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AN AUSTRALIAN EOMANCE OF IN DUSTR.Y.
'A Youn? Mw and a Nail Can,' is a title naturally calculated to excite curi osity. This is the name of. a publication of a distinctly novel character which has been received from the Perth branch of the well-known house of MacRobertson, manufacturers of 'Old Gold' chocolate, and many other choice confections. The book tells in pictorial form the tale of a
true romance of industry. A pithy fore word describes how, 42 years ago, a young Australian decided to commence business as a confectionery manufacturer. His initial stock in trade comprised a sixpenny nail can, a few pounds of susrar, a three penny tin pannikin, a small deal table, and 20 piaster of Paris moulds. His criminal' factory was his mother's bathroom. 'Per- haps,' it is. suggested, 'be built air castles as. he made his first suffar. boilings; possibly he could see hu-je white factories looming; up in the future.' In any cose, his work left him little time for romantic dreaming; he manufactured on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and then carried his sweets from shop to shop on Fridays and Saturdays. This went on. month after month, until the in dustrious youth, by saving Ms slender profits was able to enlarge bis plant and extend the scoi-e of bis operations. Out of these exceedingly humble beginnings, and thromrV the inexhaustible energy, patience, foresight, and ambition of its founder, has graduallv developed the larg est chocolate and confectionery establish ment in Australia and possibly one of the world's greatest industrial achievements on a population basis. A photograph of MacRobertson ss pre mises' taken in the year li&5 snows tlxe nucleus of the ? extensive business that ex jjsts to-day — a pkvm wood* and iroa build ins with astaS of some 30 or 4U assistants CTouped in tront. Tho nest picture shows the iastory stalf in 18i)B, when it number ed weJi over 100. Another srroup, taken just a decade later, extiibits an enormous increase of workers, while a picture of the stalf as it is to-day gives a graphic idea of Uie startling proportions to which, the undertaking has grown. A fins series of photographs conduct one through the numerous divisions of the won derful factories whose oroducts enjoy such widespread popularity. A memorable in sight is afforded into the complex opera tions entailed in the manufacture of the chocolate creations which bear the . fami liar 'Old Gold' wrapper. Waggon loads of cocoa beans from Trinidad, Cey lon, Samoa, Africa, and South America are seen arriving at the ? factories, and stocks of these beans are shown in lofty storerooms. Another view displays a huge oven, engaged in roasting beans xo develop their flavor and aroma, Th^ &2parating: of the kernels from their huska, and the process of grinding and otherwise preparing them for chocolate making aro also illustrated. The production of cocoa essence forms the subiect of a series of photugraphs, and various stages of .choco late manufacture are illustrated in illumin ating fashion- The extreme pains taken to ensure absolute purity and cleanliness are emphasised throughout. Apart from the production of chocolates, phases of tho factory's activities show the preparation of marzipan, 'milk kisses,' cough drops, toffees, : barley sugar, fruit drops, cara mels, and other sweetmeats.- The wrap ping and packing machines hare their sec tion of illustrations, and another interest ing f esture is a battery of 45-ton com pressors for supplying refrigeration to various parts of the works. One depart ment, is familiarly known to the staff as 'Aladdin's Palace,' on account of the biillianee of the confections produced there, these being the. many-lnied 'satin- finish' sweets, some exquisitely colored re productions of wjiich ' are included in tha book under review. . Apart from its actual output of confec tionery, the MacRobertson ? factory has other industrial channels. There, are large engineering shops which devote their ener gies to the construction of new equipment. A competent staff of- electricians is engag ed- in the maintenance of the electrical sec tion of the works. Tb' ie are up-to-date printing departments, in which milliotis of the firm's special labels are nrodnced. A sa-vrmill and box factory keeps the manu facturers supplied with the boxes and cases in which their products are sent forth to the world. Many other sides of the. industry are pictured, including the handling of transport problems, the ar tistically arranged showrooms, and the vsrious branch denots established through out thp Commomvealth. In the EDace of 42 years. MacBobertson's has grown into a vast organisation which r.fl'ords employment to over 2,0(M) opera tives .with an animal wage bill of £350.000. When it is considered that this great jde vr-v.nment has taken place in a country vrWrh even to-day boasts only five and a half millions of neo-ple. one cannot but mar vel at the trablic appreciation and confi dpnp.0. which must needs have formed the bf-si-* foundations unon which this essenti ally Australian industry has been built up