• Spain's news in English

Top of the mops: world's first to be auctioned

Jessica Jones · 14 Apr 2015, 15:09

Published: 14 Apr 2015 15:09 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

When Manuel Jalón invented the world’s first mop and bucket in 1956 little did he know that his invention would one day play a vital role in housework around the world.

Read about other surprising inventions by Spaniards

The Spaniard, born in Logroño in 1925, invented the contraption with the original aim of helping people avoid injuring their knees and damaging their hands from scrubbing floors.

"I want to bring dignity to a humble job," was a phrase he often used to describe the invention.

Photo: Courtesy of the auction house Balclis.

And it was a revelation; finally people could mop and wring out the dirty water "with great comfort" Joan Servelló, design expert at Balclis auction house, told local newspaper Heraldo de Aragón.

Balclis auction house estimates that there are very few examples left today of the first design, one of which currently resides in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Barcelona.

The mop coming up for auction on Wednesday, unlike the one in the Barcelona museum, features the brand name Rodex, the company which first made the mops.

Jalón, an aeronautical engineer, was inspired by the system used to clean aeroplane hangars in the United States, which included large brushes and rags on sticks.

But the invention was slow to catch on with Spaniards.

Jalón had to stage many live demonstrations of his strange new invention before it slowly began to gain popularity in his homeland, before quickly taking over the world.

The mop to be auctioned on Wednesday consists of a 1.18 metre handle and a bucket, complete with two built-in rollers, that measures 30 centimetres high and 18 centimetres in diametre.

Story continues below…

Jalón’s original design continued to be produced until the mid-1960s, when production switched to plastic mops and buckets. 

After selling more than 60 million mops worldwide, Jalón, along with his partners at Rodex, sold the company to Dutch multinational Curver BV.

Jalón continued to invent - another of his most famous ideas was the reusable hyperdermic syringe. 

He died at home in Zaragoza in 2011 aged 86 years old, his simple invention having, by this time, taken over the world. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available