History of Bastos y Cía

In 1856 John M. Sumner laid the foundation of the company today known as Bastos y Cía, S.A.; which has an activity of over 150 years dedicated to the sale and service of industrial machinery.

Born in Mancheter, Mr. Sumner went into business of textile related products. He was an infatigable voyager who traveled around the world selling machinery and yarn of cotton and wool. He established branches in Germany, Alsace, Poland and Mexico.

In 1856, Barcelona had a population of about 175.000 inhabitants. The railway from Barcelona to Mataró had been working for 8 years now and the city enjoyed gas street lighting. It was a phase of industrial expansion. Alongside, political and social conflicts were taking place at that time.

John Sumner decided to start his business in Barcelona. He had very strong links with European machinery manufacturers, mainly English; and the company flourished and continued to do so after his decease.

On January 22, 1913; the “Society Güell, Bastos y Bertran hermanos” was formed with the goal of being a commission and representation business of material for the textile  and manufacturing industry.

In 1917 this company became interested in the activities of Mr. Sunmer and negotiated in England the purchase and succession. The company was amended on February 27, 1920 and was renamed Bastos y Compañía Limited Partnership, which commercial name will be prepended John M. Sunmer & Co. Successors.

Maquinaria Bastos Antiga


The activity carried out back then is reflected in the official publication “City Yearbooks, Barcelona 1931-1932” published by Society of Outsiders Attraction of Barcelona, called ‘Sindicat d’Initiatives’. The yearbook reads as follows:

texto historia


The translation of the text is:

“The old Sunmer Company, now Bastos y Compañía Limited Partnership is the oldest company in Spain dedicated to the installation and supply of machinery for the textile industry.

Founded in 1856, the company has installed in its 77 years of life, approximately 60% of the textile factories of our country, with offices in Barcelona and Madrid, agents in Bilbao, Seville, Valencia and representatives in major industrial cities.”

On July 10, 1942, the current Bastos y Compañía, S.A. was established, with no reference to John Sunmer.

On April 16, 1986, to mark the centenary celebration of the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona, our company received one of the awards given to one of the 142 centennial companies.

En 1984 se inauguró la delegación de Alcoi y en el 2002 Bastos trasladó su sede a Centelles, provincia de Barcelona. La sede de Barcelona había quedado pequeña para albergar los nuevos proyectos y realidades. Quedaban atrás 146 años de historia y se abrían vías de expansión, pero también de continuidad.

In 1984 the delegation of Alcoi was opened and in 2002 Bastos moved its headquarters to Centelles, in the province of Barcelona. The headquarters in Barcelona were now too small to accommodate new projects and realities. Left behind were 146 years of history and new ways of expansion were opened, but also of continuity.