Although the invention of glasses did not take place in Morez, this region of the Haut-Jura was the first to industrialize their production during the 19th century.
It all began in 1796 in a hamlet near Morez, at Arcets, where a skilled nailer named Pierre Hyacinthe Caseaux made the first wire frame. Since the 16th century, metalwork had been the specialty of artisans in the Haut-Jura, settled on the banks of the Bienne. At the beginning of the 19th century, Caseaux employed 13 workers to annually produce 300 dozen glasses, which he sold in France and Switzerland.
He paved the way for a new generation of industrialists who, from the 1830s, saw true success with these metal-wire glasses. They improved production until creating very light frames, nicknamed “wire glasses” or “hair glasses,” both Morez specialties alongside seamless pince-nez.
Gradually, a true industry was created, which, after 20 years, went from 3,000 pieces produced in 1826 to 720,000 in 1848. This ascent continued until reaching 11 million pieces in 1882, thus making the region thrive with dozens of companies.
Thanks to its reputation for quality and creativity, Morez was established as the capital of French eyewear by 1900.
More information: Musée de la Lunette
Place Jean Jaurès
39 400 Morez
The Victor Bérard High School in Morez began as a watchmaking school in 1854. The Practical Industry School of Morez was established on November 5, 1895, and gradually began to offer both practical and theoretical teaching of eyewear between 1900 and 1904, due to the need to adapt to the market. By 1905, the school prepared students for careers in horology, carpentry, eyewear, and cabinet-making.
During World War I, the school produced nearly 200,000 rocket bodies. After 1918, the “optics and eyewear” section expanded, and the existing buildings became too small. To finance an expansion project, nationalization was requested in 1922, with the support of Senator Victor Bérard. In 1928, a nationalization convention was signed, and the Practical School became the National School of Optics.
In June 1960, a decree was issued naming the National Professional Schools the State Technical High Schools. The Victor Bérard High School added a new section of BTS Optics Engineering, Photonics Option in September 1997. Since then, significant investments have been made each year, and new programs such as a professional Health Degree – Visual Deficits Refraction, Analysis, and Treatment, offered in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine in Besançon, and a Complementary Initiative Training (CIT) for students with BTS design and microtechnology degrees. Today, the Victor Bérard High School is an excellent balance between optical and micromechanical traditions and modern high-tech technologies.
High School Victor Bérard
35 quai Aimé Lamy – BP 87
39403 MOREZ CEDEX
Phone: +33 (0)3 84 34 17 00