Mackenzie's Boiling-Down Works

Mackenzie's Boiling-Down Works

Stage Number: MBSH.03.02.29

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: Kangaroo Point-East Brisbane

Epoch: Early 19th Century

Street Address: Kangaroo Point

Latitude & Longitude: -27.46566667,153.03413889

Time Link: 1844

Map Link: TBA

Image Time Point: TBA

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There were a few ‘boiling down’ works opened in Kangaroo Point during the 1840s, the most notable ones being owned by Evan Mackenzie and John Campbell. ‘Boiling down’ involved rendering fat from animal carcasses to produce tallow, which was then used make soap and candles, among other things. This industry grew during the 1840s when the export price for Australian wool slumped, the local market for mutton was flooded, and the value of sheep plummeted. Boiling down allowed more economic value to be extracted from the sheep. The process was described in the Brisbane Courier: ‘The stock were shot, flayed, hung up, quartered, chopped in pieces, and thrown into huge iron vats, licensed to carry 16 to 24 bullocks, and three times as many sheep, at once. These were “The Pots.” In them the fat was boiled out, skimmed into buckets, poured thence into casks, which were then banded up and were ready for shipment. The offal went to the pigs… The aroma of the establishment was so powerful that many persons devised schemes for minimising it, but none was very satisfactory. In 1846 there were boiled down in the colony 40,500 sheep and 10,400 cattle. Three years later the figures reached 743,000 sheep and 45,000 cattle; but by that time Kangaroo Point had lost its boiling-down establishment.’


Brisbane Courier, 22 June 1926.

Image Citations

Early sketch of Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, 1860s. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Record number: 139629.

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