Barrel boring machine

x Piece of the month
Every May 18 we celebrate International Museum Day, which aims to raise awareness of the important part played by museums. This year the theme is “Museums as cultural hubs: The future of tradition”. That’s why, as piece of the month, we present a key arms industry item, the barrel boring machine donated to the museum by Pablo Zamacola Arizaga.
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Made in cast iron with a length of 2.50 m., this barrel boring machine comes from the industrial machinery used at the Zamacola gunsmithery.

This machinery, including borers, lathes and drills, initially ran on hydraulic power. The drive action of a hydraulic turbine would turn an axle to which the different pulleys moving the machine were adapted, especially the borers or drills used to perforate the bar and create the core of the shotgun barrels. This hydraulic system was commonly used to produce energy in our area in preindustrial times and in the early days of industrialisation. Later electricity would replace hydraulic energy.

The Zamacola workshop was founded in the early 19th century by Felipe Zamacola, founder of a family dynasty of arms manufacturers. His son Pablo Zamacola went on to establish “Pablo Zamacola e Hijos” run by himself with his five sons: Juan, Pablo, Silvestre, Francisco and Cándido. Pablo Zamacola and his son Candido died in the Civil War. The remaining siblings continued to work in the arms industry as manufacturers of shotguns with the company name of “Zamacola Hermanos” commercialising the production of shotguns with the JABALI brand name, acquired from the Barcelona company “E. Shilling y Cia”. Zamacola closed its doors in around 1982.

This small factory, which still exists in the Avenida Otaloa, is considered to be a singular example of Eibar’s arms heritage and its industrial architecture. That’s why the Zamacola house-factory was recently listed as cultural heritage in the monument category by the Basque Government Ministry of Culture. Eibar will therefore be able to conserve one of its most valuable cultural references, given that the Zamacola factory constitutes a valuable element of its heritage, lending testimony to the evolution, development and production of arms in our town, an activity of long tradition dating back to the 15th century.

We invite you to celebrate International Museum Day with us by visiting the arms museum, where you will be able to enjoy an interesting tour of our industrial tradition and history.