Ángela Ruiz Robles and the first prototype of the digital book

Ángela Ruiz Robles and the first prototype of the digital book

It was 1940, a time marked by the rigidity of classroom teaching and those heavy backpacks packed with books on the shoulders of students. In this scenario, in Spain, the teacher and visionary Ángela Ruiz Robles dreamed of making learning lighter and more enjoyable through technology and interactivity. Thus, she invented the first prototype of a digital book 📖.

Angelita, as this passionate educator and writer was called, managed to revolutionize Spanish education and the concept of books. This is how she responded when asked about the purpose of her invention:

“Relieve teaching and with minimum effort achieve maximum knowledge.”

  • He designed and built a mechanical-electrical and air pressure system, of the portable type, which allowed reading different books. This device was a small metal briefcase, the size of an average book, easy to handle and light in weight. It was mainly equipped with:
    • A series of vertical reels, on which were wound the tapes with the text and illustrations of each subject, similar to photographic reels. They were passed mechanically or manually. To change the subject, only the reels were interchanged.
    • A transparent and unbreakable plastic screen, with magnifying capacity, which was placed above all the contents. It could be folded down, allowing small notes to be made.
    • Sound recordings, with the explanations of the subjects.
    • Compartments for storing school supplies, spools, watches, etc.

This Encyclopaedia Mechanica could be used by students both at school and at home. It was a true revolution in academia. The Ministry of Education immediately approved its use in classrooms.

Today, when we hold a tablet in our hands or when we slide our fingers over a touch screen to read an e-book, we are materializing Doña Ángela’s pioneering vision. That Spanish educator, ahead of her time, who managed to condense all knowledge in a small mechanical and interactive device.

Once again, it is clear that technology and innovation are driving forces in the development of the world.

At TECNIMUSA we continue to chart the path to the future. As an engineering company we specialize in the design and manufacture of advanced automation and eco-efficient solutions, to increase the efficiency and sustainability of industrial intralogistics, in the textile and fashion sector.