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Portuguese goods curated by Pedro da Costa Felgueiras

Interview / Emílio Braga Notebooks

Interview with Antonio Spinola from Emilio Braga Stationery:

 

Antonio, what is the meaning of the word ‘Saudade’ for you?

Saudade’ is the name you give to something that has marked you in the past, something significant that is worth remembering.

 

Can you tell me a little about Emilio Braga’s evolution, its historical role in Portugal’s past?

Emilio Braga Stationery was founded by Emilio Braga (father) in 1918. His son then ran the company until the 1960s. As a business, it once owned the Grand Hotel in Caldas da Felgueira, today a historic building of national importance. In 1958, it was in Emilio Braga’s workshops that the electoral material was printed for Humberto Delgado’s presidential campaign. The work was executed by candlelight and cigarette lighters at dawn so that the secret police would not find out the work was being carried out by the company.

 

Because of the company’s long legacy, you must still have many historical machines. Do you still have and use them?

In relation to the equipment, and because Portugal seems intent on wanting to kill off all small companies, some of the old machines were scrapped as they did not comply with rules imposed by the EEC. However, our work is 75% hand-produced, leaving only 25%  machine-assisted work, which is either done using the old machines or subcontracted.