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2-265 (Raw)

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Being in town at the time our ewes were going through the melting pot, I took advantage of the opportunity to see something of the process, which, as far as slaughtering and dressing was concerned was not an exhilarating spectacle, in the case of our own sheep especially, as many of the ewes were individually known to us and had received particular names. The operation, like shearing, being paid for by the hundred, was very rapidly performed, the dressed appearance being of no importance whatever. [293] The following day, when the meat was set, they were quartered and thrown into large wooden vats which, when full, had their manholes securely fastened down against the escape of steam which was then let in from a boiler at a somewhat high pressure. After a certain time the meat was completely disintegrated and all the fat dissolved out. The manholes were then opened for cooling down and the liquid fat was drawn out through several taps at different heights; lower taps were opened in succession while the clear, white fat flowed through them and until the gravy appeared, when the flow was stopped; the residue was then emptied out through openings in the bottom and put, minus the bones, into gunny bags and subjected to screw pressure to get the last of the fat squeezed out, the gravy and fat being put into receptacles, with taps, to settle and have the remaining fat drawn off.
The meat residue, void of all its fat, was then conveyed to adjoining yards, where, with the entrails, it formed a fine wallowing mess for a herd of pigs which had no Board of Health to look after them, and which with the whole of the operations of two or more establishments of the kind, diffused such an effluvia that was almost overpowering at a half mile's distance. Such was the process from 1842 to 1848 or '50.