foret du pays d'ouche


Ideally located between rivers and forests, with a soil rich in iron ore, L 'Aigle, France is the pin and needle historical capital of France. In 1747, 6,000 people were working in 450 pin manufactures in that area. These everyday objects are sold even in America thanks to the excellent productivity of our region's factories. The renowned economist Adam Smith even used the example of a local pin manufacture to develop his division of labor theory!

ECONOMIc context

The French industry suffers from the German and English competition, which is more modern and more profitable. France is forced to import raw materials and the Franco-British Free Trade Treaty weakens the pin and needle industry. In 1866, the BOHIN saga began with needles: Benjamin BOHIN acquired the current manufacture in Saint-Sulpice-sur-Risle, France, where machines and workers were already training and experimenting this demanding production.

Ouvriers manufacture aiguille
benjamin bohin


In 1833, Benjamin BOHIN was 11 years old. He was the son of an iron object and wooden box manufacturer. His dream was to take over the family business to start serial production. After two refusals and three runaways, Benjamin ended up achieving his goal. As a smart and very handy artist, respected and inspiring leader, he managed to establish an empire. The BOHIN family is a family of inventors: we owe it to Benjamin for the protective cases for needles, the safety pin and many other products. Benjamin was a visionary and his travels influenced local debates. He said: "Let’s not forget that China’s opening will soon obligate us to live in a more competitive environment here at home and abroad as they expand throughout the world.” As far as fierce competition is concerned, Benjamin BOHIN plays the “Made in France” card: “Fight against unemployment, buy French”. Benjamin died in 1911 after a life that saw the completion of many beautiful projects.

The bohin saga from yesterday..

Benjamin sent his son Paul to study new manufacturing methods in Germany and England. Upon his return in 1874, Paul took over the company and improved the machines. His efforts were rewarded with a gold medal at the 1889 World Fair in Paris, France. The company grew at a very rapid pace: Paul bought many factories, modernized them and optimized their energy consumption. In 1914, BOHIN had 600 employees, including support services such as carpenters, electricians, gardeners and printers. Meanwhile, he developed a range of hardware items in addition to its extensive catalog of haberdashery products. Afterwards, the company's management moved to his son, Paul, then to his nephew, Jacques, and finally to his son, Gilles.

photo d'époque des ouvriers de l'usine bohin
Audrey et Fabien Regnier today

In January 1997 and after going through some difficulties, Didier Vrac, BOHIN’s former Sales Director, acquired the company to develop the confection activity and recreation tools as well as office and school supplies. Didier Vrac first opened the visit of BOHIN’s workshops to the general public in March 2014 and hired Audrey Régnier as Director of Cultural Space to carry out this project. In December 2017, Audrey and Fabien Régnier, her husband and former bank director, bought the company, its museum and buildings.


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