St Etienne (Sangt Ay-te-enn'), one of the most important industrial towns in France, stands (dep. Loire) on a tributary of the Loire, 36 miles by rail SW. of Lyons and 312 SSE. of Paris. Built in the second largest coalfield of France, it looks thoroughly grimy. The industries are in iron and steel and in ribbons, and have all steadily increased. Its hardware workshops turn out steel and iron plates, gun-armour, iron masts, large castings for machinery, firearms, locks, cutlery, files, nails, tools, ribbons, hats, pottery, etc. The government small-arms factory (1764) has since the Revolution supplied nearly all the muskets and rifles and revolvers for the army. Some 40,000 persons, mostly hand-workers in their own homes, are engaged in the town and its vicinity in making ribbons, laces, fringes, etc. Some of the ribbon-looms are (since 1893) driven by electricity. Pop. (1800) 16,000; (1851) 53,741; (1876) 126,019; (1901) 139,350. The coalmines began to be worked in the 14th century, but only on an extensive scale in the end of the 18th. The town was twice captured by the Huguenots, in 1563 and 1570. The first railways in France were built from St Etienne (1828-31).