The Tools of a Real Willy Wonka | Smithsonian Voices

October could be about costumes, pumpkins, treats and candies. But have you ever wondered how all this chocolate is made? What types of machines are used? Let’s go back to the beginning of the 20th century to learn more about some of these chocolate machines.

This commercial catalog is entitled Samuel Carey Chocolate Machines (circa 1915) by Samuel Carey. It includes machines for various stages of the chocolate making process, such as roasters, blenders, blenders, refiners, enrobing machines, etc.

Brown paper brochure cover with brown embossed text.

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), front cover.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

At the time of printing of this catalog, Samuel Carey’s factory was located in Glendale, Brooklyn, New York, while their office was located in New York. This particular catalog includes an exterior image of the Glendale plant and an interior image of the plant assembly floor, both shown below. Let’s go through this catalog to learn a little more about some of the machines built in this factory.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), unnumbered page [3], exterior view of the Glendale plant.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), unnumbered page [5], interior view of the factory assembly floor.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

One machine was the Cocoa Bean Roaster. According to this catalog, there were several ideas regarding the roasting of cocoa beans. He explains that at the time, some thought that slow roasting was best “to retain the flavor of the cocoa,” while others preferred quick roasting. There were also preferences as to whether or not steam should escape during the roasting process. Samuel Carey built roasters capable of both fast or slow roasting and the ability to control the escape of steam for wet or dry roasting.

The model of a cocoa bean roaster that produced a moderate yield is shown below. Due to the arrangement of the agitators inside the drum of this machine, the batch was “constantly and thoroughly mixed”. This, as explained in the catalog, produced a uniform roast of the cocoa beans. It was also possible to test the grains at any time during the process.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), page 8, Cocoa Bean Roaster model.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

The 60 inch rotating bed mixer did the heavy dough mixing job. As the catalog explained, its purpose was to “merge the cocoa liquor and the sugar into a form as received by the finisher”. This particular mixer (bottom left) consisted of granite rollers and a granite bed. A practical feature was its deep pan. The inner turntable, or turntable, extended upward to about 1 inch from the outer casing. This created a deep pan to prevent materials inside the pan from spilling over the edge and creating waste. Under the pot was a large coil of pipe for heating.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), page 28, Mixers.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

While this catalog recommends the rotating bed mixer for dough mixing, Samuel Carey also sold the chocolate dough mixer, pictured below. It had the ability to create a thick paste and was available in two sizes, a 500 pound or 1000 pound capacity.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), page 34, chocolate paste mixer.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Another section of this catalog refers to the refining and development process. He explains that by these terms they mean to merge, smooth and remove moisture, which is especially important for tailoring with a finish, stroke or ornament. One of the machines used for this process was the Nine Foot Coating Refiner, shown below. It had a capacity of 6,500 pounds per batch.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), page 48, Nine Foot Coating Refiner.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

As explained on the page below, Samuel Carey’s company worked with Mr. Smith to build the patented Smithstroke coating machine. The goal was to build a coating machine that would produce the same type of product previously made by hand. The machine was fully automatic, from the start, when the material was placed there, until the end, when the goods arrived in the hands of the packer who prepared the chocolates for shipment. Below are several photographic reproductions of chocolates made on the Smithstroke.

Nothing

Samuel Carey, Brooklyn, New York. Samuel Carey Chocolate Machinery (circa 1915), page 69, Photographic reproductions of chocolates made on the patented Smithstroke coating machine.

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Samuel Carey Chocolate Machines (circa 1915) by Samuel Carey is in the Trade Literature Collection of the National Museum of American History Library. Looking for more candy literature? Take a look at this blog post on W. Hillyer Ragsdale’s 1922 correspondence courses that taught students how to make and sell candy.

About Debra D. Johnson

Check Also

Essential Tools You Need To Start Your Blogging Journey (Infographic) / Digital Information World

So you want to start a blog. Believe it or not, content marketing (i.e. blogging) …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *