Descripción del proyecto
The knife making industry of Albacete in the twentieth century begins determined by a late industrial development, with craft practices that will reach well into the middle of the century. Similarly, its first third is characterized by the succession of brief periods of relative expansion followed by others of acute crisis. Thus, until reaching the years of the Second Republic and the later Civil War, a stage lived in a particularly significant way in some factories and workshops, as the shortage of metallurgical industries favoured its reconversion in industries for war.
The stage comprising the forties and fifties was a difficult time due to the scarcity of raw materials and the electrical restrictions. The lack of raw materials was the common denominator of all establishments, due to three factors: difficulties in the transit of goods, shortages after the Civil War and the interception by the military authorities of materials indispensable for the metallurgical industry (iron, tin, lead …) destined now for the war industry after the outbreak of World War II.
The developmental period of the 1960s was equally felt in the knife making industry. By the end of the previous decade, factories and workshops had already witnessed a rebound in their economy of some importance. The factories opened new markets that strengthened in the second half of the sixties – a circumstance favoured by the Fairs of Knife Making- and the workshops, dragged by the good economy of the factories, attended a modernization of its mechanization.
Furthermore, the craft activity began to be residual, since a good part of the components of the knives – the wood – had been supplied, for some time, by some big factories. This circumstance put an end to those artisanal practices of the preceding decades and gave way to a new way of making the pocket knife and the knife.
A very important fact that has occurred in the twentieth century has been the celebration in Albacete of knife making contests. It was in 1926 when, on the occasion of the Fair of September, the City Council decided to undertake an event of this nature for the first time. This call was constituted as the precursor of the different contests that have marked all the century and gained a special relevance in its last quarter, especially from 1981 thanks to the Association of the Knife Making Sector (APRECU).
In the 1970s, the economic crisis also meant a serious dimming of the sector, which also had a faithful reflection in the knife making contests. Precisely, in order to combat this crisis, the knife making sector was mobilized and the knife makers created an association, with the objectives of defining their interests, favouring the development of new markets and defending their products. On June 28, 1977, the Provincial Association of Entrepreneurs of the Knife Making Sector and Liked Sectors (APRECU) was set up for this purpose.
The decade of the eighties began with the entry into force of the Weapons Regulation of 1981 that raised concern in the knife making sector by prohibiting automatic knives. This coincided with the introduction of the first blades from Southeast Asia, a circumstance that will be a constant thereafter. On the other hand, it should be noted that it was also the moment of consolidation of the Campollano industrial park, where most of the knife making factories and the linked companies were installed.
The most recent history of the knife making sector in the twentieth century – the nineties – has been inextricably linked to the history of APRECU: creation of the literary contest “Juan José García Carbonell”, signing of collaboration agreements with the University of Castilla-La Mancha, inauguration of the monument dedicated to the knife makers in the Plaza del Altozano and the start-up of the Foundation for the Development of the Knife Making Sector (FUDECU).
This foundation has had as one of its most significant goals the implementation of two projects that have seen undertaken at the beginning of the 21st century: the Knife Making School “Amos Núñez” and the Municipal Museum of Knives and Cutting Tools.
Detalles del proyecto
- Fecha: March 2007 / October 2007
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