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Searles Leather Expansion; 1895 to 1920 and a look at the Early Leather Industry

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Searles Leather Expansion; 1895 to 1920 and a look at the Early Leather Industry

We are often asked about the early history of the Searles and much of this is displayed in a picture essay on the walls of our Outeniqua room. What is not shown is the Why? Why did the company expand so rapidly and why was it so successful.

This is an attempt to answer the question bearing in mind that all the early Searle board meeting info has been lost. We also look into first leather tanning.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Cape Colony was annexed by the British and officially became their colony in 1815. Britain encouraged settlers to the Cape, and in particular, sponsored the 1820 Settlers to farm in the disputed area between the colony and the Xhosa in what is now the Eastern Cape.

Wolwedans Dam Water Level63%
Wolwedans Dam
Wolwedans dam SouthAfrica.jpg
Wolwedans Dam is located in South Africa
Wolwedans Dam
Location of Wolwedans Dam in South Africa
Official name Wolwedans Dam
Country South Africa
Location Western Cape
Coordinates 34°0′49″S 22°13′0″E / 34.01361°S 22.21667°E
Purpose Water supply
Opening date 1990
Owner(s) Department of Water Affairs
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Arch-gravity
Impounds Great Brak River
Height 70 metres (230 ft)
Length 268 metres (879 ft)
Creates Wolwedans Dam Reservoir
Total capacity 25,530,000 cubic metres (902,000,000 cu ft)
Catchment area 123 km2
Surface area 117 hectares (290 acres)
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