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British Industrial History

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George Samuel Baker

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George Samuel Baker (1860-1935) of Joseph Baker and Sons

1860 Born in Canada

1935 Obituary [1]

GEORGE SAMUEL BAKER, who was born at Trenton, Canada, and received his education at the Collegiate Institute, Kingston, Ontario, was one of the original members of the firm of Joseph Baker and Sons, which was founded in Canada but moved to England in 1878. The firm originally settled in City Road, London - where Mr. Baker served his apprenticeship - moving to larger premises at Willesden Junction in 1890. When the business was changed to a limited liability company in 1902, Mr. Baker became managing director, and held this position until his retirement in 1918.

The firm manufactured a variety of machines and ovens required in the bread, biscuit, chocolate, and confectionery trades. One of Mr. Baker's earliest and most successful inventions was the automatic wafer-baking machine; before its introduction wafers were always made on hand tongs, one operator managing three or four pairs. The automatic machine had twelve pairs of tongs coupled together to form an endless chain; it also incorporated automatic feeding of batter to the plates, and accurate temperature control of the gas-fired oven. Later Mr. Baker introduced various improvements into mixing machines, and also concentrated on the development of completely automatic plant for bread manufacture.

A large number of these plants, built at Willesden, were exported to the United States in the years preceding the War. He also devised machines for the cutting out, stamping, and automatic placing of biscuits on baking pans, and designed travelling ovens, and mixing and grinding machinery for cocoa and chocolate manufacture. During the war, the works were equipped. for the making of shell cases, but several automatic army bakeries were also manufactured.

After his retirement Mr. Baker lived at West Mersea, Essex, where his death occurred on 27th April 1935, in his seventy-fifth year.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1897.

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