History of Ceylon Tea - Forum

GENERAL => Planting Practices => Topic started by: admin on August 09, 2008, 06:16:22 PM

Title: Iron Extractor posted by Michael Cooke
Post by: admin on August 09, 2008, 06:16:22 PM

Dear Readers,

When my Dad was planting on Wigton Estate, Rozelle in 1965 Wigton had a new Tea Factory built in 1964. There was an iron extractor in the factory. When the process of tea manufacture was completed the made tea was sent to the Iron Extractor ( a manual process) prior to a packing break. It was a wooden gadget with a magnetic base.

One evening Dad brought in an envelope of nails and other metal objects which may have got caught up with human consumption. Has anybody else seen a similar iron extraxctor?

Wigton became a division of Templestowe in 1978 and the factory was eventually dismantled. Some of the machinery was sent to other estates which came under JEDB IV and others were sent to Templestowe Factory to upgade it.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cooke.

RE: Iron Extractor. Terry Mills 22/12/06 05:04


I was the Resident Engineer in Ceylon for Sirocco from 1955-1960 and visited very many of the tea factories during this time. I later went to the East and Central African tea estates and never saw the 'iron extractor' that you describe.

The nearest would be a Japanese 'Stalk Extractor' which I did see in a few factories and which did extract, not only stalks, but screws and nails.

I think this 'Iron Extractor' could be a home-made job with magnetised bars to attract and remove the iron elements in the made tea. After all, if the magnets are strong enough it should remove any iron particles. Eventually, when all the screws are removed, the machine will probably fall to pieces !!!! (This is just my sense of humour)


RE: Iron Extractor. Michael Cooke 29/12/06 10:26

Dear Terry,

Thank you very much for the information about a the iron extractor.

You may be correct about the gadget being hand made because it was entirely a manual process. The made teas went through it finally before a packing break.

With Compiments of the Season,

Yours sincerely,


RE: Iron Extractor. glen 30/12/06 14:24

Hi Michael,

Re: 'Iron Extractor' , oddly enough I do recall my father Edmund Burke and my uncle George Patterson discuss the virtues of the 'modern' iron extracto. Only now do I realise they were referring to 'tea manufacturing machinery'. Thanks once again for sharing such knowledge with us readers.

Wishing you complements of the Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours.

Kind regards.

RE: Iron Extractor. Michael Cooke 02/01/07 15:06

Dear Glenorah,

I am glad that you identified the "iron extractor" as part of tea manufacturing machinary. Nowhere in he island have I heard of one other than in Wigton Factroy which has been seice dismantled.

With best wishes and complements of the season.

Yours sincerely,


RE: Iron Extractor. Alastair 07/02/07 13:54

I never heard of the gadget but obviously it worked. Have you thought of putting in some of your Dad's works of art (cartoons) on the site. I am sure that there will be people who would appreciate them.

RE: Iron Extractor. Michael Cooke 07/02/07 17:34

Dear Alastair,

I was thinking of this myself but it is a tedious job. I have to depend on the scanner at office and unlike photographs pictures put on to the scanner will be cumbersome. Nevertheless, I might try.

Those who reside overseas are interested in this site and I have got one or two commendations for my efforts.
Yours sincerely,