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Carles Frères

Carles Frères

Carels Frères, the later ACEC factory

No fewer than 712 steam engines rolled off the production line at the Carels Frères construction workshop (later ACEC) in the Belgian town of Ghent between 1874 and 1914.

Charles-Louis Carels assembled steam engines for domestic and foreign companies from 1839 onwards. In 1863, he moved his construction halls to Dok-Noord in the old port of Ghent.


You can still see one of the works in the machine room of the Wielemans-Ceuppens Brewery in Vorst. This machine, built by Carels from Ghent, has been on display there since 1905.

From Carels to ACEC

Carels merged with machine builder Van den Kerckhove (based at the Coupure in Ghent) in 1934; after 1961, Carels was taken over by ACEC (Ateliers de Constructions Électriques de Charleroi). ACEC was a manufacturer of electrical appliances with a branch in Ghent.

Ended in 2005

In 1989, ACEC was dismantled and the various branches were left on their own. The curtain finally fell for the Ghent branch of the former ACEC factory in 2005.


The 60-hectare site, from the Dampoort to the Muide, has now been completely converted into homes, office spaces and a shopping center, which reopened in 2016 as Dok Noord.

This photo series dates from 2012, just before the major construction project was launched.

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