150 years of Ardennes Coticule

In 1901 her son took over the business. He constructed the workplace. One of the most important realisations was the installation of the first power plant in the area of Lierneux. This plant produced electricity for public lighting and for the houses of local people but most important to give power to the new, electricity-driven machines in the workplace. The production rose tremendously. Mrs Burton bought small stone-quarries in Regné, Bihain and Their del Preu.

Between WWI and WWII, the company reached one of its peaks. This is when Mrs. Burton-Grandjean managed the business. At this moment, she was able to pay for 20 blue-collar workers in the quarries and 32 in the workplace. Thie company was the main employer of the entire area.

In 1954, two brothers and descendants of the family, Prosper and René, took over Burton. They sold whetstones almost all over the world; Europe, USA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Congo, India, Mexico, Argentine and Chilli. Not many years later, Burton experienced competition. Electric razors and artificially produced whetstones entered the market.

In 1979, René died and Prosper became the only owner. Burton counted only 2 blue-collar workers in the workplace and 2 in the quarry. After Prosper died, in 1982 and 117 years after the family founded the company, the production stopped. Unfortunately they weren’t able to compete with new technologies, such as new razors, and changing life-style habits of families. Furthermore they didn’t find a way to give extra value to their own stones, which would have made it possible to exist next to their competitors.

Nevertheless, the reoccurring theme throughout this entire history will be that this family worked very hard to make the Coticule-stone famous so the well-known quality stayed in the collective-mind of lots of people.