Robert Brand, Wholesale and Retail Dairyman, 30 to 36, Devon Street.ó
There are few branches of industry in which greater or more beneficial improvements have been effected in recent years than that of practical dairying, and it will be readily conceded by all who are acquainted with this business in Glasgow that there are few men who have entered into the reforms with more enterprise and enlightenment than Mr. Robert Brand. A visit to the premises where this extensive business is carried on is most interesting and instructive : their perfect organization both for the practical working of the business, and for the health, comfort, and convenience of the numerous employees, both male and female, is deserving of the highest commendation.
A brief sketch of the establishment will not be uninteresting, commencing with the milk-room, a well-proportioned apartment, measuring some forty-five feet by twenty feet, furnished with slate shelves all round the walls, and covered with glazed or enamelled tiles, the roof being of varnished pine, with large skylights through which light is admitted. This room is used both for the reception and dispatch of fresh milk and cream.
At right angles with this is the washing-room which is about thirty feet square, and fitted with every appliance for cleansing the milk-cans, dishes, &c. There is also a patent capillary refrigerator for cooling the milk supplied to the American steamship companies leaving Glasgow.
Leading off from the washing-room is an apartment called the Lappering Room, measuring twenty-five feet by twenty feet. In this room the process of coagulating the milk is performed preparatory to churning, for which purpose forty tin tanks of seventy gallons each are used.
The churning-room is at right angles with the lappering-room, and is about the same size. This room is admirably arranged for economising labour ; on one side is a large Streamlet churn of one hundred and fifty gallons capacity, and opposite to this is another churn of the same make, but of three hundred and sixty gallons measure. Both of these are connected by belting with the engine. Placed between these two large churns is an American combination butter-washer and worker. This is a most ingeniously constructed machine, and the only one in use in Glasgow. In fact Mr. Brand knows of only one similar machine in the United Kingdom, viz. at the Aylesbury Dairy Company, Limited.
Mr. Brand has recently added to his machinery a new patent milk-tester made by Messrs. Wakon, Laidlaw & Co., Dundas Street, Kingston, Glasgow. This machine is one of the most simple but at the same time one of the most trustworthy ever produced. No less than twelve samples of milk can be tested at one time, the whole operation occupying about three minutes only, whereas under the old testing process at least twenty-four hours were required (in cases of analysis at least three days). Thus it will be seen how beneficial it must be to one engaged in this business.
Passing from the churning-room the butter-room is arrived at. This apartment runs parallel with the milk-room, having a large yard space between, and is about the same size as the other rooms. Here the butter is put up in half-pound prints and allowed to float in cold water, which is done to harden it. For this purpose is a large bath fifteen feet by five feet, lined with ornamental Minton tiles, and having marble copes, and supplied with spray. In this room also is a large patent Zimmerian refrigerator for storing butter in the summer, and capable of receiving two thousand half-pound prints.
Adjacent to this department, but separated by a thick wall to preclude the heat, is the engine-room and engine, which supplies the motive power to all the machinery. This is a model of cleanliness and brightness, and is kept in admirable order.
Leaving now what may be termed the manufacturing department we turn to the domestic arrangements. Entering from the yard, about the centre of the butter-room, is an iron staircase leading to the floor above ; on the right is the kitchen, a room twenty-five feet by twenty, fitted with a gas-cooking stove and all the necessary culinary appliances.
Adjacent to this is the housekeeperís room. It is necessary here to explain that Mr. Brand boards and lodges all his unmarried employees, male and female. Passing by the kitchen and housekeeperís room, a corridor leads to the female servantsí rooms, which consists of reading-room with small library, and dormitory. This corridor is thirty feet in length. A staircase at the end, and at right angles, leads to the back premises, and is only used by females. At the foot of this stair is a large bath and lavatory lighted from overhead, and lined with varnished white pine.
On the left of the staircase first mentioned is the menís reading-room, thirty feet by eighteen, in which is a good collection of standard works supplied by Mr. Brand. This room is heated by steam-pipes covered by ornamental gratings, thus reducing the risk of fire to a minimum. In all the domestic departments the heating is effected by steam-pipes and the cooking by gas. Between the kitchen and menís reading-room is the storeroom and larder, twenty feet by nine, and fitted with white pine varnished.
Ascending by another iron stair, the third flat is reached, which is altogether devoted to the unmarried male employees. At the head of the stairs on the left is a room, twenty-four feet by fifteen, used for keeping the menís boxes and spare clothes, &c. Facing this is the menís dormitory, forty-five feet by twenty, and lighted from the sides and above. In this are fourteen iron bedsteads, most comfortably furnished. A passage leads from the dormitory to a large bath, lavatories, &c. The premises throughout are fitted with white varnished pine.
A marked and impressive feature of the whole establishment is the perfect organisation, scrupulous cleanliness, and the bright and cheerful appearance that is everywhere manifest. Neither pains nor expense has been considered in making all the arrangements perfect, and providing everything requisite for the moral and material comfort of all the employees.
Mr. Brand has also extensive premises on the other side of the street, which until recently were used as byres, but are now converted into stables, yard, and sheds, for the vans, &c. Twenty horses and eighteen vans are constantly, employed. The offices, which are on the same side as the main buildings, are very large and handsomely appointed.
Some idea of the extent of this business may be gathered from the fact that milk is received from between forty and fifty farms, and in the aggregate upwards of eighty people are employed in the various departments. Mr. Brand has now adopted a plan whereby the greatest possible care is taken to prevent milk of a doubtful character being received. This is, as far as practicable, done in this way : each farmer supplying milk, with each consignment has to send a printed guarantee that none but healthy persons are engaged in or about his dairy, and also as to the purity of the milk sent. All the milk and butter supplied are of the best and purest quality, and it is to strict attention to this that Mr. Brand attributes the great success that he has achieved, and the development of this business from a modest beginning to one of the largest and certainly the best organised and conducted dairying establishments in Scotland.
It may be mentioned that Mr. Brand is the owner of the premises 30 to 36, Devon Street, and lives at 32, above the shop he has in connection with the wholesale business. He has also a branch establishment at 73, Maxwell Road, Pollokshields, and several shops in the city. It will be easily inferred from the foregoing that Mr. Brand is quite an enthusiast in the business, and it is no flattery to state that there are few men better known or more highly esteemed in business circles ; and by his well-known integrity, spirited enterprise, and genial courtesy ; Mr. Brand has secured the confidence and support of a most extensive and valuable connection.
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