Section of Flour Store.Section of Flour Store.

Passing through to the back, we enter the despatch room, and divided off by a glass partition is a store for all kinds of advertising material, which, needless to add in the case of an up-to-date firm like this, is of no inconsiderable importance in the general arrangements. On this level in the rear portion is the well-equipped engine house, and adjoining it a separate building, specially constructed on most substantial foundations, for the electric installation, in which a complete plant of engine, dynamo, and accessories, for lighting the whole is laid down. In this room a noticeable feature of the establishment is the absence of dust and the freedom from vibration. Outside is another two-storey building, in which is a boiler six feet in diameter by thirty feet in length ; and across the yard from this point (as shewn in our view) are well-built stables, harness rooms, forage stores, and van sheds, for the accommodation of the well-groomed horses and the vehicles used in the work of delivery. A portion of the yard is enclosed by glass roofing, in order that the vans can be loaded under cover direct from the packing room.

Returning to the main building, the general disposition of the working departments may be thus summarised:—On the upper floor are large stocks of flour, and here is placed the plant by which the flour is prepared prior to packing, a process requiring the utmost care and attention, and always carried out under the personal supervision of one of the principals. The flours used in blending are invariably of the finest qualities, and very large stocks are held; these are mixed together by specially-designed machinery, the unique feature of the preparation of "Eureka" flour being that it is mixed at least one hundred and twenty times, and is then passed through a very fine mesh-sieve before passing to the packing room, thus ensuring its being absolutely free from the slightest impurity. During the mixing process the special ingredient, which is of course in a nature the trade secret of the firm, and which gives the " Eureka " flour its aerated quality, is added, and the finished article is then passed through hoppers to the floor beneath, known as the "Flour Room" [see view].

Before following the further stages it should be mentioned here that, from a dietetic point of view, "Eureka " Aerated Flour possesses properties which render it possible for the person with the weakest digestion to partake of cakes and pastry produced from it without fear of any unpleasant after results. The ingredients used in the preparation of "Eureka" Aerated Flour are quite innocuous and entirely free from alum or other adulteration. Its purity and perfect digestibility are fully established by numerous analytical tests, conducted from time to time by such eminent experts as, to mention a few well-known names:—Granville H. Sharpe, Esq., F.C.S., late Principal of the Liverpool School of Chemistry; Arthur Hill Hassall, Esq., M.D. ; E. J. Clayton, Esq., F.C.S.; Lawrence Briant, Esq., F.C.S. and F.R.M.S. ; and E. B. Truman, Esq., M.D., the Borough Analyst of the City of Nottingham. An equally forcible testimony to the exceptional qualities of "Eureka" Aerated Flour is contained in the following letter from Mr. E. Pouard, late chef to the Guard of Her Majesty the Queen :—

"Queen's Guard, St. James' Palace, London, S.W.

"Mr. W. A. Coombs,

"Dear Sir,—Having given your 'Eureka' Aerated Flour an exhaustive trial, I can say I have found it to be superior to most in use, and I can safely recommend it to any persons who desire light and economical pastries, &c, and consider it a great boon and saving to all large culinary establishments. 
                                                                      "I remain, yours faithfully, E. Pouard."

Resuming our tour of inspection we enter the before-mentioned flour room, a fine well-lighted lofty floor with an area of 6,300 sq. ft. of flooring, where the material is taken in charge by a number of deft-handed healthy-looking female employes, who are occupied in packing the flour into the various sized bags, an occupation performed with remarkable precision, and by very expeditious methods the floor beneath is occupied in a similar manner. Every provision is made for the comfort and convenience of these young women, a comfortable mess-room, with dressing-room, and a large room for recreation and instruction, testifying to the attention paid by the firm to these details, over which a lady manageress gives close supervision. The new premises are replete with labour-saving appliances for facilitating the work in these several departments, a steam lift is fitted to all the floors to convey the goods from the basement to the top storey, and every floor is provided with lavatories of the most up-to-date description. A special feature of the arrangements is a hot-air room, where all the boxes and cases are thoroughly dried before filling for despatch.

Good light, perfect ventilation and scrupulous cleanliness is everywhere noticeable, and cannot fail to impress the most casual visitor to this admirably organised establishment.

The success that the "Eureka" Aerated Flour has achieved has led to the introduction of other food specialties, each one perfect of its kind, and in the preparation of which the same scientific study and minute care has been displayed, amongst which special mention may be made of Coombs' Custard Powder, a rich high-class dainty; Coombs' Blanc Mange Powder, in lemon, strawberry, pine-apple, vanilla, and raspberry flavours, etc., suitable for all seasons and all climates ; Coombs' Egg Powder, which is a perfect substitute for eggs; Coombs' Light Pastry Powder, indispensable in either cottage or mansion; it makes, without the addition of yeast or baking powder, delicious bread, cakes, pastry or puddings. This speciality is recommended where plain flour instead of Coombs' Eureka Self-Raising Flour is in use. Coombs' Malted Food, most suitable for invalids and infants, it is exceptionally nutritious, invigorating, and extremely palatable. The whole of these preparations are tastefully packed in packets and boxes and at prices to suit the million, ranging as they do from one penny per packet upwards. The firm also supply Farrar's Isobel Pastry Roller, the rights in which has become their property by purchase.

The London establishment of the Company, at 8 and 8a Farringdon Road, is under the able direction of Mr. D. Y. Lorimer, and comprises the depot, a sale-room, general and private offices, and stabling and coach-house. These premises adjoin the Great London Food Markets and the Farringdon Road Joint Railway Station. The trade done from here in London itself is very extensive, and it also includes the South Coast and Home Counties.

These districts, like every other portion of the United Kingdom, are regularly visited by the firm's travellers, most of whom have been associated with it for many years. Mr. W. A. Coombs, the founder and guiding spirit of this enterprising concern, is a native of Linslade, Leighton Buzzard. He is a Liberal in politics, and has always been a prominent supporter of temperance principles. He is a member of the committee of the Universal Cookery and Food Association whose headquarters are at 329 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, an association whose object is the advancement of the Sciences of Cookery and Domestic Economy, which numbers amongst its patrons H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, K.G. and H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, K.G.

In concluding this necessarily brief review of an interesting manufacture, it remains to add that public opinion on the merits of Coombs' "Eureka" Flour is best expressed in the remarkable figures of increased consumption previously quoted, while with this should also be included the number of awards obtained by the specialty at the principal exhibitions representing a grand total of thirteen gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, important amongst which ranks the Gold Medal obtained in 1897, at the Brussels International Exhibition, under the distinguished patronage of H.M. the King of the Belgians.

In addition the firm have been the recipients of two diplomas of honour, the whole furnishing incontrovertible testimony to the real excellence and enduring popularity of their productions.

The latest honours gained by this firm's productions consist of the highest award at Winnipeg Exhibition, 1898, for all their goods, the news of which has just been received by them.

Back View of Premises.
Back View of Premises.