Say "Peugeot" today, and you'll likely think of the range of French cars, but did you know that the firm started out making coffee grinders? By 1858 they had turned to making steel and various consumer items, among which bicycles numbered. By the 1880's "Cycles Peugeot" was a well known French trade mark.
During the Great War, Peugeot built 63,000 bicycles a year, along with 9,000 cars and lorries, 1,000 motorcycles, 10,000 aircraft engines, and 6 million artillery shells.
After most wars, a howl generally goes up about the people who have done well out of the conflict.
"Filthy profiteers!" goes the cry. "You made money out of the war while others shed their blood!"
True, but it's hard fighting a mechanized war without truck, shells and aircraft engines.
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