Taste of Absinthe


Pages 34 – 35

The temperature of the cellars is maintained at a constant level during the winter by means of steam pipes with fins. From the cellars we climb to the workshop for packing barrels and carboys; both are covered with fir tree straw packing, in order to avoid, as far as possible, accidents en route; leads and wax seals, with the mark of the house, protect them from subtractions in the course of transport. All transit between the workshops, the docks and the stores is accomplished using small Decauville railroads; manual labor is reduced to a minimum; therefore the impression with which one is left after having toured the vast factory is astonishment at how so few personnel can do so many things. All the same, the establishment employs a hundred and seventy workmen, including eighty women, not counting the coopers and woodworkers who work outdoors. Ever since the cases have been supplied by a contractor exclusively occupied with their fabrication, there has been a workshop dependent on the factory; there sophisticated tools plane wood, cut it to size, cut the dovetails, groove the lids, nail the bottoms, etc; this workshop employs 30 workmen who deliver a hundred cases per hour; it is set up in a building formerly used as a paper mill and it excites a keen interest in all visitors to the Pernod factory.

The driving force which actuates the pumps; the machines for rinsing bottles, corking, labelling, and nailing, the elevators; the dynamoelectric machines; in a word the complex tools of the establishment, is provided by a turbine of 150 horsepower and a steam engine of 25 horsepower.