Industrial Esporles- A town of entrepreneurs and workers


Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Esporles was a pioneering town, thanks to the initiative of a series of textile and paper-making entrepreneurs and the efforts of many of the townsmen and, particularly, townswomen of Esporles, who were all involved in this new stage of its history. The town today is a legacy of these efforts. 


Amid water mills, fulling mills and spinners

The route begins in front of the town hall, where a sculpture of a spinner by Remígia Caubet (1919-1997)–an artist whose studio was in Esporles–summarizes Esporles' recent history by highlighting the work of a spinner and the importance of water.

No description of the industrial history of Esporles would be complete without mentioning Joan Riutort y Palmer (approx. 1842-1917). After working at Sa Granja estate, he bought a 30-horsepower steam engine in Barcelona and fitted a Pelton-type turbine to it in a mill on the outskirts of Esporles.

In the town, there are still several signs of some of its past industries. Can Trias paper mill was founded by Joan Tries Bordoy in1882, and some drying rooms still remain on the top floor of the factory building.

Can Campos factory was one of the most profitable spinning, textile and woollen blanket factories in the municipality, with a workforce that came to amount to some 350 people.

The municipal library stands in what was once Can Fortuny factory (also known as Can Magre). In 1912, the Fortuny family converted the building into a thriving woollen blanket and textile business. It also housed the town's electricity generating station.

Can Esteve textile factory, started by Pere Roma Perelló, was one of the town's three most profitable businesses in terms of its production capacity and the size of its workforce. Most of its workers were women (weavers, yarn winders, bobbin winders, carders and knotters).

At the start of Camí de Son Dameto, beside the car park, some covered pavilions or drying areas can still be seen where the paper from Can Fortuny factory (popularly known as Can Magre) was dried.

Esporles was a town of embroiderers. According to Doctor Joana M. Escartín, in 1910, there were 27 of them, while 13 years later, the figure rose to 75. Most were employed in workshops, but some worked from private homes. One of the most important workshops belonged to Antoni Covas Gomes, where some 15 embroiderers were employed.

            In the east of the town, there is a network of streets with names relating to the textile industry. One of them is Carrer Estricadors, a name referring to the job of rinsing and untangling yarn once it has been dyed. 

Lastly, Can Ribes' owners had a textile factory beside Vila Nova (the newer district of the town). It was a big one, because in 1920, it had 30 looms. A large part of the structure of the building has been preserved.


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