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History

DEVELOPMENT OF THE SPANISH CRACKING INDUSTRY
PROLOGUE | PREHISTORY | YEARS 1.920 – 1.930 | YEAR 1.940 | YEAR 1.953 | YEAR 1.967 | YEAR 1.975 | PRESENT TIME

PROLOGUE

Almond industry started its development early XX century. The following comments have been prepared with the cooperation of Luis Cremades Belmonte, José Cremades Hernandez, Francisco Moliner Mira and Jose Luis Albacete Viudes, being impossible this work without their appreciated cooperation.


PREHISTORY

It appears to be that the origin of the almond can be located in the mountains of Central Asia, being the result of hybridization of several varieties, and some of the exist still, as wild almond-trees in Afganistan, Iran and other countries of central Asia. Then this edible nut spread to the Mediterranean Countries enjoying the best temperatures.

Greeks already appreciated this nut growing it, and then Roman introduced it in Spain, and Spain introduced it in America.

YEARS 1.920 – 1.930

Luis Cremades García decided to start to trade in unshelled almonds selling them already cracked. At that time, between 1920 and 1930, almonds were cracked by hand being women we did this job, firstly with round wooden hammers, and later with iron hammers.



First wooden mallet used for cracking almonds. Steel mallets were used a time after with the same purposes.

Almonds were cracked on stone tables. Almonds were previously wet during 24 hours in order to reduce the percentage of damaged kernels. Then each woman had to put on the table all the cracked quantity till midday, and kernels and shells were separated in the afternoon. The daily average production of each woman at the end of the day was between 8 and 10 kgs.

The first Cracking machines were made during 1931 in Benisa (Alicante), being the trade mark IVAR, model B. Universal.

        
First cracking almonds machines, year 1931.

The Production of such machines was about 2000/2500kgs per day. When almonds were already cracked, they were set on wooden tables and women started to remove shells from kernels, and the production of each woman was weighed to know the production of each worker.

YEAR 1.940

Mr. Angel Borrell, in Denia (Alicante) built between 1941-1942 a more modern cracking machine being the production between 4000/4500 kgs working during 8/10 hours, and it could be connected to a separator machine to remove the kernels.



Table with women separating shells and kernels. 1940

The first machine was bought in 1943 by Mr. Francisco Molina Verdu and Mr. Francisco Molina Pérez.



Mr. Jose Borrell, the eldest son of the inventor using the new machine in 1943

Mr. Jose Borrell, the son of the inventor of the cracking machine, is still working, renewing and improving all types of machinery for almonds and other dried seeds.

The machine of the previous photo was set during 1944 in Alcantarilla (Murcia), in a warehouse belonging to Mr. Antonio Cremades Belmonte, creating a company together with Mr Molina Verdu and Mr Molina Perez.



Women working in 1947 to separate kernels from shells

We can see in the above picture workers in 1947 together with Mr Antonio Cremades Belmonte (close to the horse) and Mr Francisco Moline Perez (resting on his knees).

At that time, the transport of almonds, from the plantations to warehouses, was done on carts driven by horses, as the few available trucks could loads between 3 and 5 tons, and they were used for longer trips like Alicante-Jijona. It was a crisis time and there were problems to get petrol and spare parts, and even cars had to use a kind of steam boiler working with coal, wood or almond shells.

YEAR 1.953



Workers close to the cart for almond transportation

YEAR 1.967

The factory was enlarged and improved with further separator and distributors machines, the production increased cracking 10.000 kgs per day, and about 2000 kgs. Of kernels, working 6 or 8 women during 8-10 hours.



Cracking machine - Cracking distributor - Two separators

YEAR 1.975



Selector benches area

PRESENT TIME



Cracking line-electronic separators - start-products, enterprise-place origins, story contact news





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