Letter from RJ Davies regarding ABM's development of equipment for manufacturing sweets
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AB Milne - designing confectionery machinery.

Letter to: Jeffrey W Smith
                5th of September 1994

Author: Reg Davis
9 Dibbil Street
West Chermside
Queensland 4032

Dear Jeff,

 your letter of 21st August has arrived and I note you are in the process of writing a book about Andy Milner. If I can supply any information which may be relevant, I'm only too pleased.

Firstly regarding my father Jack and the purchase of Studley confectionery in Stones Corner after my discharge from the RAAF in 1945, Dad asked me to join him in the business which he purchased in February 1946.

Yes, the name was changed to Davis & Sons and we traded for 16 years before getting out in early 1962.

You asked about staff employed. A permanent staff of four sugar boilers, myself in charge of the factory floor.  Ten to 12 girls wrapping sweets, packing boxes and containers etc. One lass in the office with Dad, and two salesmen canvassing the metropolitan area in two delivery vans.

One salesman canvassed the South East corner of the state for orders which were dispatched by rail or road. August to Easter time each year, staff members were bolstered by casuals of up to 40 - mainly for Easter egg work.

Andy (Milne) made several trips to Brisbane and designed and made the chocolate Easter egg machine, with which we started making the first chocolate eggs in Queensland after the war.

This was a series of wire baskets, each slowly turning in its own right and  the baskets mounted on 2 revolving drums which also rotated very slowly.

The baskets were filled with the metal chocolate moulds which contained the melted chocolate. The slow turning of the baskets and also the revolving of the drums allowed melting chocolate to spread around inside of the moulds.

Fans blowing upwards from under the egg machine and the air conditioning premises we were operating in, was sufficient to set the chocolate.

There was also a machine which Andy made and we used this for "pulling" sugar - a process by which after the boiling sugar had cooled to a consistency of dough, it was agitated and pulled backwards and forwards until we ended up with a huge white mass.

Used for making and making red and white striped boiled lollies, and also "Mentos" our interpretation of the registered name "Minties".

This machine was mounted on the floor and bolted down. Consisting of one stationary arm, with two arms revolving around the centre piece, pulling the sugar mass in opposite directions.

There was also candy wrapping machine which we purchased second hand from Sydney which gave us a lot of troubles. Andy spent a lot of time on various modifications etc, to get it into good working order.

This machine wrapped square sweets in foil - similar to the old "Columbines" from years ago.

We manufactured lots of honeycomb, both plain and chocolate coated and Andy spent a lot of time trying to devise a suitable way of cutting into bars. At one stage he experimented with heated wires but did not prove successful. We did not pursue the idea any further.

You ask about photographs of the company in the interior etcetera but I cannot help in that direction, as there were none.

Jeff I find it hard to describe on paper, the above machines in detail, but do hope I have given you some idea. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know kind regards to yourself and family
yours faithfully


RJ Davis