Although there are several excellent scientific works dealing in a detailed manner with the cacao bean and its products from the various view points of the technician, there is no comprehensive modern work written for the general reader. Until that appears, I offer this little book, which attempts to cover lightly but accurately the whole ground, including the history of cacao, its cultivation and manufacture. This is a small book in which to treat of so large a subject, and to avoid prolixity I have had to generalise. This is a dangerous practice, for what is gained in brevity is too often lost in accuracy: brevity may be always the soul of wit, it is rarely the body of truth. The expert will find that I have considered him in that I have given attention to recent developments, and if I have talked of the methods peculiar to one place as though they applied to the whole world, I ask him to consider me by supplying the inevitable variations and exceptions himself.
The book, though short, has taken me a long time to write, having been written in the brief breathing spaces of a busy life, and it would never have been completed but for the encouragement I received from Messrs. Cadbury Bros., Ltd., who aided me in every possible way. I am particularly indebted to the present Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Mr. W.A. Cadbury, for advice and criticism, and to Mr. Walter Barrow for reading the proofs. The members of the staff to whom I am indebted are Mr. W. Pickard, Mr. E.J. Organ, Mr. T.B. Rogers; also Mr. A. Hackett, for whom the diagrams in the manufacturing section were originally made by Mr. J.W. Richards. I am grateful to Messrs. J.S. Fry and Sons, Limited, for information and photographs. In one or two cases I do not know whom to thank for the photographs, which have been culled from many sources. I have much pleasure in thanking the following: Mr. R. Whymper for a large number of Trinidad photos; the Director of the Imperial Institute and Mr. John Murray for permission to use three illustrations from the Imperial Institute series of handbooks to the Commercial Resources of the Tropics; M. Ed. Leplae, Director-General of Agriculture, Belgium, for several photos, the blocks of which were kindly supplied by Mr. H. Hamel Smith, of Tropical Life; Messrs. Macmillan and Co. for five reproductions from C.J.J. van Hall's book on Cocoa; and West Africa for four illustrations of the Gold Coast.
The photographs reproduced on pages 2, 23, 39, 47, 49 and 71 are by Jacobson of Trinidad, on pages 85 and 86 by Underwood & Underwood of London, and on page 41 by Mrs. Stanhope Lovell of Trinidad.
The industry with which this book deals is changing slowly from an art to a science. It is in a transition period (it is one of the humours of any live industry that it is always in a transition period). There are many indications of scientific progress in cacao cultivation; and now that, in addition to the experimental and research departments attached to the principal firms, a Research Association has been formed for the cocoa and chocolate industry, the increased amount of diffused scientific knowledge of cocoa and chocolate manufacture should give rise to interesting developments.
Birmingham, February, 1920.
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