All of Melbourne's meat preserving works in the 19th century were located along the Maribyrnong River. They included the Flemington Meat Preserving Company, the Australian Meat Preserving Company and the Victoria Meat Preserving Company. Meat canning boomed until the turn of the 20th century, when freezing took over from canning as the major activity of the meat industry.

The Flemington Meat Preserving Company was probably established in the 1880s. Vines suggests circa 1890, but Museum Victoria has a medal dated 1888 (NU 29828) awarded at the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition.

However, a niche market remained for meat canning. During World War I the Flemington Meat Preserving Company supplied the military with cans of bully beef.

By-products of the meat industry included tallow (the raw material for soap and candles), leather, glues, margarine, sausage casings, fertilizers and chemical products. The meat and by-products from the industry resulted in pollution of the Maribyrnong and noxious smells.

Vines, Gary (1993). Meat and By-products
Essendon Network for Employment, Education and Training, accessed 12/1/2004.

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