C & T Harris: The Complete Collection

C & T Harris: The Complete Collection
By Eben van Tonder
19 June 2021

Photo from our Solheim apartment in Johannesburg. A multi-needle injector from the Harris factory.


The first article I did on C&T Harris appeared on 20 May 2015. Over the years I updated and expanded it. Susan Boddington, a historian and author from Wiltshire was the first person to become a valued collaborator. She continues to work closely with me. Mike Caswell who grew up in Calne joined the efforts with a wealth of first-hand information and sharing the results of dedicated research. There are many others from all over the world.

When I ran the Johannesburg company, Van Wyngaardt with Paul Fickling for Etienne Lotter and his Etlin International, my year and a half in Johannesburg gave me the opportunity to complete the first major draft of my book on the history of bacon, Bacon & the Art of Living. My daughter, Lauren, joined me when she was employed to manage the in-store campaigns for Van Wyngaardt and for weeks on end I would get back to our Solheim apartment where she would prepare dinner while I would write. It gave me the chance to expand this early article into several chapters in my book.

When I contracted Covid a second time in 2021, as sick as I was, I saw an opportunity for another major revision. By this weekend, still recovering, I managed to re-work all the chapters dealing with the Harris operation in Calne. In my book, I presented the story in narrative form. This style may be annoying to some but it proved to a very useful investigative technique as it forced me to think through every process in the 1st person and allowed me to see relationships between seemingly unconnected bits of technology in a completely new and holistic way. By, as it were, “living in the moment,” I gained insights I would never have seen if I simply reported the features of each system separately.

From Bacon & the Art of Living

Below is the list of chapters dealing specifically with the Harris operation for those who desire to confine their enquiry to Harris.

The Invention of the Needle Injection of Brine

One very important additional chapter must be grouped here. Chapter 13.14: Dublin and the Injection of Meat deals with the invention of stitch pumping and arterial injection in particular. Harris used this system for many years. It places the invention of using a needle to inject brine into meat in the right time when Harris started using stitch pumping which directly resulted in the invention of sweet cured bacon. In this chapter, I also develop the benefits of pre-rigour meat injection in great detail. It must logically therefore be grouped with the general work on Harris bacon as it shows the invention of processes which was either pioneered by them or used, in cases where it was invented by others.

Please make contact!

Any contributions or comments can be directed to me at :

Email: ebenvt@gmail.com

Phone Number and Whatsapp: +27 71 545 3029

Cape Town, South Africa.

The Complete History of Bacon.