Macpherson Robertson

Last updated

Sir Macpherson Robertson with the winners trophy for the MacRobertson Air Race Macpherson Robertson2.jpg
Sir Macpherson Robertson with the winners trophy for the MacRobertson Air Race

Sir Macpherson Robertson [1] KBE (6 September 1859 20 August 1945) was an Australian philanthropist, entrepreneur and founder of chocolate and confectionery company MacRobertson's . He was also known for bringing the United States inventions of chewing gum and cotton candy (known in Australia as fairy floss) to Australia.

Contents

Early life

Macpherson Robertson was born in Ballarat, Victoria. He was the eldest of seven children of Macpherson David Robertson, a Scottish carpenter born in Uruguay, and his Irish wife, Margaret (née Browne). The family came to Ballarat in search of gold but fell on hard times, with the father abandoning them and moving to Fiji. In 1869, his mother returned to Leith, in Scotland, together with Macpherson, his three siblings and another child on the way.

In Scotland, at the age of nine, Macpherson started working to support the family, eventually taking an apprenticeship with the Victoria Confectionery Co. In 1874, the family returned to Australia at the request of his father, then living in the Melbourne working class suburb of Fitzroy. Using skills he acquired in Scotland, in 1878, at the age of 19, Macpherson set up a confectionery manufacturing operation in the bathroom of the family home. He made confectionery on Mondays to Thursdays and sold them around Melbourne on Fridays and Saturdays.

Business

His business quickly grew as Mac Robertson Steam Confectionery Works. By the late 1880s the business employed thirty people. The company created numerous confections including Freddo Frog , [2] Cherry Ripe , Old Gold Chocolates, Milk Kisses and Columbines. By 1900, it had become the largest confectionery works in Australia with agencies in every state. As part of his marketing strategy, Macpherson maintained a distinctive whiteness to everything he could – the buildings in the Fitzroy factory complex were all painted white and all of his several thousand employees wore white uniforms. Macpherson himself ensured he was always seen in public dressed immaculately in white and rode in a carriage behind two white ponies. The factory complex became known as White City.

In 1967 MacRobertson's was acquired by English confectioner Cadbury's which in 1969 merged with Schweppes Australia to become Cadbury Schweppes. On 2 February 2010, Cadbury was purchased by Kraft Foods. Kraft Foods announced they would be splitting into two companies beginning on 1 October 2012. The confectionery business became Mondelez International, of which Cadbury is a subsidiary.

Philanthropy and marketing

MacRobertson Air Race poster, 1934 Airace.jpg
MacRobertson Air Race poster, 1934

Growth continued through innovative marketing and sponsorships as well as philanthropic donations:

Honours

Robertson was appointed a Knight Bachelor on 3 June 1932, for services to Antarctic expeditions. [7] On New Year's Day 1935, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), for philanthropic services in Victoria. [8]

Notes

  1. "Robertson, Sir Macpherson (1845-1959".
  2. "History of Cadbury – 1930 Freddo". Cadbury's. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  3. Fairfield Bowling Club History
  4. Croquet Australia international croquet website Archived 21 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "MacRobertson's Round Australia Expedition 1928". Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  6. "Photograph x 1 B/W 'MacRobertson' Bust , Letter, Envelope 1922 August Rietmann sculptor, 1922". Victorian Collections. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  7. It's an Honour: Knight Bachelor
  8. It's an Honour: KBE

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cadbury</span> British multinational confectionery company

Cadbury, formerly Cadbury's and Cadbury Schweppes, is a British multinational confectionery company fully owned by Mondelez International since 2010. It is the second largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars. Cadbury is internationally headquartered in Buckinghamshire, and operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. It is known for its Dairy Milk chocolate, the Creme Egg and Roses selection box, and many other confectionery products. One of the best-known British brands, in 2013 The Daily Telegraph named Cadbury among Britain's most successful exports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Freddo</span> Chocolate bar brand

Freddo is a chocolate bar brand shaped like an anthropomorphic cartoon frog. It was originally manufactured by the now defunct company MacRobertson's, an Australian confectionery company, but is now produced by Cadbury. Some of the more popular flavours include strawberry and peppermint while the more controversial flavours like fruit and nut have struggled over the years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MacRobertson Air Race</span> 1934 air race

The MacRobertson Trophy Air Race took place in October 1934 as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations. The race was devised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Harold Gengoult Smith, and the prize money of £15,000 was provided by Sir Macpherson Robertson, a wealthy Australian confectionery manufacturer, on the conditions that the race be named after his MacRobertson confectionery company, and that it was organised to be as safe as possible. A further condition was that a gold medal be awarded to each pilot who completed the course within 16 days.

