The meat works

Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list and is sure to grow with time. I am so fortunate and grateful for the results I have recognized thus far.

The meat works

The only Queensland meatworks from this era still in operation is at Lakes The meat works, near Rockhamptonestablished in for the production of canned beef before shifting to frozen beef for export in the s.

Its early brick chimney has not survived.

The meat works

However, early development of a Queensland cattle industry was hindered by the lack of a sufficiently large market for fresh beef. In the s excess stock were disposed of by selling to other graziers or to boiling down works. Entrepreneur and businessman Robert Towns after whom Townsville is named and his business partner John Melton Black founded the settlement at Cleveland Bay to supply their pastoral leases in the hinterland.

In order to salvage some profit, squatters turned to the boiling down of sheep and cattle for tallow for candles and soap. Hoofs and horns were utilised for oil, and hides for leather.

Neither of these establishments survived for any length of time. The first trains carried both gold and wool from The meat works graziers back to the port of Townsville. Demand led to the approval of a western extension to Hughenden to service the cattle grazing industry.

The Northern Railway opened in and soon became the most profitable in Queensland as graziers took up land along its route. During the s the increase in population at newly opened Queensland gold fields, particularly on the Palmer Riverprovided a ready market for beef.

By the end of the decade there was an oversupply. Following the drought of cattle were driven overland to southern markets, but droving costs led to a huge reduction in profitability. There was a need to establish a processing industry in north Queensland to supply meat for an export market.

Frozen meat proved to be the solution. Refinements in processing and shipping led to a successful shipment in A meat freezing works was established at Poole Island off Bowen inbut its first shipment was lost in a tornado.

In the North Queensland Meat Export Company restarted the Alligator Creek works, initially for boiling down and preserving, and later utilising the freezing equipment from Poole Island. By Februaryfollowing the subscription of shares, it was decided to proceed with construction of a meatworks at Townsville.

Plans were made for a second works at Eagle Farm in Brisbane mid year. A short branch line to the railway linked the works with the wharves. By late September the site was laid out, concrete foundations were in place and construction of workers cottages had commenced.

A light tramway was built to haul sand for the concrete from the riverbank. The works was to be steam-driven, necessitating the construction of a huge brick chimney. The foundations for the chimney consisted of a square of concrete built 5 feet 1.

The bricks were baked on site.

PREMIUM BUTCHERY

Most were the work of highly skilled bricklayers. The chimneys took a variety of forms, including square, round and hexagonal. Some round or hexagonal chimneys were constructed on square plinths, as at the Ross River Meatworks.

They were markers of the steam age in nineteenth century Queensland. The Ross River Meatworks Chimney is the only surviving nineteenth century brick chimney in the immediate Townsville area. The plant was coal powered, with six Babcock and Wilcox horsepower safety tubular boilers supplying steam for the various engines.

Cattle and sheep were processed separately. An overhead tramway transported the carcases to a cooling room, then into the freezing, canning or preserving rooms.

The Meatworks | Robert Gray

In the freezing room, the two compound engines could produce horsepower each and each machine could circulatecubic feet of air per hour. The refrigeration machinery was a combination of Bell -Coleman and Haslam machines, which circulated cold air and removed moisture and impure air at the same time.

Electric lighting powered by a Crompton dynamo was installed by Barton and White electrical engineers - 31 years prior to the provision of public electric lighting in Townsville.For over 30 years, U.S.

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The Meatworks. Most of them worked around the slaughtering. out the back, where concrete gutters.

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crawled off. heavily, and the hot, fertilizer-thick, sticky stench of blood. sent flies mad, but I settled for one of the lowest-paid jobs, making mince, the furthest end from those bellowing.

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