Tobacco Industry Plaque

Tobacco Industry Plaque

Public Art : Tobacco Industry Plaque

Sculptor : Unknown

Date Erected: October the 1st, 1995

Location : Near Timber Park, Manjimup, Western Australia

History Of Manjimup Tobacco Industry : In the early 1920's the then Premier of Western Australia, James Mitchell, came up with a scheme to get more people settling in the south west regions of the state. He set up the Group Settlement Scheme which invited people from Britain and Europe, who were struggling to find work following the Great War (World War I), to sail to the west and take up land. There was only one big catch, the land had to be cleared. Much of the South West was blessed with tall timbers and in order to begin their new life they had to clear the land, usually by hand or with primitive equipment.

During the 1920's Manjimup introduced a number of new industries, one of those was tobacco growing. Mr Jack Limmer at Dixvale and Mr Nick Palasin are credited with the early development of the Tobacco industry in Manjimup which was helped along in part by Peter Michelides and his brother who used tobacco grown in Manjimup in the making of their cigarettes. Their factory was located on Roe Street in Perth and they had several retail outlets. It wasn't long before the group settlers also began growing tobacco to supplement their income.

During World War II a global shortage of tobacco meant a sudden increase in demand. Michelides Ltd owned about about 1000 acres (405 ha) of tobacco and were producing about a million cigarettes a day. Infortunately the Western Australian tobacco industry was pretty short lived and by the 1960's the curing sheds were all but abandoned. Many blamed the inferior quality of tobacco for the eventual demise of the industry. This was largely due to the high chlorine content level in the locally grown leaf.

Inscription :

Tobacco Industry Plaque

This plaque was erected by the
Manjimup Historical Society Inc.
To mark the contribution the
tobacco industry made to the
prosperity of Manjimup Shire over
a period of many years.
First grown commercially in the
late 1920's production peaked in
the 1950's and ceased completely
in 1961.

October 1st 1995



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