In the XIX century, we cannot talk about percentages, because it only a single factory existed in the entire town: Els Malars. However, roads, important places and railways did exist, as you can see in the map above. 

Malars is currently abandoned, but in the past, especially in the XVI century, it was a flour mill, but during the XIX century, in 1827, it was a textile factory and the very first energy source. It is situated next to the river Ter and really close to Roda. 

1960. Image of Malars from Gurri’s side, with the new factury on the back. Origin: Municipal file of Gurb, Image’s file.

Gaspar Molas, got an authorization to get water from the river Ter and to card cotton. They started using carbon but later, in 1830, the turbine was invented, and they started using hydraulic energy. 

The factory was destroyed by the Carlines but it revived at 1842.

In 1852 Malars had expanded hugely. It already had 186 workers and two industrial units where the spinning and weaving were executed mechanically, thanks to the hydraulic energy of a turbine. In 1859 it became a colony with 30 homes and 46 inhabitants.

At the end of the century, it started to suffer competitive difficulties and a lack of markets because Spain lost Cuba. Many strikes started to defend the salaries and working places and the workers of Molas, the old factory, participated in it as well, which lead to the Civil Guard intervening.

Furthermore, at the middle of the nineteenth century, there was another factory called El Tint, dedicated at tints, marinades and textiles. The entrepreneur was Antoni Puig i Darnís. Since he inherited a modest establishment, Puig made it thrive in the period, especially during the WWI and, until the point in the 30s when they already had about 60 workers.

Source: Osona’s file, operator and train.

In 1833, in Barcelona the first modern vapour factory was installed, named Bonaplata. The products were much more expensive for the lack of carbon. Sant Joan de les Abadesses made a carbon mine, although it was very low quality. In 1875 a railway was build, and the line was the same as currently: àBarcelona à Vic à Ripoll à Sant Joan de les Abadesses à. The previous one was used to transport and distribute the carbon that was extracted from the mines. At the end, it didn’t work so it was a failure.

This implied a grand change, since it permitted to communicate within cities and make transports, in that case, of carbon.

In 1843, a factory named Reixac de Granollers de la Planta came to live with Josep Terrés Gurt, who studied at the Seminari of Vic. The construction of the factory started in July 1832, because of the agreement of Esteve Reixach and his wife Teresa with the vigatà textile manufacturer Pau Tarrés i Serra. Reixach took charge of constructions of two building where industrial work had to be done, and Tarrés managed the textile work paying rent to the owners.

After running during nearly 30 years like a small colony, the big overflow of the river in the 8th of October 1836 which took facilities and even the soil of the fields, which did not recover its fertility until many years after. The factory was no reconstructed.

Pascual Muñoz published and an extensive report about the economic reality of all the villages of the state, where all the roads which communicate the different parishes in Gurb were in it.

The parish of Sant Andreu de Gurb was communicated with the local road and the regular state.

The parish of Sant Esteve de Granollers was communicated the local cart tracks.

The parish of Sant Julià de Sassorba was communicated the bridle paths in a poor state, which means you could only go walking a riding a horse.

The parish of Sant Cristòfol de Vespella was communicated with local roads.

The agricultural and industrial progress and the population growth during in the middle of the XIX century made the taxes of the council increase much more than twenty rals.

The process of farming and the industrial experiments since the first half of the XIX century felt like a necessity to modernize the terrestrial transport facilities, which were, until now, catastrophic.

During the second half of the XIX century, the population of Gurb suffered an inflection point and it started to decline. It had peaked and the agriculture couldn’t keep up, and all the prices dropped; the standard of living of the overcrowded county houses was decreasing, the mortality was quite high, and some neighbours of the village left to work in the industrial villages of the zone and the area of Barcelona. The demographic and economic push favoured the construction of new houses and the reformation and extension of the existent.

In Gurb new hostels were established while others had to close down. The latter one was the case of Hostal de la Cabra, La Cabreta, to whom it prejudiced the new direct road form Vic to Manlleu, since it took all the clients. The road was finished in 1864 and La Cabra closed the hostel three years later.

The elections that took place started to confirm the conservative preferences of the inhabitants of Gurb. Until the latter years of XIX century, the participation fo the votes continued being restricted to a minority, seventy-eight in all the municipality in 1881, which less than half had voted. In January 1869, though, after the progressive revolution the year before, the law was broken. That time, a male universal suffrage was authorized: the hundreds of electors of Gurb were expended hugely to three hundred and seventy-nine.


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