Bancroft Exhibition – The Meatworks

The Bancroft Exhibition Notes, Edited by Karen Tyler and Huxley Baberowski.

The Meatworks

When times were difficult, the price of cattle dropped and so nobody could sell their animals for profit. Instead of meat, they were sold for tallow, which was the fat of animals that was used to make candles in those days (before electricity).

Joseph thought this was a waste and so he started experimenting with treating meat so it could be preserved. He invented a machine to do this and patented it. In 1890 he built a meatworks at Deception Bay, which was then called Burpengary. He experimented with processing dried fish and vegetables as well as meat.

BULLOCK TEAM WITH BARRELS OF TALLOW LEAVING BANCROFT’S DECEPTION BAY MEATWORKS IN THE 1880’S
BULLOCK TEAM WITH BARRELS OF TALLOW LEAVING BANCROFT’S DECEPTION BAY MEATWORKS IN THE 1880’S

In 1894 Thomas inherited the Deception Bay meatworks, and made it into a profitable business when he started to supply something called Pemmican. This was a sort of ground-up beef, dried and packed into tins, for use by the British War Office as emergency rations.

In 1094, the price of cattle rose, the British War Office no longer needed the desiccated meat, and so the contract was not renewed. The meatworks was closed down, Thomas moved back to Brisbane, taking the parts of the building with him. He used them to build a tannery.

From:

  • A Century of Scientific Endeavour by Ian Mackerras and Elizabeth Marks. And from the The Bancroft Tradition Edited by John Pearn and Lawarie Powell
  • The Bancrofts, Elizabeth Marks and Josephine Bancroft
  • Bancroft Meatworks at Deception Bay, Caboolture Historical Society Inc
  • White Moon Black Kettle by Professor Geofrey Blainey.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *