El Ingenio is a historic establishment in Barcelona founded in 1838 dedicated to festive imagery, toys and gift items. Giants, big heads, toys, jokes and magic are part of this temple of the popular festival since its inception in the nineteenth century, the workshop from which have left many of the giants of Catalonia.
El Ingenio was born, according to tradition, in 1838 by the Escaler de Torelló family. The oldest documents referring to the house refer us, however, to the year 1868. It is said of Benet Escaler that he brought to Catalonia the cardboard method of the Universal Exposition of Paris where he was exposed by the Venetians. A curious case of this material is that it was produced as Venetian cardboard, while the Venetians called it Genoese cardboard and in Genoa Catalan cardboard. It seems that the cardboard made a long journey to return home. During his stay as owner of the store, he worked on behalf of his renowned sculptors and stage creator such as Lambert Escaler and Eusebi Vidal.
The 20s of the last century were a breathtaking moment for the emblematic Barcelona establishment, because for reasons of economic level the Escaler family had to leave the business to Delfí Homs, who sold religious imagery near the Cathedral and set out to establish in El Ingenio the sale of these products. The social roots that the customers of the house had with the typical product of the store conditioned that Delfí Homs desist to sell Saincts and Virgins and recover the sale of party items, mannequins and festive imagery. Homs was relieved in the management of the establishment by his son-in-law, José Cardona and, years later, his granddaughter, Rosa Cardona.
At the time when El Ingenio was run by the Homs-Cardona family, especially during the decades between the 40s and the 80s of the last century, there was the largest production of festive imagery in papier mâché making giants, big heads, easels , that entertained and entertained the parties of so many municipalities, even beyond the Catalan borders. In this same historical period, great friendships were created, such as that of the artists Salvador Dalí or Joan Brossa, or also those of many theater and circus companies such as the famous company Els Comediants.
The new period of El Ingenio comes to us from the hand of Lluís Sala, a long-standing tradesman with an important grounding behind him, who, with a good team of people behind, is in charge of giving a new life to the emblematic store and workshop, from November 7, 2018. The visible face of this history establishment is Joan Pozo, the person in charge of the store and a well of wisdom of popular celebration, as his last name illustrates us.
El Ingenio since 1838 creating dreams, magic and illusion!
Looking forward to meet you soon!!!