MESSRS. BICKFORDS' CORDIAL FACTORY.
On Thursday, October 19, we had an op- portunity of Inspecting the large cordial factory of Messrs. A. M. Bickford & Sons, situated, in Waymouth-street, nearly oppo-
site Young-street, on the site once occupied by Matthews' coach-building establish- ment, and more recentlyused as a rag and bone yard. We were-shown over the pre- mises by Mr.W. Bickford and Mr. G. Sander- son, the manager, who fully explained the ins and outs of the establishment, and sup plied us with information from which we are enabled to place a few facts concerning this industry before our readers. The pre- mises, which hare been occupied by the Messrs. Bickford for four years, cover nearly the whole of an acre in depth and half an acre in width. On entering from Waymouth-street we found ourselves in a capacious court-yard, surrounded on three sides by buildings, and on the other side by a row of large bottle bins. We were first taken into the office, which is also used as a storeroom for labels and the spices, and essential oils used in the manufactory. The stable is adjoining, and affords accommodation tion for six horses, which are kept in full work by the travellers of the firm and in the delivery of orders. The bottle room comes next, and here the washing and racking of bottles was being proceeded with. The bottles are first soaked all night in a tank capable of holding 70 dozen, and after being thoroughly cleansed are placed in racks to drain, and are left there until required. The racks in this room will hold 600 dozen of bottles, and they were nearly filled on this occasion. We were told that there were between. £400 and.£so3 worth of bottles on the place, includin? the unwashed in the bins outside. When the bottle manufactory was at work the main supply was obtained from there, and much labor was saved by using them, ~as they did not require so much washing, a rinsing being sufficient; but now the stock is kept up by supplies from other sources. We now passed into the new part of the building, where the cor- dials are manufactured. On the ground floor the boiler is fixed, from which a steam pipe leads to a large copper pan on the upper floor, in which the syrup is boiled. It is capable of holding 150 gal-
lons, and the steam passing through per- forations in the bottom rapidly heats the syrup, and keeps it in a continual state of commotion, which does away with the necessity of stirring it. From the pan the syrup is conveyed by a pipe to a lower room adjoining the boiler-house, in which are kept the casks from which the cordials are bottled. The casks, which range from 100 to 400 gallons each, are filled by shutes leading from the pipe, and in them the syrup is flavored with the different essences used in the trade. The bottling also takes place in this room, and in one adjoining the labels and tinfoil are affixed to the bottles, which are packed in saw- dust in neat cases, manufactured at Mr. W. King's timber-yard. The cases are then stacked in a commodious storeroom, ready for delivery. Among the many drinks manufacftured in this portion of the Messrs. Bickford's establishment are ginger wine, ginger brandy, cherry brandy, rum punch, cloves, peppermint, quinine wine, limejuice cordial, sarsaparilla, lemon syrup, raspberry vinegar, raspberry balm, kummel, eye opener, cocktail, limetta ginger cordial, and orange, doctors' stomach; Canadian, and other bitters. In the manufacture of the syrups the best crushed loaf-sugar, imported in casks, is used; and such drinks as ginger brandy, rum punch, and ginger wine, are fortified with Hennessy'e brandy, Lemon Hart's rum, and the best colonial white wine. About 25 per cent, of these forti- fiers is used. Since Messrs. Bickford & Sons started this industry in Hindley-street, some nine or ten years ago, the increase in the business has been very rapid, and it will doubtless soon be such as to test the capabilities of their present establishment to its utmost. At first they made some six or seven dozen a day of different cordials and twelve dozen would some- times last for a week, but now they turn out some 8,000 cases in twelve months, each case containing a dozen or a dozen and a half of bottles. The demand is, of course, greatest during the summer months, and the winter time is principally devoted to making up the stock to supply the wants of customers in the hot weather. In con-, sequence recent additions and altera- tions having been made to the premises, the present stock in hand is not so large as usual. The number of hands employed in this part of the establishment is about 20, including several young girls, who label the bottles and embellish them with tinfoil. We now turn to another part of the business where the number of employes are fewer, but where it is possible for the result to be as great in the matter of supply. We allude to the sodawater, lemonade, and aerated water branch, which has only lately been entered into by the Messrs. Bickford.. Mons. H. Foureur, who was a short time ago the proprietor of a similar establish ment at Glenelg, is the presiding genius, and he most affably described the modus operandi. There is little difference here from other establishments in which aerated waters are manufactured, except that the machinery is of the best pattern and em- braces the most recent improvements. The motive 'power is given by a two-horse power gas engine, manufactured by Crossley Brothers of Birmingham, which does its work effectively at a very low cost. Some 6s. or 7s. a week pays for the gas consumed, and it requires no attendance during the day beyond an occasional oiling. The water used for lemonade, sodawater, and similar drinks is first filtered and then pumped with the gas which gives the effervescing properties into a cylinder, which is capable of supplying 600 dozen bottles a day. In that part of the* machinery used for the manufacture of the gas several improvements are introduced. In the old mode the gas passed directly from the generator to the gasometer, and the fan in the generator was worked by hand, but here the regular motion of steam is imparted to the fan, and the gas passes the generator through two barrels filled with water, which clears it of all im- purities, and then into a glass globe, in which the action of the acid is shown, be- fore it reaches the gasometer. There are several bottling pumps of French manufac- ture, at which the ordinary sodawater and lemonade bottles and the less 'common French syphons receive their contents; The pressure to fill the latter is very great -as much as 120 lbs. to the square inch - and accidents are not uncommon. In order to guard against these the operator has to wear a mask similar to those used in fencing, and his arms are also protected. When being filled the syphons are enclosed in a wire cage. They are afterwards branded with the name of the firm on the metal covering near the rim by a neat and simple con- trivance, invented by M. Foureur, and are then packed in dozens in open boxes, which are left with the customers, the syphons being replaced when required. The syrups are prepared in a copper pan heated by gas. About 100 dozen of the syphons can be turned out filled in a day, and about 125 dozen of the ordinary bottles. The drinks manufactured here are soda water, eau de seltz, potash water, rasp- berry, lemonade, lithia water, and ginger ale. The latter is a new idea, and is an exhilarating, and at the same time non- intoxicating beverage, and should become very popular in the hot weather. The lithia water and other mineral waters are manufactured under medical supervision.