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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

The Maclean Pickle and Preserving Company (Limited)

The Maclean Pickle and Preserving Company (Limited).

This company's extensive factory, of which we give an engraving, is situated in St. Asaph street, near Montreal street, and is the largest of the kind in the colony. It was established page 182two years ago in its present premises, with shareholders in all the principal cities in New Zealand. One result of this widely distributed share list is that an extensive business has been brought to the company, not only in Christchurch and the neighbourhood, but with the principal grocers and hotel keepers all over the colony, which the excellent quality of its manufactures has enabled it to retain and extend. The various articles produced hare been submitted to severe tests, which have resulted in a highly favourable manner. Chemical analysis of several show them to be perfectly wholesome, and free from impurities and deleterious compounds, while in open competition at various exhibitions, from that of the "New Zealand. International" to the latest Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the pickles, jams, sauces, preserves, and cordials shown by the company have invariably received first and special prizes. Entering the works in St. Asaph street, the visitor comes to the show-room, with the secretary's office on the right. Here are ranged on shelves all round earthenware jars (locally made), and bottles of various shapes, containing pickles, jams, sauces, and cordials. Passing through this, we come into the cordial manufactory, where the casks and other appliances bear evidence of the use to which they are put. Returning to the show-room, we pass through it to the pickle factory—a large building with concrete floor, containing about 400 butts and casks all full of pickles in various stages of manufacture and of all kinds, such as onions, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, walnuts, &c. In this building, several girls may be seen at work at tables preparing vegetables for the first process of pickling. In one corner of it stand large boilers, bricked and cemented over, for boiling the various ingredients, and at the end are tubs and troughs of water, of which there is an ample supply from several artesian wells. Everything in this building has a busy, clean, and methodical look, with nothing for mere show, but everything that can be wanted for use. Going through this part of the establishment, still on the ground floor, we enter a large room where girls are at work bottling, labelling, capsuling, and sealing pickles and preserves, sauces and cordials, labelling and fastening down jars of pickles and jams, and generally giving the finishing touch to everything made in the factory before its being passed to the packers' room. Upstairs, there are large rooms devoted, some of them to the storage of onions and other requisites in the business, and others to a carpenter's workshop for the manufacture of the cases in which the goods are sent all over the colony. Returning to the ground floor, we inspect sheds for washing jars and bottles, storing sheds, and stabling, and see everywhere the evidence of a flourishing business.

page 183

"We may mention that this company has gained during the last five months, at sundry exhibitions, fire special first-class awards, including one gold medal, for their exhibits. They purchase through the season from 70 to 100 tons of vegetables, such as cauliflowers, cucumbers, beans, onions, and red cabbage —no inconsiderable increase to a local demand—without reckoning the requirements for their sauces, chutneys, catsup, and cordials. They have created a demand for pickle jars—a class of work previously not made at our potteries, and they have offered the Glass Works Company of Kaiapoi an order for £1000 worth of bottles as soon as it is able to accept it. Thus it is that the establishment of each new industry among us fosters and brings into existence others.

The managing director of the company is Mr George Collier, who is an enthusiast in his work; the secretary is Mr C. Schofield, and the manufacturer Mr John Strike.