A while ago we discussed whether FB was a French or Italian company. We concluded that there was no doubt in any sane person's mind that they were Italian, and that the company was named "Fratelli Brivio."
In France, the company is known as "Brivio Freres." For the first time, I now have seen a box of FB hubs, made for sale in France - on e-bay
and it clearly is labelled "Brivio Freres" and every marking is in French, with no indication of an Italian connection. So I can see why the French were under the impression that they were buying a French product, especially as the company address is in Cognin/France. Even if the company really was American. (Many Germans believe that Ford is a German company, because the cars are made in Cologne and marketed as German cars.)
The box includes a wonderful cut-away drawing that shows the hub, and how the ball races are on the steel center, so removing the alloy flanges (for example, for rechroming) shouldn't be problematic for the alignment of the hub... (If the drawing is correct and if I don't overlook something). -- Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly http://www.mindspring.com/~heine/bikesite/bikesite/