Picnic is a brand of chocolate bar consisting of milk chocolate and peanuts, covering chewy nougat, caramel, biscuit and puffed rice. Picnic bars are lumpy in shape. It is sold in Australia, parts of Canada, New Zealand, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, India, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The UK and Indian versions differ from the Australasian version in that they also contain raisins. Picnic is an acronym that stands for “peanuts in caramel nougat in chocolate”. Due to sugar taxes and other demands the bar is now 32g in the UK

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mac. Robertson Land</span> Australian antarctic claim

Mac. Robertson Land is the portion of Antarctica lying southward of the coast between William Scoresby Bay and Cape Darnley. It is located at 70°00′S65°00′E. In the east, Mac. Robertson Land includes the Prince Charles Mountains. It was named by the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) (1929–1931), under Sir Douglas Mawson, after Sir Macpherson Robertson of Melbourne, a patron of the expedition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keith Macpherson Smith</span> Australian aviator (1890–1955)

Sir Keith Macpherson Smith, KBE was an Australian aviator, who, along with his brother, Sir Ross Macpherson Smith, Sergeant James Mallett (Jim) Bennett and Sergeant Walter (Wally) Shiers, became the first people to fly from England to Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MacRobertson's</span> Australian company

MacRobertson's, officially the MacRobertson's Steam Confectionery Works, was an Australian company that produced chocolates and various other confectionery. The company was founded in 1880 by Sir Macpherson Robertson and takes its name from a combination of his first and last name. The company was based for over 100 years in Fitzroy, Victoria, but later moved to Ringwood, Victoria. The company also became known for introducing chewing gum and cotton candy to Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Natural Confectionery Company</span> Australian food company

The Natural Confectionery Co. is an Australian confectionery brand, owned by Mondelez International.

Cherry Ripe is a brand of chocolate bar manufactured by Cadbury Australia. Introduced by the Australian confectioner MacRobertson's in 1924, it is now one of Australia's oldest chocolate bars and is one of the top chocolate bar brands sold in the country. It consists of cherries and coconut coated with dark chocolate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MacRobertson International Croquet Shield</span>

The MacRobertson International Croquet Shield is the premier croquet team event in the world. It is currently competed for by Australia, England, New Zealand and the United States. It is known affectionately as the MacRob or just the Mac.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1934 Centenary of Melbourne</span>

The Melbourne Centenary was a 1934 centennial celebration of the founding of the city of Melbourne, Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cadbury's Chocolate Factory, Tasmania</span> Confectionery factory in Tasmania, Australia

Cadbury's Chocolate Factory is the largest chocolate factory in the Southern Hemisphere, producing a company-record of over 60,000 tonnes of chocolate in 2021. Established at Claremont, Tasmania in 1921, the factory and surrounding model village estate marked Cadbury's first business expansion outside the United Kingdom. Cadbury's Claremont is currently owned by the multinational conglomerate Mondelēz International, which purchased Cadbury in 2010.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">E. Wedel</span>

E. Wedel is a Polish confectionery company, which has been producing a variety of chocolates, cakes, and snacks since 1851. Wedel is also a well-recognized brand of candy in Poland, considered to be the "Polish national chocolate brand" in that market, and is the leading candy brand among Polish producers with about 14% of the Polish market in 2005 and 11.7% in 2007.

Schweppes Australia is the non-alcohol business of Asahi Breweries operating in Australia, having arrived in the country in 1850. In 1877, the first factory was built in Sydney. After an international merger with Cadbury in 1969, forming Cadbury Schweppes, the company was eventually re-separated on 27 February 2009 and, in April 2009, Schweppes Australia was acquired by Asahi Breweries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mantecol</span> Argentinian dessert

Mantecol is the brand name of a typical dessert of the cuisine of Argentina, a sort of semi-soft nougat made from peanut butter. It was originally created and marketed in the 1940s by the confectionery company Georgalos, founded by a Greek immigrant, Miguel Georgalos, who took the inspiration in a dessert of Greek cuisine, the halva.

Cadbury is a British multinational confectionery company owned by Mondelēz International. It is the second largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars. Cadbury is headquartered in Uxbridge, London, and operates in more than fifty countries worldwide. Its best known products include Dairy Milk chocolate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The MacRobertson Expedition 1928</span>

The MacRoberston Expedition was the first motorised expedition to travel around the Australian mainland, completing the five month journey between 12 April and 12 September 1928.

Trebor is a brand of confectionery, originally a British company.

Old Gold is a brand of dark chocolate in Australia dating back to 1916, now made by Cadbury.

August Rietmann (1877–1951) was a Swiss-born Australian monumental mason, potter and sculptor also known as August Rietman.

References