The Cannon Group is proudly the owner of two museums. Officine Rubino Iron Working Documentation Center, located in Netro (Bi) and dedicated to the processing of iron, and the Civiltà della PlasticaMuseum, located in Pont Canavese (To) and dedicated to the history of plastic materials.
The Iron Working Museum “Centro di Documentazione sulla Lavorazione del Ferro”
In the Ingagna Valley – located in the Western Biella area – ironwork dates back to the Celtic population. The first production units, foundries and forges were planted from time immemorial. Testimonies of first family forges are dated 1232; dedicated to the production of agricultural tools, hammers, axes, cutlery and cutting weapons, the forges have exploited the energy coming from the numerous torrents of the area. The major industrial development began in the late nineteenth century when dozens of forges were in operation and the Officine Rubino were the main production activity in the area.
The Officine Rubino Iron Working Documentation Center is located inside the Cannon Bono Energia plant in Netro (Bi) This museum offers a participatory path that directly involves the population.
The community can rediscover its identity in the traces of the past and build a bridge towards the future through the active and participated protection of its own material and cultural heritage. The Netro museum is a rare example of Italian industrial archeology annexed to a still operating production reality. Over the years the production has obviously changed but it is in the area of Netro where there has been the major industrial development of the area, so as to justify the creation of a museum..
Organized on two floors, the Museum allows to observe in detail from a raised walkway a series of knitwear – some of which are very old – and equipment for metalworking. A series of graphic panels, in Italian and English, illustrate the various processes and technologies. In the wing for finished products you can see – and touch – over 1500 tools manufactured by Officine Rubino and many other forges in the area, next to drawings, samples, technical manuals that testify the evolution of processing systems and allow to link them to the local practices of the regions for which they were intended.
On request, the Museum organizes – in a specially created area – live demonstrations of hot forging. The guided tours, by appointment, have a duration of about 1 h 30.
“Centro di Documentazione sulla Lavorazione del Ferro Ex Officine Rubino” c/o Bono Netro spa, via Rubino 7, 13896 Netro (Bi).
Plastic’s Museum Cannon-Sandretto “Civiltà della Plastica”
The Civiltà della PlasticaMuseum is housed in the splendid Art Nouveau building of the former Sandretto factory. Set up on two floors and completely dedicated to the history and technology of plastics transformation, it boasts – among exhibition rooms and stores – an inventory of over 2,500 pieces, collected with passion by Gilberto Sandretto during many years of passionate research.
Inaugurated in 1995, the Plastic Museum has gained momentum and life thanks to the tenacity and the passion of the President of the Cannon Group, Marco Volpato, who was strongly committed to keeping the museum in Pont Canavese.
The Cannon Group, which has curated and financed the restoration and modernization of the building and the exhibition, has reopened to the public the Museum in 2016 and has entrusted the management to the Municipality of Pont Canavese, which ensures the opening and usability.
The entrance, on the ground floor, houses a curious collection of hand-painted poster calendars by Eng. Stefano Risso, former Cannon manager. The series of 23 posters “L’Evoluzione Continua” tells in a detailed, imaginative and humorous way the development of plastic technologies starting from Prehistory.
At the foot of the beautiful flight of stairs leading to the first floor you will find one of the first injection molding machines for plastic resins built by the Sandretto brothers starting from 1946.
On the first floor, in splendid rooms obtained from the main apartment, hundreds of objects made with increasingly evolved plastic materials tell the story of almost two centuries of experimentation, research and development based on different applications..
Transformed into household goods, toys, personal and furniture accessories, telephones, radios, smokers’ articles, for the desk, for cars and the world of transport, objects for common use or for specialized uses, plastic – ” the material that nature had forgotten to create “- changed our way of life.
The Plastic Museum reminds us of it with numerous bilingual descriptive panels, period photographs, historiographical hints about the pioneers: Parkes, inventor of Parkesine, Hyatt, who patented Celluloide, Baekeland, who gave the name to Bakelite, Carothers, the father of Nylon, Natta, the Italian Nobel Prize discoverer of Polypropylene, and many others. A chronology of the main stages of this fascinating story – written on a “fil rouge” unfolding through the walls of all the rooms – accompanies us throughout the visit.
The last room dedicated to the present days gives us the vision of the future of these materials, so important for our daily life as they are challenging in terms of environmental impact.