Copyright © 2012 Chiswick Polish
Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish
Dan & Charles Mason, pioneers of the shoe polish industry in Chiswick
Around the Works "Polish Manufacture and Filling"
Purified waxes are emptied into the melting-pots
Containers being fed to the filling machines
Applying lids to the filled containers prior to stacking
The materials available for use in polish are many and varied and originate from all parts of the globe. Essentially, however, the mixture consists of wax and solvent, the later serving to soften the wax so that it can spread easily and then evaporate during the polishing to leave only a film of dry wax.
In practice, however, it is not quite so simple. For one thing, there is no one wax which can alone form a satisfactory paste. Likewise, varying types of solvents behave very differently in the paste. It is in the successful choice and blending of these materials that the art of making an efficient wax polish lies.
On the top floor of the Polish Building are the Wax Melting Rooms. Here purified waxes, tested and measured to exact chemical formulae, are shot into great steam-heated vessels called 'melters.' In the melters the wax becomes liquid and, in this state, is run through pipes to the mixing pots beneath. In these mixers, which are also steam-heated, solvents, pumped upwards from ground-floor level, are added to the wax until it is properly dissolved, Then dyes or pigments are included and the mixing continues.
When the polish is 'cooked' the Laboratory chemists take samples and, if the batch is passed by them, the liquid is run through another pipe system into the filling machines on the floor below.
Here a specified filling temperature is maintained. In general, fully automatic machines are employed for filling our smaller lines and, by means of these, polish is ejected, through lines of nozzles, into containers moving forward on conveyors. With the larger sizes of tins we use semi-automatic machines in which the flow of polish is controlled by the operator--a job that requires skill and judgement.
As soon as the tins are filled the conveyors carry them forward into cooling boxes where currents of cold air help the polish to set. Still moving at the same speed the containers are carried through to the topping tables where teams of girls are waiting to apply the lids. Finally, the closed tins are stacked into boxes to allow the polish to set completely. At this stage, samples are again taken to the Laboratory so that details of each batch of polish passed may be filed for reference. The polish is now ready for sending to the packing departments to be prepared for despatch to home and overseas customers.
This article first appeared in the Vol. VIII No 7 Summer 1954 ' Forward ' The house magazine of Chiswick Products Ltd,