The charcoal-makers: a key-stone in the organization of charcoal production in Madrid during the first half of the eighteenth century


  • J.A. Nieto-Sánchez Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla



Energy, Forest Products, Organization, Regional and Urban History


I Madrid and its hinterland, a complex chain of interests was organized for Ihe supply of both charcoal and vood of different sorts to the capital. During the first haif of the eighteenth century, this chain would begin with the obligados (traders that contracted with the town council the supply of charcoal at tixed amounts and pricesi. and would end with the pieceworkers The link of both ends were the charcoal-tnakers, a combination of independent businessmen and skilled workers, without whom the nearly twenty-three ffiousand tons of charcoal demanded by the capital yearly at the time would never have been brougM in. This paper underlines the importance of charcoal makers’ management, and defends tbat the latter, unlike the obligados, would relay on the said management in order to endure the fransformation that took place in Madrid’s charcoal-supply system from 1753.