1927 | today
Otello Cattabriga (1897 - 1957), experienced in the construction of pasta machines thanks to his job, with his father Roberto, at Zamboni & Troncon and at SABIEM, was responsible for the conception of an innovative machine for the artisanal processing of ice cream destined for worldwide fame. After having founded the Officine Meccaniche Otello Cattabriga, based in Via San Mamolo, in 1927, he had started production of his autogelatiera (an automated ice-cream maker), equipped with a spatula whose 'detach and smear' movement, in the basket, was able to reproduce the manual one performed by the ice-cream maker. An industrial patent was filed in 1931. At the Leipzig Fair in 1933, four machines presented by the company had sperked great interest among the professionals. This appreciation would then lead Cattabriga to establish itself in foreign markets over the following decades. After moving to Via Cairoli in 1934, the company had finally found a home from 1941 in the Via Emilia Levante factory, equipped with 50 machine tools, with around 300 workers employed in the various production, assembly, painting and packaging departments, capable of producing 10 machines ready for shipment a day. Despite the destruction following the bombings in January 1945, activity had fully resumed after the Second World War. Acquired in 1970 by its competitor Carpigiani, Cattabriga has maintained its management and commercial autonomy, aimed primarily, even today, at the traditional and artisanal ice cream production sector.
Text taken from 'La Ruota e l'Incudine la memoria dell'Industria Meccanica Bolognese in Certosa', Minerva, 2016. Translation by Lorenzo Rocco, 2022.