140. Ignazio Florio Sr. (1838-1891)

Born in Palermo in 1838, at the death of his father, Ignazio took over the ownership of the
Florio family business. In 1873 he founded a company for mechanical weaving, introducing forms of assistance for the staff even futuristic for its time, at least in Sicily. His employees’ program provided for the children’s daycare, the education of female workers with evening classes, affordable housing and cafeteria and affordable interest rates loans.

Ignazio’s entrepreneurial wisdom drove him to hire French engineer G. Theis to successfully lead his foundry “Oretea”, develop the shipping company, the purchase of the tuna traps of Favignana, Formica, Levanzo and Marettimo (which between 1878 and 1888 produced profits up to 20%), the expansion of the sulfur mines of Rabbione near Caltanissetta and Grottarossa, and the hiring of an expert winemaker to oversee the production of marsala wine. In 1882 F. began a porcelain factory (Ceramica Florio) that will promote design and art nouveau in Sicily.

Read More:
Treccani, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/florio-ignazio-senior_(Dizionario_Biografico)/


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