La Negra Tango
León Benarós

La negra - “La Negra”: An advertising tango by Enrique Delfino

he record of the important tango musicians, who composed advertising pieces, would be curious. Ángel Villoldo and Francisco Canaro are among the most known ones. Tangos like the one dedicated by Villoldo “A la Ciudad de Londres” were distributed as propaganda for its favorers.

Out of Enrique Delfino's compositions —whose important work, with the collaboration of the author himself, was classified by Pompeyo Camps—, we find “La Negra”, a tango dedicated to the now disappeared Compañía de Carnes Congeladas (Congealed Meat Company) which ran the cold-storage plant whose trademark logotype was the side view of a black woman's head with her big circular earring, inside it, a capital S letter was drawn on a large scale.

The cited Delfino's tango has no lyrics. The sheet music is printed in the printing house Arista of Buenos Aires.

The surname Sansinena brings back to our memory the personality of Elena Sansinena de Elizalde, who did so much, from the Amigos del Arte institution (Friends of Art), for the Argentine culture, exposing herself to narrow-minded criticism, with the revolutionary painting exhibitions, such as those of Emilio Pettoruti and Juan Del Prete, at their time, beautiful editions and invitations to great figures of the world culture.

What was it, what was this now disappeared and then renowned Compañía Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas (Sansinena Frozen Meat Company) like?

The useful 1899 Pillado Yearbook reports: «Compañía Sansinena de Carnes Congeladas. This corporation was legally constituted on September 26, 1891, with the purpose of purchasing and operating the cold-store plant known as La Negra placed on the south margin of the Riachuelo (Province of Buenos Aires) and also the branches based in London, Paris, Liverpool, Santos, Havre and Dunkirk.

«Apart from the purpose above mentioned the corporation has also the faculty to engage in all operation concerning chattels, real estate or livestock, letters of exchange, etc.

«The authorized capital is $ 2.000.000. —gold, divided in 20.000 shares of $ 100 each one, which could be increased according its statutes, up to $ 3.000.000 gold. The corporation will last 30 years as of the date of the statutes approval (26 September 1891)... The company exported in 1892, 408.218 ram cattle heads, and 8784 young bull quarters; and in the year 1898 its export figures were 882.818 ram cattle heads and 44.888 young bull quarters.

«The board of directors is composed of: Ernesto Tornquist, president; Adolfo G. Luro, vice-president; Samuel A. Pearson and Hugo von Bernard, directors; Miles A. Pasman director manager; Walter G. Salmon, deputy manager; Juan P Oliver; plant administrator; and Guillermo Cook, administrator in Europe.

«Domicile: Piedad 455, Buenos Aires.»

It's been a long time that La Negra disappeared, the same happened to what would have been a sort of counterpart: the cold-store plant La Blanca, to which the tycoon Benito Villanueva was linked. Piedad street is today Bartolomé Mitre street...

Everything changes... But it is worth rescuing from the list of tangos composed by Enrique Delfino, this advertising tango, which even though its origin of commercial interest, it possibly has something or much of the talent devoted to his works by the great composer of “Milonguita (Esthercita)”.