1917 The Rato factory is producing ammunition at full capacity
Men and women work at the Lado factory in La Cournevo, near Paris, which produced turbines, weapons and ammunition for use during the First World War.Founded by engineer and industrialist August Rato.The war had entered 1917, and available men were already in the war. After that, more men could not be found to enter the factory. At this time, more housewives, leaving their homes and kitchens, were put into various factories.To fill the growing shortage of workers.The Lardo Factory was a very important military enterprise, involved in two world wars.The name of the factory comes from August Ladeau.In 1904, the French engineer founded a company in Paris bearing his name to implement his technical designs.The factory specialises in steam turbines, pumps and fans and has important regular customers such as the French navy and Belgian coal mines.Augusto expanded quickly after studying at the Ecole Polytechnique in France:In 1911, Rateau founded the Societe Belge des Ateliers Rateau. In 1913, the company called “Societe Belge des Ateliers Rateau” built a building at Metzen on the Meiheren-Leuven railway line, which had been completed five years earlier.Even the outbreak of the First World War could not restrain the growth of the company, but was the expansion agent of the rapid growth of the factory.The Muizen factory was even expanded during the war years of 1915, but in the following years it did not go well, mainly due to the confiscation of goods and sabotage by the (presumably) German occupiers.The company was stymied, and its founder, Auguste Ladeau, did not sit idly by and played a major role in technological improvements to French and British fighter jets.Fighter jets were a novelty in The first World War, and few were able to understand or even improve on the technology.With this stunt, Auguste Ladeau himself brought the factory back to life.In 1922, the smoke of World War I was over.This earned Rado the British Medal.The rebuilding and expansion of his empire was already on a fast track.In 1919, in Paris, a new factory would be built on Mezan’s building, using machinery from the Belgian branch.The plant in Meizhen would focus on pumps and fans and would be greatly expanded in 1927.The good times did not last long, and another difficult period soon appeared.The stock market crash of 1929, which triggered a world class crisis, was supposed to be the biggest blow.Soon after, in 1930, the founder Auguste Rato died.A brief revival after 1935 was followed by The Second World War.The German Army enlisted the plant to produce turbines for the Kriegsmarin submarine.In March 1944, Belgian guerrillas, led by frans Storm, a well-known resistance man, decided to destroy part of the factory with 25 kilograms of explosives and manually destroyed some of the facilities to prevent them from falling into the hands of the occupiers.It was a necessary operation that did hit the company hard and intensified during the night of May 6-7, 1944, when the Mezan factory was hit by allied air raids.Reconstruction took place after the war: the Former Factory was expanded twice and the contract proceeded smoothly.At the same time, the company was developing jet engines for Air France – a business move that sparked a real patent battle with legendary British carmaker Rolls-Royce.Although still small in comparison with some other businesses, Rado De Belgium has played an important role in major industrial developments in Belgium, such as the development of the chemical industry in France and Belgium, the modernization of shipping lanes and the construction of nuclear power stations.The oil crisis of 1973.Still producing a lot of industrial related products.Rateau, for example, supplies the pumping units for the now-controversial Doel and Tihange power stations.Today, a website is giving the old factory a second life.The most architecturally interesting building will be preserved as a heritage warehouse for the city of Mecheron.Willemen Real Estate is developing a new residential project, Dew-Rato, on the same site, which will house 48 families.Three homes will be built in a high quality industrial area.