Born in Italy in 1883, Agustín Zamboni studied in Milan & accepted a position as CEO of the government-owned electric company in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1907. Eight years later, he crossed the river & occupied the same position for the Compañía Italo-Argentina de Electricidad (CIAE). When CIAE President Juan Carosio died in 1959, Zamboni took over that post as well. In 1964 he renounced the position of CEO but remained president of the company until his death in 1969.
The largest electric company in town left a unique mark on Buenos Aires; they covered their substations with a bit of medieval Italy… large & small brick castles dot most neighborhoods, usually stuck in between houses or silently disintegrating while people walk by unaware they exist.
Buenos Aires went electric in 1887 thanks to a German company (CATE), but their monopoly was broken by the CIAE in 1914. The Swiss-Italian joint venture had a concession until 1962, but a lot happened during that time. Other companies came & went, its contract was extended, & neither Perón nor Frondizi nationalized them, but Isabel started the process. Incorporated into SEGBA in 1978, the remaining CIAE structures were donated to the city government in 1987. The generator situated in Puerto Nuevo —the largest of them all— passed into private hands in 1992.
For further information, read a 12-part series about the history of the CIAE on our sister site, Endless Mile.
Robert, your knowledge of BA history and culture never ceases to amaze me. Fascinating stories, as always.
Thanks, Mike. The CIAE buildings have been a long-time fascination… still hard for me to believe that a company would go to such an extent for decorative purposes/branding.
Robert. I am A. zamboni. Great granddoughter.
Gracias Laura por estar en contacto! No sé si entraste en la serie que escribí sobre la Ítalo, pero me encantó el trabajo de tu bisabuelo. Si podés compartir algún historia familiar o algún dato, seguro que los lectores del blog serían agradecidos. Saludos!