ANGLO: brief in english
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION MUSEUM
FRAY BENTOS – URUGUAY
Contact: Rene Boretto Ovalle
Phone: 00598 56 23464 or 00598 56 23690
Justus von Liebig (1802-1873) was an insigne German chemist whose scientific activity was decisive for a total renovation of chemistry and his studies a contribution for mankind. His discoveries and inventions modified a traditional structure in the interpretation and valuation of the phenomena of feeding the human beings and animals. From Liebig’s the knowledge has been revolutionary on the chemistry of foods and the organic substances that take part in the human and animal diet.
One of Liebig´s most important inventions was the MEAT EXTRACT (extractum carnis). 10 years were needed to find the way to process it to an industrialized production. That moment arrived when the German engineer GEORG GIEBERT proposed to Liebig the elaboration of the extract in South America, where the cattle was available in good quantities.
FRAY BENTOS, on the coast of the Uruguay River, was the site chosen for the project, which began in 1863, to become in 1865 the LIEBIG MEAT EXTRACT COMPANY, a successful commercial and industrial activity in the western world.
The meat extract, as other products from the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) region, made the name Fray Bentos very well known in Europe, from half of the XIX century, this name became the identification of successful products well known today, especially throughout the United Kingdom.
The production required an ample space in constructions, as well as suitable places in the field for the growth and maintenance of the animals, base for this business. Step by step, the factory grew and it was constantly modified, in accordance of the requirements of feeding in Europe considering the long period of conflicts that included the Franc-Prussian War upto the 2nd. World War.
With advanced architecture and technical concepts, this site was considered as the place where the industrial revolution was born in the Rio de la Plata, due to the important introduction of technology from Europe and the United States, changing diverse concepts and systems in the region, industry, transport, communications, handling and administration of the fields, etc.
From Liebig´s time, the most important product was the meat extract, which was made in tons and was sent break bulk to be canned in 20 kilos units in Europe, splitting the product for England and Belgium. Also the organic fertilizers, bone meal, leathers, salted meat and the preserves were produced in large quantities.
The trade name (brand) where the products were sold in Europe, was “OXO” and from 1910 a great variety of those items, made famous to everything exported from Fray Bentos, to the extent that the brand “FRAY BENTOS” was also used to identify the corned beef.
On the ANGLO ‘’times’’, productions of meats cooled and frozen, and corned beef were processed and packed canned fruits, and vegetables, birds, pigs, as well as soap stand out. Sub products in an amount superior to 200 items made reality that “the only thing that failed to take part of the industrial process was the “mooo”of the cows”…
In this place, the most important thing was not the thousands of cattle heads that were slaughtered, neither the machines of the latest technology, nor the buildings… but the People who worked there. In addition to Uruguayan and Argentine, immigrants of sixty countries of the world arrived attracted by the jobs, contributing to the creation of a cosmopolitan society
Our Museum is the tribute to that People, men and women, who came here, many of them got married and their children and grandsons also worked between these walls, to the influence of the production of our farming wealth.
The Municipal Government of Rio Negro, has taken the challenge for the recovery of our industrial patrimony, but making emphasis in the social aspect, maintaining the human values in its brotherly union around the effective work.
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