The author of these notes, not Terni, believes that in order to better appreciate the effort that since 1993, the association is doing to see built and opened to the public the Museum of Arms, we should put the same museum in the context of the story is Factory d’Armi that the former Army of the city of Terni, if such factory was built. This is a short documentary and photographic chronicle of what has been said. I thank the members Sandro Patumi, Giovanni Piana and Gianluca Albonetti for the photographic contribution offered to the Association.
FROM 1875 TO 1919
Shortly after Unification of Italy (1862), there was talk of setting up a national armory a Terni, Terni in what was considered a strategic city for its location at the center of Italy and the richness of the waters that surrounded it: the proposal was opposed by the nearby Papal State and postponed indefinitely. The proposal was repeated and, in 1869, dr. Peter Masters, Director of Statistics at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce wrote on an “Italian Economy” …
In 1872 the Marquis Luigi Campofregoso, executor of the studies and the installation of the new plant, in his writing – The extraordinary importance of military and industrial Val Terni – concluded: “… I highly recommend this location ternana the attention of the Minister of War, General Commission for the defense of the State, the big capitalists and enterprising of all men. ” On March 19, 1874 issued the Royal Decree authorizing the expenditure for the construction of a factory in Terni d’Armi. Became to keep in mind that there was already one in Terni steelworks called “La Ferriera” and that, almost simultaneously with the proposed construction of the factory d’Armi, the Navy proposed and obtained the institution, always at Terni, a steel mill for the production of steel, construction breastplates and blanks cannon opened by King Umberto I ° in July of 1887.
The factory occupied lots granted free of charge to the State by the city of Terni, to the east of the city, on the road that leads to the Nera Valley and along the avenue entitled subsequently to Benedetto Brin. The factory was opened in 1880 and consisted of a main building and laboratories generally constructed to the building; was created a shooting range of 200 meters for the testing of weapons.
The energy was driving more than 1000 horses that came from the turbines to the main shafts of all the plants and that, longitudinally through the laboratories, the distributed sub-trees and their references. The workers came in large part from Turin, Brescia and Torre Annunziata and began to work on the Vetterli rifle mod. 1870 at a rate of 25 rifles per hour. In 1891, it was designed rifle mod. 91 cal. 6.5: the Director of the Commission were part of the Factory of Turin d’Armi col. Alessandro Olioli – Fasola, Captain Giuseppe Vitali and foreman Salvatore Carcano. The construction of the new rifle was entrusted to the Factory d’Armi of Terni.
In March of 1918 the workers were 7,172, of which over 3,000 women with two shifts of 12 hours.
FROM 1919 TO 1946
Between 1919 and 1921, due to lack of orders, the activity of the plant decreased to the limit of paralysis which was overcome by the restoration of parts d’arma and with various studies and transformation that allowed the full recovery of the plant, and between 1935 and 1940, the machinery was almost entirely renovated. In Piazza Cornelius Tacitus, in 1935, instead of the war memorial moved the entrance to the public gardens, was built the fountain “pen and ink” as it is now dubbed.
By the architects Ridolfi and Bean, the fountain features three distinct phases. In the first the water comes to the edge of the basin in the form of veil to flow over the surface decorated by the artist Cagli with the signs of the zodiac; Water in the second precipitates in a further bath to become energy represented, the third phase, by a very high metal needle covered with stainless steel. The authors of the project say the fountain “It stands in the same night as the symbol and essence of Terni: Industrial and dynamic.” On August 11, 1943, in one of the 108 bombing suffered by Terni during the war, the factory d’Armi lost 34 people including the Director General Antonio Passarelli and, in September, the Germans moved to the North about 3,000 machine tools. Later the plant was occupied by the Allies that left him in 1946 AD FROM 1946
Thanks to the skill of the workers who returned the precious material (industrial diamonds) hidden at your own risk, who tracked down many machine tools and “reconstructed memory” those lost, the plant resumed its activities dealing with the repair and conservation of Italian and foreign weapons, of mechanical parts and fittings for study and research. In 1978, the Factory d’Armi (FAET) has changed its name to the Military Armaments Light Plant of Terni (Smalt) and, from 2000 Polo Equipment Maintenance Light (PMAL) that, with modern CNC machine tools and systems computerized surface treatments of all kinds, on par with the national industries also providing the “logistical support” our troops abroad. On May 2, 1875, His Excellency Mr General Ricotti, War Minister laid the foundation stone of the factory d’Armi of Terni, saying among other things in his inaugural address: “Gentlemen, the nationality of Terni wanted to honor the mandate to place the first stone of the factory d’Armi that here, for the vote of Parliament and determination of the King, must be implanted. … In short, there will arise a great plant in the country that will work and honest gain a considerable number of workers and therefore no small advantage to the city, and, provided of the most perfect machines ed’ogni means more acconcio, will, I hope, readily compete hill d’armi most renowned factories abroad, both in quantity as in quality of products. … With this belief, in the name of His Majesty the King d’Itala Vittorio Emanuele II I place the first stone of the factory d’Armi of Terni. “” … With l’Augurio that the city of Terni, the Polo Equipment Maintenance Light, the association “Arms Museum – City of Terni “and the Arms Museum – town of Terni can always coexist and represent a piece of history of the cities of Italy …”
The President Brig. Gen. (res)