Ángela Ruiz Robles

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Ángela Ruiz Robles
Ángela Ruiz Robles (MUNCYT, Eulogia Merle).jpg
Personal details
Born Ángela Ruiz Robles
March 28, 1895
Villamanín, Leon
Died October 27, 1975
Ferrol, A Coruña
Nationality Spanish
Parents Elena Robles
Feliciano Ruiz
Occupation Teacher, Inventor

Angela Ruiz Robles (March 28, 1895 Villamanín, Leon - October 27, 1975, Ferrol, A Coruña) was a Spanish teacher, writer, pioneer and inventor of the mechanical precursor to the electronic book. In 1949, Ruiz was awarded Spanish patent 190,698 for the "Mechanical Encyclopedia" (Spanish: la Enciclopedia Mecánica).

Ruiz Robles wanted to lighten the weight of the books carried by her students, so her devised a device consisting of a series of text and illustrations on reels, all under a sheet of magnifying glass with a light for reading in the dark, and was to incorporate spoken descriptions of each topic. Her device was never put into production but a prototype is kept in A Coruña National Science and Technology Museum.[1]

Mechanical Encyclopedia[edit]

The following is a translated description of the device:[2]

Open, it consists of two parts. On the left it has a series of automatic spellers in all languages with a very slight pressure on a button displaying the letters you want, making words, phrases, lesson or topic and all kinds of writings. In the upper right spellers carried a coil with any kind of line drawing, and the left one with ornamental and figure drawing. In the bottom of the spellers, plastic to write, operate or draw. On the inside, a case for subjects. On the right are the subjects, passing under a transparent sheet, unbreakable and can take ownership increases, these books can be illuminated with light if there is no light to read them. To the right and left of the material through which pass two coils leads where to place the books you want to read in any language, by a movement of the same is passing all subjects, making the stops you want or is collected. The coils are automatic and can be moved from the case of the Encyclopedia and spread, leaving the whole subject in sight, you can be on a table (like actual books) or perpendicular, providing convenience to the reader, thereby avoiding many intellectual efforts and physical. All parts are replaceable. Complex, is the size of an ordinary book and simple operations. For authors and publishers the cost of his works is lessened considerably, requiring neither paste nor bound and is printed in a row, and each of their hand (or in several), this procedure resulting in the general good.


Ruiz Robles appears in the 2011 Spanish publication 200 Years of Patents in the "Women" section, published by the Spanish Ministry of Industry.[3]


  1. ^ Lallanilla, Marc. "Is This 1949 Device the World's First E-Reader?". Live Science. Archived from the original on 23 August 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Gaceta de la Actualidad Técnica. Year II, No. 14, September 1955
  3. ^ OFICINA ESPAÑOLA DE PATENTES Y MARCAS Spanish Ministry of Industry, 2011