The authors analyze how the metal manufacturing industry has contributed to knowledge transfer, innovation and economic growth in Spain, while looking at the causes of its limitations and the obstacles that have hindered its development. Nowadays, metal products, machinery and transport material are Spain’s largest branch of manufacturing in terms of value added and employment, as well as generating 50% of total export sales. Yet the industry has received nothing like the historiographic attention it deserves. This publication comes to remedy this situation and fill in the gaps in our historical knowledge of the metal manufacturing sector.
The first five of its ten chapters deal with general matters like technological dependence and trade policy, while the remainder examine specific subsectors and individual companies using a standard business history methodology but researching into hitherto underexploited sources. The research spans a period from the middle of the nineteenth century to the 1960s, and will hopefully contribute to an informed debate on the historic causes of the backwardness, dependence and weakness of Spanish industry in comparison with the most advanced economies.