout the store.
6. Does Trader Joe’s have a return policy?
Yes, Trader Joe’s has a customer-friendly return policy. If you’re not satisfied with a product you’ve purchased, you can return it to the store with a receipt for a full refund. Trader Joe’s aims to ensure customer satisfaction and stands behind the quality of their products.
Conclusion: A Shopping Experience Like No Other
Trader Joe’s offers a shopping experience that is truly unique. With its diverse and high-quality product selection, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere, it has become a favorite destination for food enthusiasts and budget-conscious shoppers alike. Whether you’re searching for everyday essentials, international ingredients, or innovative snacks, Trader Joe’s has something to offer. So, the next time you’re in search of a grocery store adventure, don’t miss out on the vibrant and exciting world of Trader Joe’s.
Rebbe’s Dollar distribution
Uncover the extraordinary story of the Rebbe’s Dollar distribution, a powerful tradition that has transformed lives and inspired acts of kindness across the globe.
The Rebbe’s one-dollar bill, a symbol of charity and compassion, continues to embody the spiritual legacy of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, inspiring countless individuals to embrace a life of giving and kindness.
Every Sunday, people from all walks of life – Jews and non-Jews alike – would line up outside the Rebbe’s residence at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, eager to receive a dollar bill and a blessing from the Rebbe.
It was a testament to the universal nature of the Rebbe’s message of love, kindness, and the power of good deeds.
The Rebbe would hand out dollar bills to each individual, instructing them to donate the money to a charity of their choice. Through this small act of giving, the Rebbe instilled the value of charity and the potential of a single dollar to create positive change.
Sustainable Diamonds – What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ
The use of lab grown diamonds NZ in jewellery has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This is because they are eco-friendly, and they cost less than mined diamonds. However, it is essential to understand the differences between a lab-grown and a mined diamond before making a purchase decision.
A Lab-Grown Diamond is a synthetic diamond created by humans in a lab instead of being mined from the ground. They are similar to natural diamonds in almost every way, except that they do not cloud or lose their luster over time.
There are several processes that can be used to grow a diamond in a lab, but the most common ones are High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods are incredibly complex, but they have the same end goal: to replicate the conditions that naturally occur when a diamond grows on the earth’s surface.
Unlike mined diamonds, formed after millions of years of exposure to extreme heat and temperatures within the earth’s crust, lab-grown diamonds are created by scientists in a controlled environment. This allows them to mimic the same physical and chemical properties of natural diamonds, while also being significantly cheaper and environmentally friendly.
How They’re Made
When a diamond seed is placed inside of a sealed chamber, it is pressurized and heated until the carbon particles break down and crystallize into a fully grown diamond. This process is called growing a diamond in a lab, and many companies have done it since the 1960s.
In addition to being more sustainable, lab-grown diamonds are more ethical than mined diamonds because they don’t heavily impact the environment. For example, a study by Frost & Sullivan found that for each carat of diamonds mined using traditional methods, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and more than 5,798 pounds of mineral waste are created.
Another great thing about lab-grown diamonds is that they don’t consume as much water in the making process. This is because the processes involved in creating a mined diamond require significant amounts of water, and they also create a lot of pollution.
This can lead to many issues, including depleted water supplies and environmental calamities. In addition, the soil can be destroyed, and in turn, the land is rendered unusable once mining operations have ceased.
It is also worth noting that lab-grown diamonds don’t contribute to global warming like mined diamonds, as their carbon is sourced from CO2 emissions. This is a very good thing for the planet, and it is one of the major reasons why people are switching to lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds.
If you want to buy a piece of jewellery with a lab-grown diamond, you’ll need to do some research and make sure that you are getting a good deal on the product. You can do this by checking out prices at different retailers and comparing the costs. You can then choose which option is best for you and your budget.
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