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Spain - Manufactures

Manufactures. At the census of 1877 only about 3 per cent, of the classified population was returned as engaged in manufacturing industries. The principal manufacture is that of cotton, and the following table, which shows the position of Spain relatively to the other countries of Europe with reference to this branch of manufacturing industry, will also serve to some extent as an index of the rank belonging to Spain in mechanical industries generally:—

== TABLE ==

The average import per head of population during the same period was as follows:—United Kingdom, 41.7 lb; Holland, 23.6; Switzerland, 18.7; Belgium, 9.9; France, 8.2; Germany, 8.2; Spain, 6.0; Austria-Hungary, 4.6; Sweden, 4.6 ; Italy, 4.0; Russia, 2.9. It thus appears that Spain occupies the seventh place in the consumption of raw cotton, both in absolute amount and relatively to population. In the five years 1874-78 the average import of raw cotton into Spain was 79,690,000 lb, so that the increase of the average in the succeeding period of five years amounted to 25.8 per cent. Nevertheless the products of this branch of industry in the country do not yet suffice to meet the wants of the population. There is every year a considerable import of cotton manufactures, while the export of this commodity is too trifling to be included in the list of chief exports. The maritime provinces, being those most favourably situated for the import of coal, and, where necessary, of raw material, are the chief seats of Spanish manufactures, and the cotton industry is principally centred in Catalonia and, above all, in Barcelona and the surrounding district. This region is indeed the only distinctively manufacturing portion of Spain, and in it also the manufactures of linen and woollen goods and of lace are mainly carried on. Flax-spinning and the manufacture of linen goods are pursued to a considerable extent in Galicia and Asturias. The silk industry, which is likewise of high importance, but inadequate to meet the home demand for silk fabrics, is chiefly centred in Valencia, next to which come Murcia and Seville. Metal industries are chiefly carried on in the Basque Provinces, where various articles in iron and copper are made. A royal factory for the making of artillery and other weapons of war exists at La Trubia, in Asturias. Toledo is still noted, as it has been from the earliest times, for the excellence of its sword-blades. The manufacture of leather, another Spanish industry of old renown, is still extensively carried on in Catalonia and elsewhere, but the making of cordwain has long ceased to be a specialty of Cordova, from which it takes its name. Boots and shoes and other articles in leather form the only considerable export of manufactured goods. Gloves are made in great quantity in Madrid, shoes in the Balearic Islands. The paper industry is very flourishing, especially in Catalonia and Valencia. Esparto is twisted into cords and ropes, and plaited into a variety of other articles, in Murcia and Alicante and elsewhere. The refining of cane-sugar is largely carried on in Barcelona, Malaga, Almeria, and Granada, and the making of olive oil and brandy is general. So also is the making of charcoal, which in most parts of Spain takes the place of coal for all ordinary heating purposes, and even in some cases in mechanical industries. The large furnaces for the distillation of mercury at Almaden were at one time, if they are not still, heated solely with charcoal obtained from the Cistus ladaniferus. Among manufacturing industries of less importance are the making of porcelain (at the royal factory of Moncloa, near Madrid), glass and earthenware, soap, chocolate, and cork-stoppers. The manufacture of tobacco, which is a royal monopoly, is carried on at seven factories—at Seville, Madrid, Santander, Gijon, Coruña, Valencia, and Alicante, —that of Seville being the largest.


3 Of this total 478,000 tons were exported to Holland, 142,000 to Belgium, and 199,000 to the United States.
4 All the blende and one-third of the calamine were exported to Belgium.
5 Chiefly to Portugal.
6 Of this total 158,760 lbs. were exported to Belgium.
7 Chiefly to Cuba.

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