On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

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Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Ragbatz.

Thanks for the opportunity to share part of my world. In the summer of 2017, that world centered on a landmark of 19th century industrial architecture — a mill on the River Marne in the town of Noisiel, France.

The Menier Chocolate Factory, also know as Le Moulin Saulnier, was designed by Jules Saulnier and completed in 1872. It has a strong claim to having been the first metal skeleton building; it predates Chicago’s steel-skeleton skyscrapers by more than a dozen years. Most of the metal structure is visible on the surface of the building, including the diagonal cross-bracing. The visible metal is load-bearing; the brick and ceramic “lozenges” that fills in the lattice created by the diagonals are not structural at all, merely decorative. But what decoration they are, with images, ornaments, and motifs derived from various parts of the cocoa plant and the proud “M” of the Menier company.

Ate the lower levels of the building interior, are some remains of turbine driven machinery that channeled the power of the river into the production of chocolate.

Filed by this mill and other innovations, Menier was the world’s largest manufacturer of chocolate at the time of the 1893 world’s fair in Chicago. There, a man who was then in the caramel business, got an idea. His name was Milton Snavely Hershey.

Le Moulin Saunier, main entrance

This is the main entrance to Le Moulin. Around the time of my first visit to the Mill, I read a description of the facade of Notre-Dame cathedral that described it as a model of harmony and clarity. No less true of this building.

Structure and ornament 1

Iron structural lattice holding “lozenges” or brick and ceramic with cocoa themes. Note cocoa bud above the windows.

View from upstream

The technology to make long beams as strong as the Mill’s designs required was fairly new in 1869 when construction began.

Structure and ornament 2

Cocoa flower ringed by buds.

Clock element

Cocoa pod hour markers! The decoration was relentless.

Montage of roof details

Relentless, I tell you. More pods, more flowers, more lozenge shapes, and a cocoa plant lightning rod.

Mmmm, I wish I could go there right now and explore and then carry on exploring nearby areas of interest – thank you so much!

Thank you so much Ragbatz, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


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