The Ancient Furnace, now a symbol of industrial archeology, was the first industry in Termoli. A modern factory in the 1920s, mechanized in the first half of the sixties and failed in 1998.
When it was built in Contrada S. Maria Valentina, the furnace was mentioned in the tour guides of the time as: a great equipped factory with the most modern machinery for the production and the sale of brick and similar products, prefabricated in brick and everythings that is inherent to the field of civil and industrial construction. It was also extended to the field of production of cereals and fodder, olive groves and orchards. Thus, a complex of different and important activities, both by the number of employees and by the extent area on which they were located.
In 1928, the daily production amounted to 30.000 bits of perforated and filled bricks with about 50 workers employed. The clay used, excavated near the furnace, although rich of ferruginous substances, was absolutely devoid of salnitro. The furnace workers came almost from Termoli and S. Giacomo degli Schiavoni. This is because the factory was exactly in the middle of the two locations. The activity took place essentially from March to November, in winter the quarry became impractical due to rains. The ovens were switched off and restarted on the eve of spring. For this occasion a brief religious propitiatory rite was held. Many testimonies indicate that the working conditions within the factory have always been very hard, aggravated, in some periods, by scant salary and a condition of paternalism and repression. At the end of 1964, the new mechanized machinery came into operation. The advantages were remarkable: increased productivity, reduced work hours and a significant decrease of production costs. The old furnace was demolished and, apart some photographs, there are nothing to show the existence of the original building. The new factory soon encountered a number of difficulties due to the crisis in the building market, that implicated a phase of decline and final closure.
Today, the silence coming from those big sheds that are in an unpleasant state of degradation. It is painful to observe that enormous square full of workers, bricks and wagons, now is empty and desolated.