Mills in Alto Aragón - aceitero


Banastón is situated next to L'Ainsa on the main road to Campo. It is signposted. First you have the branch to Usana and next comes the road to the Barrio de la Iglesia of Banastón. Drop your vehicle next to the church and walk the GR-path to the East. You'll soon reach the mill.

Pictures: 20.VIII.2013, 22.III.2016

(15) Motor Vellino Tipo BR
(20) Motor Vellino Tipo CR — Palo

(21) Overview of the situation around the Vellino engine.
  1. Stationary engine: Laboratorio Vellino.
  2. The oil pump for the hydraulic press: Gabriel Pujol Parés.
  3. Container for the cooling water.
  4. Support for the container with coolant.
    Notice also the soft leaden pipe draped around the switchboard and running to the tap (nr. 5).
  1. Tap at the entrance of the coolant. See also (15).
  2. Pipe leading the coolant back to the container. Originally connected as in pict. 15.
  3. Tube leading the exhaust to the outside.


(24) Vellino Tipo BR

At the end of the 19th century, Carlos Vellino Roch (born in Switzerland) was living in Barcelona and ran a business active in the development of batteries: Laboratorio Vellino.

Back then batteries were in full evolution. The rechargeable lead battery was discovered in 1859 and became much better towards the end of the century. Combustion engines were not up to the task yet and because of that more than one third of all automobiles around the turn of the century were powered by batteries.

Electrical motors were faster and more powerful than combustion engines and they had a greater autonomy. Electrical cars would stay very popular during the first decade of the 20th century but that would change rapidly after the Ford-T, equipped with a reliable engine running on gasoline, reached the market.


In 1900, however, people believed in a bright future for electrical cars and the entrepreneur (and military man) Emilio de La Cuadra Albiol came back from the World Expo in Paris with firm plans to make a Spanish automobile. Moreover, the car would be electrical and Carlos Vellino would make it work.

The plan was to make 3 prototypes: a car, a truck and an omnibus for which they already had a pro­spective customer before anything of the project became tangible.

More powerful batteries were needed and that pro­ved to be a particularly difficult problem. Vellino got Marc Birkigt (born in Geneva) to help but to no avail and eventually they had no other option than to fit conventional batteries. When the bus was shown to the assembled press, disaster struck as the vehicle, with Vellino at the wheel, halted almost immediately and forever. This event, together with a general strike in Cataluña, marked the end of the La Cuadra adventure.

ARS: Ilustración Artística y Literaria;
Año I Núm. 1 - XII.1911
La Vanguardia Española

Emilio went back to the army. Marc would become one of the founding partners of Hispano-Suiza, Fabrica de automoviles famous for its luxurious cars. Carlos would drop electrical cars and in 1901 begin with stationary engines under the brand name Motores Vellino.
The company ran many advertisements in a wide range of magazines and newspapers and even in the Diario Oficial del Ministerio de la Guerra — other adverts proudly announce that Vellino is a sup­plier to the Spanish army.

Boletín de la Asociación de Labradores de Zaragoza -
Año XXV, Núm. 260 - 22.IV.1925
Boletín de la Asociación de Labradores de Zaragoza -
Año XXIX, Núm. 315 - XI.1929

The text of the advertisements can be rather long and comes almost always with an image of one type or another (e.g. Tipo AR, CR, CZ, CDR). The engines run on a wide range of combustibles: gasoline, benzene, diesel, alcohol. They are very efficient and consume less than half the amount of the competition. The engine starts without hassle, even under cold and wet conditions. The acquisition and maintenance of Vellino's engine is inexpensive and in the unlikely event of a breakdown there are always spare parts available and engineers ready. Amazing product, really.
Sales went rather well: more than 3000 customers are reported in 1925 and in 1929 the number is already 6000+. If we may believe the adverts that is. An advert from 1944 says that Vellino is an accre­dited brand since more than 35 years but in 1950 we are told it is more than 46 years. Not that there is a contradiction, but it may give reason to confusion. More so if we take the commemorative stamp into account.

Commemorative stamp for
50 year of Motores Vellino
Carlos Vellino Roch died in March 1934 and was burried in Barcelona (La Vanguardia, 21.III.1934).

The company lived on and in 1942 the brothers Javier and Martín Sanglas would first produce Vellino engines under licence before they hit the market with their motocicleta N-1. It was the first of what would become a very famous brand.

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