History

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CLAUDIUS GRIFFON, INVENTOR OF THE ‘HYDROCHASSE’ WAS FROM SAINT-CHAMOND, A MUNICIPALITY OF LOIRE DEPARTMENT, AT THE EDGE OF THE RHONE-ALPES REGION (FRANCE). HE TOOK A REALLY EARLY INTEREST IN PLUMBING AND SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN HIS FATHER COMPANY. THE GRIFFON COMPANY COMBINED SINCE 1886 BOTH TRADING AND ZINC/PLUMBING ACTIVITIES.

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The inventor of the ‘hydrochasse’, Claudius Griffon, came from Saint-Chamond, a municipality of Loire department, at the edge of the Rhône-Alpes region in France. He took a really early interest in plumbing and spent a lot of hours in his father’s company. The Griffon company combined since 1886 both trading and zinc/plumbing activities. After having completed his studies and passed his brevet (GCSE) with a distinction, Claudius Griffon carried on the apprenticeship he had started with his father during school holidays. For the purpose of perfecting his knowledges, he decided to go to Vichy, where he had the opportunity to rub shoulders with some talented professionals, who set at the time the ‘Palaces Hoteliers’ (Hotel palaces) of the spa resort, which was booming in those days. On their expert advice, he chose to try his luck in Paris. He was gifted, managed to become tenured quickly and undertook the installation of bathrooms in the Hôtel George V. A few months later, he was appointed to the position of site manager and wandered France to bring running water in rural areas. Following his wedding, he bought nearby Saint-Etienne a small workshop for heating, covering, plumbing and zinc work. This small workshop bloomed until the declaration of war.

Claudius Griffon was enlisted as a mechanic in 1939, and was critically wounded in 1940. After a lot of incidents, he was carried to the hospital of Toulouse. As a bedridden person for 1 year, he remained energetic and combative. That is where he conceived the flushing system we know. The realization of prototypes, tests and adjustments lasted until 1950. That’s how is born the first ‘hydrochasse’, to which he gave his own name. Then, he decided to assign a Griffin (French; Griffon) to its conception, in tribute to the haughty power of this legendary animal. His son, Joël Griffon made several improvements to the original system and perpetuated thus the familial and creative inheritance and contributed to the creation of ‘hydrochasses’ we know today.

To date, more than 2 million of ‘hydrochasses’ set up in France (in nursery school, communities, social housings) drawn upon our collective memory.

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