Construction of the Pozzuoli works was completed in 1892. On Tyneside it was known as the ‘Italian Elswick’. For a time it was the pride of Italy in terms of modern industrial plant. An Italian account of 1894 eulogised its magnificent dimensions and great achievements.1 It occupied a 25.6 hectare site, half of which was built on. The main shop, covering almost 1.2 hectares, was said to be the largest in the world. The largest warships could tie up directly alongside its jetty. Pozzuoli’s main plant was concerned with manufacture of guns from small dimensions up to 105 tons; in this trade it was claimed that no plant in Europe was superior. Pozzuoli had built two gun boats for the Italian Ministry of War in the late 1880s and it supplied a generally rising tonnage of guns and mountings (777 tons in the year up to 1890, 940 in 1892, 2069 tons scheduled in 1895). From 1891 all its gun steel came from Terni, which by 1895 had provided 1800 tons. Steel for other work, including mountings, was procured from various Italian works. By this time all the workers and three-quarters of technical and administrative staff were Italian and ‘the few foreigners employed, who have brought experience gained in England, live and pay taxes in Italy’. At about the same time a British Consular report described Pozzuoli as the most important industrial establishment in southern Italy, though it employed only 900. Its existence was undoubtedly an asset to Armstrong’s Italian trade.
KeywordsAdministrative Staff Steel Work Italian Firm Italian Work National Sentiment
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