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3-303 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Sydney Morning Herald,un
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Clark, 1975
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Mr. Thomas Mort has so far succeeded in developing his new industry that in the course of a few days his establishment at the Lithgow Valley will commence active operations. Here cattle, sheep, &c., will be slaughtered, and the carcases dressed on the most improved principles. The meat will then be conveyed down to Sydney in vans specially prepared for the purpose, which ensure the meat being kept at a very low temperature during the journey.  The establishment at the head of Darling Harbour, where the freezing process is carried on, has been in operation for some time. We proceed to give a brief description of the two establishments.
The principal portion of the freezing process is carried on at the works in Dixon-street, at the head of Darling Harbour, adjoining the new railway station, now in course of construction. The premises are connected by sidings with the railway, so that the meat vans, containing meat slaughtered at the establishment at Lithgow Valley, hereafter to be described, will be brought into the very midst of the works. The vans will be taken under a large shed, there to be unloaded by means of a steam hoist. One of these meat vans was exhibited at the last exhibition of the Agricultural Society, and the principle on which they are constructed has already been described in these columns. It will, therefore, be sufficient now to say, that they are so well constructed that the meat, to the extent of four or five tons, will be so packed in them that no two pieces will be allowed to come in contact, and the vans being made on the principle of the ice chest, the interior is kept intensely cold - a mixture of ice and chloride of calcium being used for this purpose - so that however hot the weather may be, the meat will be delivered in Sydney as fresh as when it left the slaughtering establishment. On being hoisted up into the shed the meat is placed on trucks, in order to be conveyed to whatever part of the premises it may be necessary. These trucks are of a double construction; in fact, they consist of one truck upon another, the upper trucks being designed to run along lines of rails running in one direction, and the lower ones upon rails running at right angles to the former. By this means it will be seen that the meat can be conveyed wherever it is required, without any necessity for handling.
The preserving process is effected in two large apartments, each about 75 feet square and 9 feet 6 inches high, called respectively the cooling-room and the freezing-room the latter being underneath the former. These apartments are entered only through trap-doors from above. They are enclosed by walls 4 feet 6 inches thick, built of brick, but constructed so as to contain two or three hollow spaces all round, which are filled with materials known to be bad conductors of heat, so that when the heat has once been abstracted from the interior by means of the processes presently to be alluded to, the subtle fluid will be almost unable to regain an entrance, or, in popular phraseology, the cold will be retained. These two apartments are fitted up with the necessary beams, hooks, and other apparatuses upon which the meat is to be stowed, and each will hold, when closely packed, something like two or three thousand tons of meat. The cooling-room will be used for the storage of meat intended for home consumption, which will not be actually frozen, but merely reduced to so low a temperature that it will keep sweet for any time, until it is wanted.  The freezing room below, however, is intended for the reception of meat designed for exportation, and which it is hoped and expected will solve the great problem of how to supply the English market with whole carcasses of Australian beef, mutton, and pork. The temperature of this room will always be considerably below freezing point, as low even as zero, and the meat here is frozen perfectly hard, so that if struck by the knuckles it feels like solid wood, and emits a similar sound. Meat in this condition, it is needless to say, will remain good practically for ever - a truth that has long been known, but which it has been reserved for Messrs. Mort and Nicolle to bring into actual operation. This meat is intended to ship to Europe and elsewhere, the holds of the vessels being prepared after a principle similar to that of the refrigerating machines intended for household use, so that the meat will remain in its frozen state until it reaches the foreign markets, where it will be offered for sale in the carcass, just the same as meat fresh from the shambles. It is needless to expatiate upon the advantages of this plan; the great objection to the Australian preserved meat, that it is overcooked, will thus be done away with, and families may select their joints of Australian meat precisely the same as they would select their joints from English-fed animals, and may cook them more or less as their palates dictate. Not the least surprising feature of this system is the economy with which it can be worked, for it is calculated that about one penny per pound will include all charges attendant upon this mode of preserving meat, including even the cost of transit to England. It will easily be seen what a boon this will be to the English consumer, when it is remembered that the price of meat in England is three or four times what it is here, and the Australian meat can be delivered and sold in England at a rate far below the present prices thus bringing it within the reach of thousands to whom meat is at present an unattainable luxury, while at the same time the price obtained will prove remunerative to the shippers from here.