Carvalhinho History

Carvalhinho factory in Quinta da Fraga

Carvalhinho succeded to work with Fábrica das Devesas, to resist the transition to the twentieth century and to achieve high degree of industrial development.

Celebrated the centenary of its existence in full swing in 1940 and continued to work until almost the present day.

Its foundation dates back to the year 1840 with the founding members: Thomaz Nunes da Cunha and António Monteiro Catarino, both with experience in ceramics area.

The first installation of the industry was in the chapel of Senhor do Carvalhinho, which led to the name of the factory, belonging to the Quinta da Fraga, in Porto, next to the Calçada Corticeira (it starts on the margin of the Douro and ends in Paseio das Fontainhas).

In 1853 the factory has extended, that allowed to launch it, definitely, in the commercial area (the deposit in the Campo dos Martires da Pátria) which is evidenced by the order of several jars from the brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament in S. Nicolau.

From 1870 there is an invoice / receipt of the debt Thomaz Nunes da Cunha of 495 tiles flat worth 9 $ 900 reis, 20 reis per tile "for T.N.C., Castro Jr." (this is son in law of Thomaz Nunes da Cunha and who replace in the next stage of business).
At the beginning of the twentieth century a tile will cost 100 reis.

Carvalhinho Factory in Arco do Prado

 In 1923 the manager A. Pinto Dias Freitas, son of the first member of the dynasty Freitas, acquires a large field a few hundred meters from the V. N. de Gaia railway station, owned by the family of Conde das Devesas: Quinta do Arco do Prado.

Following models of ceramic factories in Germany and England born model and the new premises of Carvalhinho Factory having the most modern technological equipment of the time: the preparation of pulp machines, hydraulic presses for the automated manufacture of tiles (reproduces old-style tiles giving them the strength and perfection that the new techniques to industrial) and model furnaces.

In 1930 the partner A. Pinto Dias de Freitas sees itself forced to, due to major financial difficulties, to join the Royal Factory of Crockery Sacavém, with high prestige in the season and where to transfer the headquarters of Carvalhinho under the direction of Mr. Herbert Gilbert. At this stage the plant has reached what is considered "the golden age '.

After the death in 1958 of Antonio Dias de Freitas is named Frederick W. Sellers for the factory manager of Gaia in collaboration with one of the sons of the former partner of Mr. Ant. º Almeida Pinto de Freitas, who because of disagreement with that manager has to remove it. However, in 1965 with a brother, purchase the share capital in the company in Sacavém.

There are, however, these two brothers, representatives of the last dynasty Freitas, successful. They have enormous damage in May 1974 and the factory was bought at auction by Mr Serafim Andrade has a phase of total decay and eventually close permanently today (the mid-80), ignoring thus one of most remarkable properties of ceramics in our country.

 Nowadays, only very rare people was the knowledge, of how to produce some of this pieces and Mrs. Goretti Guedes preserves the art of handmaid this great pieces of pottery.


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