The development of the industrial sector
 The tile industry

“De 1960 a 1965 va a producirse un gran aumento en la producción azulejera. Paralelamente a esta euforia va a producirse un curioso espíritu emancipador de los productores alcorinos que, con capitales muy exiguos, montaron sus propias fábricas a base de maquinaria procedente del desguace de otras fábricas en trance de modernización”
José Quereda Sala: “Alcora y su industria azulejera”. Cuadernos de Geografía, issue no. 13. Faculty of Arts. University of Valencia, 1973.


The local ceramic industry’s first big period of expansion took place toward the end of the 1950s, with the number of factories rising from eight in 1955 to 22 in 1960. This upward trend would continue during the following years until a total of 64 factories was reached in 1965.

The new factories depended on new sources of energy that replaced the “malea” or brushwood. Fluctuations in the price of coal, oil and natural gas (in the 20th and 21st centuries) and political instability in energy producing countries or markets led to different crises in the sector. In the 1990s, with the Spanish real estate boom, there was another peak in sales and corresponding growth in the number of companies or kilns. This gave rise to a big new influx of people and a growth in the town’s population from 8,000 to 11,000 inhabitants over a period of some 15 years. The drop in Spain’s internal consumption, as from the year 2008, sparked off another crisis in sales, which was partly offset by the penetration of new foreign markets.


Gaya chimney
In the 1950s, some factories built imposing chimneys that set them apart from all the rest. These chimneys had a better draw and were thus more energy efficient. The smoke from them was also less close to the population. In Alcora, some chimneys were also built as symbols of certain brand names’ dominance over others. The one you can see here is christened Victoria and, although it no longer has its kiln, it is still an emblem and memorial to Gaya tile factory (1922).
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