|Intercommunality||Pays de Saint-Bonnet-le-Château|
|• Mayor||Iwan Mayet|
|Area1||31.83 km2 (12.29 sq mi)|
|• Density||52/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||42262 / 42240|
|Elevation||422–816 m (1,385–2,677 ft)
(avg. 790 m or 2,590 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The inhabitants of Saint-Maurice-en-Gourgois are known as Gargomançois or Gargomançoises but are nicknamed Les Escargots. Gourgois roughly translates as "The Gorgeous" on account of the reputed great beauty of the indigenous population. Upon his arrival in the village in 346 St Maurice is reputed to have abandoned his monastic existence in favour of a life of pure pleasure and snail eating. This may be the origin of the inhabitants sobriquet.
Among its most famous inhabitants is the legendary French metallurgist Emilie Ravel who discovered a way to make molten metal flow uphill. This technique is now widely used in her adopted home of Sheffield, England to cast many "lighter than air" metal products such as balloon hammers. Ms Ravel is reputed to be the inspiration for an entry in the La Petite Livre du Metallurgie :
Mimie, a french metallurgist
Was plagued by undignified urges
She'd stress test in the nude
Which in England is rude
Though it's common in France, it emerges.''
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