Since the 15th century , the department of the Tarn has of a long tradition of glass-marking thanks to its forest of the Grésigne and the Black Mountain.
In the 18th century appeared on the market a new production: the “brown glass from England” more collectively called " black glass " or " glass for bottle " in reference to the English glass factories. English glass factories were the first to use the coal in the 18th century.
In 1724, the marriage of François Paul de Solages with Marie de Ciron Marchioness of Carmaux allowed this family native of the North Rouergue (previously settled in the castle of Rebourguil in Saint-Afrique - Aveyron) to settle in Carmaux. The couple settled down on the lands of the current Domain of the Glass factory of Carmaux where they have a beautiful castle done.
On the 2nd of May, 1752 Gabriel de Solages called "the Knight", François Paul de Solages’ son stemming from a previous marriage, obtained a royal privilege delivered by Louis XV, for the construction of a Glass factory. On September 19th, 1752 Gabriel de Solages obtained the concession of coal mines in Carmaux to put on the Glass factory, which was the first one to use the coal as fuel in the Southwest and one of the very first in France. These mining activities and Glass -making will continue with the Company of Carmaux until the 20th century.
This is the way in 1752, the Knight de Solages created and managed in Carmaux a Royal Glass factory using the coal extracted from the Mines. For the manufacturing of the black glass bottles, he appealed to glassworkers of the Grésigne and the inhabitant of the Champagne region, highly qualified. During a century, the family of Solages worked on the development of the Glass factory until its closure in 1853. In the middle of the 19th century (1853) the Glass factory was rented in 1856 by Eugène Rességuier, rich Toulousian trader of bottle until 1862.
By concern of profitability, Rességuier had a second glass factory done in Carmaux in 1862, Sainte-Clotilde glass factory, settled near the station (connecting Carmaux with Albi in 1857 and to Toulouse in 1864). Two years later he created the Anonymous Company of the Glass factories of Carmaux (integrating Sainte-Clotilde and the Royal Glass factory).
The Sainte-Clotilde glass factory was going to pursue its ascent during all the 19th until reach 800 workers in 1882. These glassworkers constituted a privileged labor corporation, benefiting with high salaries. The glassworkers from Carmaux had the best salary in France. At the end of the 19th - the beginning of the 20th century, the empire of Rességuier based on the Society of the Glass factories of Carmaux, continued its extension by including the glass factories of the Bousquet d’Orb (Hérault), Arlac-Mérignac (Gironde), Saumur (Maine-et-Loire) and Cognac (Charente).
Since 1884 the introduction of the mechanization and new processes in Sainte-Clotilde Glass factory allowed to increase the potential in productivity of this one. Consequently these transformations required workers less considered upsetting the unchanged status of the glassworkers for centuries. So this corporate association, which used to be an privileged caste saw their salaries decreasing. It was about one of the last corporations which had been impacted by the Industrial revolution in France and in Europe. At the same time, the forest glass factories were confronted with these competition which was one of factors at the origin of their decline.
In this context and to carry their demands, 300 workers decided to create in 1890 the Trade association of the Glassworkers of Carmaux.