||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
Of this period, Bishop has said: "What can we say about wine-making in Australia in the 19th century? We borrowed our wine-grape cultivars from Europe without much idea of their suitability and did the same for our wine-making methods'. As the century closed, phylloxera devastated Victorian wine-growing and the Victorian Government Printer published a local translation of L. Roos' L'Industrie Vinicole Meridionale under the title Wine-making in Hot Climates. It remained a textbook for decades but it was many years before it made much impact. In the 1920s the diseases which plagued the industry were the same which had been encountered in the 1840s and in the 1930s Australian winemaking was judged to be thirty years behind South Africa's because of failure to profit from European advances . It seems clear that up to the 1930s, and essentially until after the war, Australian wine-making was a traditional technology with little understanding of the principles behind it. This had become very apparent to those Australian winegrowers who had spent time studying the industry in Europe and recognition of it led to a more scientific approach.
In 1883, the building of Roseworthy Agricultural College some 50 kilometres north of Adelaide had begun and the first students were admitted in 1885. In 1892, lectures in viticulture and oenology were introduced into the Diploma of Agriculture course, but oenology remained an optional third year subject until 1936, when the Roseworthy Diploma in Oenology was first offered and began slowly to introduce scientific method and sound technology into the Australian industry. This resulted from the contributions of A. R. Hickinbotham to wine chemistry and of J. C. M. Fornachon to an understanding of microbial diseases of wine, but the significant advances in wine technology came much later after the Australian Wine Research Institute was set up in 1955.
In 1870, Rowlands and Lewis opened a new factory in Dana Street and installed three double action soda water machines with a combined capacity of 3,500 dozen bottles per day. This plant was made in Ballarat by G. G. Norman, supervised by Rowlands and was claimed, with understandable local pride, to be the equal of anything anywhere. There was no reason why it should not have been good for, at this time because of the demands of the gold fields, the Victorian engineering infrastructure was excellent. In July 1873, a Melbourne plant was opened. The first day's output was six dozen bottles, surely a ceremonial production, but by the mid-eighties output was over 3,500 dozen per day. Warrenheip spring water was supplied to the Melbourne factory and all other lines of a steadily expanding range were made at both locations except that soda water was made only at Ballarat. Lewis retired in 1876, but Rowlands continued and invented and patented an improved soda water bottle. The water used in Rowlands products was filtered four times but his attempts to use local corks failed on quality grounds. He was a stickler for quality, which was so good that many outside Victoria paid the 'premium' imposed by inter-colonial customs duty payable at that time, but by the 1890s, Rowlands had factories in Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney, and Newcastle. He died in 1894 but his company continued until well after the Second World War, when it was sold to Schweppes.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Australian Wine Research Institute, Adelaide; Roseworthy Agricultural College, S.A.
People in Bright Sparcs - Fornachon, J. C. M.; Hickinbotham, A. R.; Lewis, Robert; Norman, G. G.; Roos, L.; Rowlands, Evan
© 1988 Print Edition page 108, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher