Società Metallurgica Italiana (SMI) was established in 1886 to produce copper and brass semi-finished products. The factories in the Pistoia surroundings joined the first production site in Livorno: Mammiano, Limestre and in 1911 Campo Tizzoro. In 1915 the factory in Fornaci di Barga (LU) was installed and shortly after other factories in Northern Italy were added (Metallurgica Bresciana ex Tempini, Broggi Izar, Ilssa Viola). SMI immediately implemented assistance projects for employees and their families with the construction of houses and workers’ villages, kindergartens, schools, canteens, medical clinics, shops for basic supplies, as well as professional technical schools, sports and cultural groups, seaside and mountain summer camps for employees’ children.
In the 1930s, impressive air-raid shelters were built in Campo Tizzoro. The post-war period saw a significant process of industrial reconversion which led to the European expansion of the 1970s. Since 2006, under the name KME Group, the company has been active in Italy, Europe, Asia, and the USA and is one of the major world producers of semi-finished products in copper and its alloys with special high-tech products. The historical archive, which will occupy ca. 15,000 meters of shelves, is held in Fornaci di Barga and collects papers relating to SMI and its associated companies with documents relating to corporate administration, production and industrial patents, occupational welfare and the photographic collection.