Summary

This business card was used by Karl Muffler while pastry chef and business owner at The Embassy cake shop, 224 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, 1935-1938.

This item relates to Karl Friedrich Muffler, qualified pastry chef and confectioner, born in 1900, who migrated to Melbourne from Germany in 1930, aboard the passenger liner 'Balranald'. Muffler quickly established himself in Melbourne, commencing employment with Bill Ikinger (who had recruited and sponsored him) at his cake shop in Brunswick, as well as joining the long-running German establishment 'Club Tivoli'. Muffler went on to establish his own business, 'The Embassy' in Malvern, and in 1939 married fellow German migrant Mathilde 'Hilde' Mayer. At this time they were members of the 'German Labour Front' of which Adolf Mayer (Hilde's father) was president. On 4th September, 1939 Karl Muffler, along with dozens of other German residents (including his father-in-law), was placed into police custody as an enemy alien. He was transferred to Tatura internment camp in northern Victoria and while there undertook woodcarving and drafting classes and worked as a cake decorator. He was transferred to a Forestry Commission camp in Broadford, and finally released in 1945. With no family left in Germany he decided to stay in Australia and became naturalised in 1947. He and Hilde had two daughters. After the war, Muffler accepted a position at William Angliss Food Trades School in Melbourne teaching ex-servicemen new skills in cake decoration. He also worked at Paterson's cake shop in Windsor until well into the 1970s. He maintained a connection to the German community though Club Tivoli and died in 1996.

Description of Content

Business cards used by Karl Muffler while pastry chef and business owner at The Embassy in Malvern, late 1930s

Physical Description

White standard sized card with black print. 'K.Muffler (The Embassy) for quality Cakes and Pastry. Continental Specialties, Birthday and Wedding Cakes, 224 Glenferrie Road Malvern'

Significance

This rich and diverse collection enables the exploration of a number of important historical themes, relating to migration as well as broader work and wartime narratives. Of key interest is the theme of working life and the proactive transporting of commercial and culinary traditions to Australia via the immigration process. Represented are the operational activities of pastry businesses around Melbourne in the 1930s, brought to life through tools and business records. The theme of internment and restriction of 'enemy aliens' during World War II can be explored through documents, mementoes, drawings, tokens and internment craft, and this collection is complemented by a large number of documents relating to Muffler held by the National Archives of Australia.The collection also provides a comprehensive overview of a migrant's experience: from garnering qualifications in country of origin to migrating; establishing a working life as practitioner and teacher; community connections and the subsequent consequences of those activities; the establishment of a domestic and social life, through marriage and ongoing cultural links; and the experiences of loss through separation through relocation, and loss of family due to war.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Karl Muffler German Pastry Chef Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Migration & Cultural Diversity

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Ms Sue Muffler, 27/4/2005

  • User

    Karl Friedrich Muffler, 224 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1935-1938

  • Inscriptions

    Text; PHONE U 4761/K. MUFFLER/(The Embassy)/FOR QUALITY CAKES AND PASTRY CONTINENTAL/SPECIALTIES, BIRTHDAY AND WEDDING CAKES/224 GLENFERRIE ROAD,/MALVERN, S.E.4.

  • Classification

    Trades, Baking, Promotional materials

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    History

  • Type of item

    Document

  • Overall Dimensions

    89 (Width), 54 (Height)

  • References

    Tatura Museum has been consulted about the value of the internment related material. Pastry cook contact has provided identification for all the pastry tools and equipment. For the supplementary file: - Copies of telephone interviews with Karl Muffler's daughters: Sue Muffler and Jennifer Anderson (also on g:drive); - Copy of 'Research Project: 'A Recipe For Life: Narratives of Community, Family and Work in the Experience of a German Migrant in the 1930s' by Nina Jankelson (Melbourne University History in the Field Project 2005). Also on g:drive; - Details of large amount of war time documents held by National Archives and on g drive; - 2 x copies of 3 references typed in purple by Karl Muffler (transcripts); - 9 x sheets of German recipes and ingredients (in German), most with letterhead or stamped 'Carl Brand GMBH KOLN HANSAPING, c1926-27

  • Keywords

    Cake Decorating, Forestry Camps, German Communities, German Immigration, Internment Camps, Pastry Making