A. Lapeira Spanish Lithograph - A. Lapeira Litograf Española
The year 1752 is when the married couple formed by Antonio Lapeira and Juana Brossó arrived in Malaga from the French city of Bergerac, following in the footsteps of some of their compatriots and others from different parts of Europe . They settle in the capital and decide to settle there permanently. Antonio mounts a workshop plumber in Street Martinez, 16, in the center of the city, and begins to take his first contacts with builders, aldermen citizens and the poor bourgeoisie local, still in its infancy, to whom it offers its professional services.
The beginnings were not easy, he had to spend some time to be valued as a professional plumber by renowned architects and master builders who offered him important projects. It was then that he was commissioned to participate in the construction of the La Concepción and San José estates on the old road from San Telmo (today the accesses to Malaga via Las Pedrizas ), taking advantage of his innovative techniques and advanced knowledge that he had acquired from his native France. .
Juan was born from the marriage and married a young woman from Malaga named Antonia Márquez . Before long, the death of his father surprised him. Young and newly married Juan Lapeira Brossó had to take over the family business and thanks to his effort, in addition to the prestige inherited from his father, he not only manages to maintain the workshop but also installs a larger one and several plants on Vendeja street between numbers 5 to 11 from whose premises will come the first metal containers for exporting olive oil. It was the beginning of what would later become the public limited company A. Lapeira Metalgraf Española and the first factory of this type in Spain.
The adventure is certainly difficult, mainly due to the fact that tinplate was not manufactured in Spain at that time , it must be imported from Wales and it was in the Lapeira factory where it was shaped and welded by hand until the appropriate measures were acquired. These packages lacked outdoor advertising, they only had the name of the packer stamped on one side, on the other the name of the product it contained and very discreetly, in the lower part of the package, the name of the manufacturer (footer).
The third generation to appear on the family scene is Nicolás Lapeira Márquez, who married Dolores Rodríguez in 1857, a lady of wealthy origin, whose family owned large tracts of land in the Campanillas vineyard area. Specifically, the Finca de San Ginés where the famous passer of the same name existed. This circumstance led to an increase in production at the Vendeja street factory by introducing some variants to the metal containers for the export of raisins.
Nicolás and Dolores had two children, Adolfo and Nicolás. When they joined the family business, the firm was renamed Hijos de Nicolás Lapeira, obtaining under this name the Gold Medal at the Regional Exhibition at the Liceo de Málaga sponsored by the Constitutional City Council in 1893 signed by its mayor Enrique Herrera Moll and the president of the jury Arturo Torres .
To get an idea of the size of the factory at that time, we take a look at the order book for January 1904 with the following annotations:
-Day 8: Blake, 28 corrugated veneers; Enrique Grana , 100 barrels; Lamothe, 2,200 cans.
-Day 11: Raggio, 2,000 cans decorated with a vignette and three inks and varnish, size 10 liters of oil, plus 500 wooden boxes for such.
-Day 12; Garret, 1,000 plates of 80 square millimeters, ..............
And there are still orders to the order of Heredia y Cia., Teodoro Gross, Parladé, Rein, Jiménez and Lamothe , Lemecke, Oppel, Bentabol, Werner, Valls, Scholtz, Paul Delange, Calvet, etc.
Containers for oil and raisins are mainly the exporting genres of Malaga although there are already sporadic orders for canned fish, meats, quince jellies, jellies, etc. In order to satisfy these requests, it is necessary to undertake new challenges and for this the Lapeira Rodríguez brothers decide in 1917 to separate the two production lines, Nicolás staying in charge of the operation of the Campanillas raisin while Adolfo with his sons Adolfo, Antonio and José Lapeira Meliveo , the fourth generation, tackle the project to build a new factory.
On January 22, 1918, Adolfo Lapeira Rodríguez as manager of the company “A. Lapeira Metalgraf Española ”according to deed granted on January 10, 1918 before the notary Juan Barroso Ledesma , directs an instance to the mayor requesting permission for the construction of a building on a plot of his property acquired in 1912 from the Larios family, behind the back of the Asylum of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the so-called Acclimatization Garden and facing the streets Góngora, Ayala and Héroe De Sostoa . The technical direction would be led by the architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan and the master builder Enrique Baena Gómez . Finally the municipal architect Manuel Rivera Veraand the engineer Eduardo Franquelo gave the go-ahead and in the Cabildo session of February 22, 1918 the report was approved.
On May 6, the opening license was issued, after payment of the municipal fee that amounted to 1,333,013 Ptas. (1)
The new factory is assembled with the best modern machinery, making it the undisputed leader, not only in Malaga, but in all of Spain.
It was in 1923 when, after several years of litigation between Malaga and Rome , Metalgraf had to be replaced by Litograf due to a claim filed in the Courts of Justice by a group of Italian businessmen in which, based on an international patent, they claimed for yes that nomenclature.
By the third decade of the twentieth century, practically all of Andalusia was a customer of the factory, so the business and industrial splendor reached its true zenith. In these years, the Lapeira Meliveo brothers continued to run the factory , but when the youngest of them died in 1936, Adolfo and Antonio continued to lead the company in some very difficult years for the Spanish and world civil industry. During this time some of the machines and for a short period of time, had to be reconverted to manufacture some type of device such as the "Lafitte" pump of Italian design and that was similar to a soda can with a rolled ribbon.
The worst moment was yet to come and it was when in 1946 a fire broke out in the left aisle, in the wood packing section, leaving only the concrete walls . At that time, information about the fires was transmitted by the ringing of the bells of the churches in the neighborhood where they were found. When Adolfo heard them he had the feeling that they were doubling for him and he was not wrong. But as a man of recognized integrity, he soon raised the plant again, but this time 55 meters longer, making it coincide with the length of the right, that is, 105 meters; (In Guerreo Strachan's initial project it was only 50 m), and the “Uralita” roof was replaced in the two naves by cement masonry. The architect who directed the reconstruction works wasEnrique Atencia .
In more recent times, on June 10, 1954, the company has to adapt to the new legal regulations and requests from the Ministry of Finance a tax identification code (CIF) for its normal operation as a company and they assign it the A29000015.
The brothers Adolfo and Antonio continued to lead their company for many years, the first until January 1967 and Antonio, who lived 90 years, continued to preside over the society that his father had founded until his last days, and permanently informed of everything. what was happening around him, although given his advanced age, it was his sixth generation nephews , who took care of business management. Adolfo in the administrative-accounting part and José Lapeira Valentín in technical and human resources.
The doors of this famous factory were definitively closed in 1983 when it was impossible to cope with the tax, Social Security and payroll payments of the more or less 150 employees who at that time worked in the company, together with the lack of productivity as As a result of the diversion towards other technologies, such as plastic or cardboard, which too quickly retired modern facilities of the Cevolani brand that had been acquired a few years before for the manufacture of the liter of oil, which were left without amortizing due to the unfulfilled promise of an Italian olive company with huge orders and exclusivity.
Now the building built by the renowned architect Guerrero Strachan , which has urban protection, has been acquired by El Corte Inglés, respecting and restoring its facade for commercial use, and the section of Góngora Street, 2 where the building had the main entrance. It is called Calle Juana Jugán.
(1) Municipal Archive of Malaga - File No. 1428/37