||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I Technology Transported; 1788-1840
II Technology Established; 1840-1940
i Meat Preserving: Heat Processing Introduced
ii Horticultural Products: Heat, Sugar and Solar Drying
iii Refrigeration and the Export of Meat
iv Milling and Baking
v Dairy Products
vii Sugar: Supplying an Ingredient
III The Coming Of Science
IV From Science To Technology: The Post-war Years
V Products And Processes
Horticultural Products: Heat, Sugar and Solar Drying  (continued)In 1891 Peacock retired. His company passed to two employees, Henry Jones and A. W. Palfreyman, and one of his sons, E. A. Peacock, trading as Henry Jones & Co. Together they made the IXL trademark famous .
While Peacock pioneered jam making to a considerable extent, there were others. Johnson Bros. & Co., were active on the other side of Sullivan's Cove in Hobart in the 1870s, but George McEwin on the outskirts of Adelaide had begun in 1862, turning in 1867 from glass to cans, which he got from Alfred Simpson. By the mid-seventies, ten Sydney factories were listed but most were very short-lived and Peacock's major competition in the mid-eighties came from Dyasons of Alexandria and Ashfield.
Victoria was more suited to the production of the raw materials than were the environs of Sydney and in 1868 the Perry brothers set up a modest enterprise near Melbourne to make jams and other products from raw material from their own property. There were others in the seventies and one of them, W. S. Tong of Fitzroy, may, in 1874, have anticipated Peacock's introduction of pulp, though there is no evidence that he made any attempt to transport his material. Peacock moved into Victoria in 1883 and there were other ventures in Melbourne and in the country districts of Victoria and New South Wales; but Hobart remained the major source of jam, preserved fruits and fruit pulp.
Peacock well understood the importance of raw material quality and late in the century Henry Jones & Co., had a factory at Franklin amongst the raspberry canes of the Huon Valley. At much the same time Abel Hoadley, who had been making jam in South Melbourne since 1881, was drawing fruit from several Victorian country districts but complaining that the quality was not good enough. He saw clearly the disadvantages to him of poor quality fruit and realized the importance of close relations with several growers in maintaining both supply and quality. Hoadley was, however, under no illusions about how hard it was to get what he wanted. Nevertheless, by 1896 he was canning jams, jellies, soft fruits, and tomatoes and he was making sauces and a range of candied peels.
In this period the technology of all these early jam makers and fruit canners was the same. Jam was boiled in open copper steam-jacketed pans (kettles). Both jam and fruit were hand filled into hand-made cans and the tops were soldered on one by one. Fruit was processed in boiling water baths. Raw material quality was an issue certainly by the eighties and nineties, but the fall in quality while jam was held in barrels for days or even weeks before filling was not appreciated for some time. There was some mechanical handling, but the practices were essentially those in use throughout the nineteenth century; jam and canned fruit were part of the old canning technology. Both were about to benefit from the new canning technology being developed in America in the nineties but the jam boiling technology continues to this day and was not under challenge here until well after the Second World War, when the vacuum pan was introduced to remove water at a lower temperature, thus conserving both the flavour and colour of the original fruit.
Vegetable canning in Australia was long delayed. It began with the Edgells at Bathurst, New South Wales, where in 1906, R. G. Edgell began to grow fruit, asparagus and other vegetables. It was a successful venture and eventually the crops of asparagus became greater than the Sydney market could absorb. Accordingly, attempts were made through several Sydney canners to process them. The results were unsatisfactory and Edgell decided to do it himself. He sent his eldest son to the United States to learn asparagus canning from top to bottom and this experience was then applied in Australia. After setbacks due to faulty cans, the venture was firmly established and Edgells began to extend the range of vegetables being canned. By the end of the thirties several vegetables and soups were being processed and others were added during the war as greater demands were made on all food processors.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Dyasons; Henry Jones & Co.
People in Bright Sparcs - Edgell, R. G.; Hoadley, Abel; Jones, Henry; McEwin, George; Palfreyman, A. W.; Peacock, E. A.; Peacock, George; Simpson, Alfred; Tong, W. S.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 89 - 90, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher