The Evolution of a Chocolate
A pan of the sorting rooms shows women sorting the cleansed chocolate in preparation for blending. The kernels are then taken to the mills where they are ground into a smooth liquor. Sugar is added in large mixing machines and refined by passing it through rolls. The chocolate mixture is then transferred into ‘conches’ where it is whipped by machine to further mature and thicken the chocolate. Summary by Poppy De Souza.
This film is one of a series of promotional documentaries made by the Melbourne-based Made in Australia Council in the 1920s. The chocolate factory in The Evolution of a Chocolate employed over 2,000 people at the time this film was made and was, according to one of the intertitles, one of ‘the best producers of chocolates’. The film shows the various sections of the factory and the different types of chocolates which are produced. It also shows employees gathered outside the factory for their recreational break. Descriptive intertitles are used to clarify different parts of the process and the machinery used in each section. The division of labour down gender lines is also clearly illustrated.
A final intertitle emphasises that the quality and artistry evident in the confectionery produced in Australian factories such as this one ‘cannot be excelled anywhere the world over’. The fact that these superior chocolates are produced entirely in Australia by Australian workers reiterates the Made in Australia Council’s argument for increased support for locally produced products.
The Made in Australia Council was formed in the early 1920s as part of a campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of local production and to promote Australian-made goods. Emerging out of a growing movement in support of local manufacture and production, the Made in Australia Council drew support from the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures, Australian Industries Protection League, Australian Natives’ Association (now Australian Unity), the Education Department and Railway Commissioners (Australian Natives’ Association, Annual Conference Report, 1924). It promoted support for Australian-made goods through the distribution of posters, leaflets, pamphlets and the production of ‘moving pictures’. The Council’s slogan was ‘wherever you trade, buy Australian Made’.
A Visit to Ernest Hillier’s Factory, made in 1926, is another example of the work in a confectionery factory.
The Evolution of a Chocolate synopsis
Presented by the Made in Australia Council, this documentary details the processes used in the making of confectionery at an Australian chocolate making factory.
Notes by Poppy De Souza