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Profiles in Publishing: Ángela Ruiz Robles

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Name: Ángela Ruiz Robles

Birthdate/Place:  1895, Vallamanín, León,

Innovator Associated With: World’s first “E”-Reader

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Claim to Fame: A teacher and a mother of three, Robles was teaching typing, shorthand and when she invented the “Mechanical Encyclopedia” in 1949, an analog precursor to current E-readers. She hoped to lighten the weight of books that schoolchildren had to carry to school everyday and make reading more accessible for everyone. However, due to Spain’s stagnant economy at the time, her innovation was not prioritized and never received the right funding to reach the market. Many historians still credit her invention as the spark of idea that became the current Kindles and Nooks more than 60 years later.

The Mechanical Encyclopedia’s patent from 1949

The First Ebook: The device functioned through air compression, with changeable spools that carried content. It was reported to have zoom capabilities and utilized coils to move the scrolls.

The original prototype continues to be on display in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Spain.

 

One Trackback

  1. By Where did the story of ebooks begin? | PUB802 on March 22, 2016 at 2:53 am

    […] The first ebook was produced to function through air compression, with changeable spools that carried content. It was reported to have zoom capabilities and utilized coils to move the scrolls. The spools and other inserts were housed within a hard metal case with a handle. She created an original prototype that is working and is now displayed in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Spain. In her later years when everything was technologically viable, she had another attempt at re-waping the project, but again, she did not manage to secure any funding. […]

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