One small clue about French frame supply:
I have accumulated some elegant forties frames of French character sold by Ohrt of San Francisco(yes,the brother of Hans Ohrt).Oscar Juner,formerly of American Cyclery,says that these frames were made to Ohrt's specification by a silent manufacturer in Saint Etienne.
Sorry,no specific name.
Also have an obvious Automoto all labelled up as E. Christophe,from St. Etienne.
What Next,Seth Finkelstein,Santa Cruz CA