Sugar Mills, Nambour
This actuality footage from 1899 shows a horse-drawn load of cane arriving at a conveyor belt at a sugar mill in Nambour, Queensland. The cane is trimmed and carried by conveyor belt into the mill for crushing.
Summary Elizabeth Taggert - Speers
Wills and Mobsby from the Queensland Department of Agriculture shot over 30 short films like this one on a hand-cranked Lumière Cinematographe camera. Despite the films each being less than a minute long, Wills sometimes used simple edits to construct a narrative, making his footage relatively innovative for the time. In this clip, a jump cut connects two steps of the process carried out at the sugar mill.
Nambour is situated in south-east Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, 100 kilometres north of Brisbane. The town’s Moreton Central Sugar Mill commenced operation in 1897, two years prior to this clip being filmed, and closed in 2003.
Sugar Mills, Nambour synopsis
This actuality footage shows a horse-drawn tramway of cane arriving at a conveyor belt at a sugar mill in Nambour, Queensland. The cane is trimmed and carried by conveyor belt into the mill for crushing.
This actuality footage was taken by the official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills, and his assistant, Henry William Mobsby. Wills and Mobsby recorded agricultural processes for the Queensland Government in 1899, producing over 30 short films of up to one minute in length. The films accompanied lectures in Britain promoting migration to Queensland. Other films demonstrating agricultural practices and machinery include Dipping Sheep and Wheat Harvesting with Reaper and Binder (both 1899).
For further information, see 'Australia’s First Films’ by Chris Long and Pat Laughren, Cinema Papers, 1993, No. 96, p 37.
Notes by Elizabeth Taggert - Speers