Steam!

El Vapor, a thrice-weekly newspaper dedicated the promotion of trade and industry as well as to romantic and regionalist sentiment, and viewed as a continuation of El Europeo (both were edited by Aribau before he became a street), was launched on March 18 1833 by A Bergnes from his bookshop at Escudellers 13, Barcelona. Here’s its first masthead:

El Vapor

And here‘s its opening hot-breathed tribute to the kettle:

El vapor, este último esfuerzo del humano ingenio, esta potencia inmensa que aplicada á la maquinaria ha cambiado enteramente y ha aumentado los medios de producir, que aplicada á la navegacion la ha dado una regularidad y rapidez hasta aquí desconocidas, á pesar del ímpetu de las ondas y de la inconstancia de los vientos, es el emblema que nos ha parecido mas propio para un periódico destinado á ilustrar y fomentar. La fuerza expansiva de este agente poderoso no se ha prestado hasta ahora á las malignas y destructivas artes de la guerra; y reducida á sus pacíficos usos, deja en libertad á los séres animados, y á la hábil mano del hombre para las tareas de la agricultura y para aquellas obras que mas que fuerza material exigen prolijidad y primor.

That’s so unspeakably dreary that Google Language is all it’s going to get:

The steam, this last effort of the human talent, this immense power that applied to the machinery it has changed entirely and it has increased the means to produce, that applied to navigation have given to a up to here not known regularity and rapidity it, in spite of the impetus of the waves and the inconsistency of winds, is the emblem that has seemed us but own for a newspaper destined to illustrate and to foment. The expansive force of this powerful agent has not been lent until now to you vitiate and destructive arts of war; and reduced to his pacific uses, it leaves in freedom to the animated beings, and to the capable hand of the man for the tasks of agriculture and those works that but that material forces demand prolijidad and beauty.

Strangely El Vapor does’t seem to have mentioned today’s great news (see the Libro verde entry on the blog front page): the commissioning of Spain’s first steam engine in the Bonaplata factory.

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