Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    I mentioned some time ago that Lines Brothers was one of my favourite commercial enterprises. Well, Cadbury’s was another.

    George Cadbury, especially, was extremely progressive for his time (the late 19th and early 20th centuries), and would be thought so even today. Not only did he support organized labour’s fight for a living wage and an eight-hour work-day, he was also largely responsible for the creation of Bournville: a new sort of industrial-and-residential estate out in the country. Aside from chocolate factories, it included brooks, public gardens, swimming pools, athletic fields, playgrounds, clinics, and even an orchestra, all obviously built with the health and welfare of Cadbury’s workers and their families in mind. At one point thousands of young women were employed there and their supervisors were all women as well. Cadbury was an enlightened capitalist, quite unafraid of socialist ideas. Would that there were more like him.

    As for Cadbury’s cocoa and chocolates, the raw materials were harvested in the Caribbean and in South Asia; and the finished products first made their way to Malaya in the 1890s, via Katz Bros., then via Pritchard’s and John Little’s, and later via Whiteaway’s and so on. They were luxuries, of course, expensive enough that most locals could not afford them.

    You asked about prices. By e-mail I’ve sent you an advertisement that was printed in Malaya just after WWI. At the time a one-pound tin of chocolates would have cost close to $2 — or (as a comparison) for that same price you could have purchased seven or eight pints of decent beer.

    Other suppliers of cocoa and chocolate in those days: Epps, Rowntree, Fry, and Van Houten.

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