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The Silk Factory
Btater, al-Shuf, Lebanon
Prosper, Nicolas, Joseph and Antoine Fortuné Portalis
In 1841, teams of spinners we brought from France to train young women. This was a real social revolution in this rural and traditional part of the country. In Gaston Ducousso’s book The silk industry in Syria and Lebanon published in 1912, the French Consul in Beirut counted no less than 183 spinning mills in Lebanon. It’s important to mention that the transport of silk cocoons and silk from Beirut port to Marseille, laid the foundations for maritime transport agencies in Lebanon. Similarly, loan grants to intermediaries and traders wishing to buy silk cocoons from farmers, laid the groundwork for financial trading posts which in turn led to the establishment of the first Lebanese bank, and to the development of the port of Beirut.
In 1841, Prosper, Nicolas, Joseph and Antoine Fortuné Portalis built the first spinning mill for the reeling (of cocoons in Btater in al-Shuf region).
Jeff El-Msanne, Julien El Khoury "The Silk Factory" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=monument;AWE;lb;18;en
Prepared by: Jeff El-Msanne, Julien El Khoury
MWNF Working Number: LB 018