Mackintosh Business Growth

"Early to bed, early to rise,
never get drunk and advertise."

John Mackintosh knew nothing about glucose, vanillian crystals or even of thermometers. There was sugar, butter and a pan to boil the mixture in. Good quality commonsense, fair dealing and advertising did the rest. Highly coloured and highly flavoured sweets were then popular, and these, together with chocolates, had the confectionery trade practically to themselves. Mr. Mackintosh's venture was regarded as risky, but from the first he realised the value of such a homely commodity as toffee as a commercial article, and from being a trivial article of trade he raised it to its present position as the national sweetmeat.

Trade increased so rapidly that the shop became too small, and a stall was opened in the market, a smart young man being put in charge. The toffee was still boiled at home, poured into trays, and packed in a tin travelling trunk. It was carried to market in a hand-cart, and was broken up with a hammer on arrival. Not till years later was it cut up by machinery into small pieces and wrapped and packed in the dainty, form now familiar to us. The hand-cart was eventually superseded by a horse and cart. Soon the retail shop gave place to a small manufacturing business, and its first home was in a warehouse in Bond Street, Halifax. This was in 1894. The following year the business was removed to somewhat larger premises in Hope Street, the top floor of which was rented. Trade continued to increase and in 1899 the factory in Queen's Road was built and equipped with the most modern machinery most of which was designed by John Mackintosh himself. The following year the business was turned into a private company, and other factories were acquired in the town.

The second six years were taken up in establishing business in the North of England and in the Midlands. The method was to work a county at a time and do it thoroughly. No town was missed, but each was worked methodically. A map was kept in the office, with pins something like those used in marking the advances on war maps and different coloured pins were used as 'unworked' towns became 'worked' towns. This kind of thing went on for many years, until at last there was not a town and scarcely a village where their goods were not to be found and every town was regularly visited by Mackintosh representatives.

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