As Europeans moved Into the area they took advantage of the local, natural resources on offer. As well as beekeeping and fishing, early pioneers were engaged in felling trees and transporting them on carts pulled by bullocks to meet the demand for timber in Brisbane and further afield. Some areas of land were cleared to create grassed areas for dairy and beef cattle.
Joseph Bancroft was not only a renowned medical researcher, but a significant pioneer in the field of food technology. He built a factory to make preserved beef in Deception Bay.As an 1869 article in The Queenslander newspaper described, the process of making Bancroft’s ‘Australian Pemmican Concentrated Beef’ involved meat first being cut off the bone, minced using steam power, and subsequently spread out on a metal surface heated by steam. Turning the meat, it was warmed by a fan until it became crisp and dry,with the excess fat being drained off. The meat was then ground, and canned. One pound of Bancroft’s Pemmican was equal to four pounds of fresh meat. The cans, once opened, could be left for any length of time without the quality of the contents deteriorating, as testimonials reported.
One testimonial from Mr. W.M. MacGregor in the 1890s, stated the few tins he was making soup from ‘presented the flavour of fresh meal’, even after being opened for over a month. At the time the tins were over two years old, having been carried into the interior of Papua New Guinea several times.