Book titled MacRobertson Abroad, written in diary form by Macpherson Robertson - 'Mac' - founder of MacRobertson Pty Ltd. It outlines his travels in 1927-28 - 'a tour by Australia's confectionary millionaire among his fellow abroad'. He had last been overseas in 1893, when he 'encountered suspicion and reticence'; now he was 'hailed as a master, with infinitely more to teach the best of them than he had to learn.' The book was published 'with characteristic generosity' - Mac bearing the cost of publication and donating the proceeds of sales to the MacRobertson Employers' Sick and Accident Fund.

Mac's journey began on 31 May 1926 with a spontaneous farewell by his employees. He sailed on the 'Aorangi' via Fiji and Hawaii to Vancouver, then was driven to San Francisco. He toured the United States by train, car and boat, visiting cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. He then sailed on the 'Majestic' to London, and took the train to his former home at Leith in Scotland, visiting places he lived and worked in as a boy. He then flew to Holland in a 'Dutch plane', describing the experience of flight in considerable detail. Next he caught a train to Berlin, then toured Germany and Belgium. He flew back to London, and later returned to France to catch the 'Otranto' back to Australia via the Suez Canal and Colombo. He received a 'wonderful welcome home by the factory staff' on 14 February 1927, including a street parade.

The book belonged to former MacRobertson Pty Ltd employee John Henry Baker. Baker had worked in the Accounts Branch from 1937 to 1941 as an office clerk, and left at the age of 21 in November 1941 to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. After the war he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (CRTS), married and became a French teacher in Victorian high schools.

It is not known why MacRobertson's signature dedication in the book is addressed to other people ('Messrs', then illegible). The fact that it was written upside down may have meant that it was not given to the intended recipients and was acquired by Baker as a memento.

Physical Description

Printed book, 186 pages (plus another five leaves at front), with semi-soft cover, covered with black fabric, now with losses around edges. Inscription in gold at centre front 'MacRobertson ABROAD'. Inside covers is gold paper with floral pattern (perhaps packaging material from chocolates), now very wrinkled from water damage. First inside page has signature of Macpherson Robertson, written upside down; opposite is first title page with line drawings of train, aeroplane, ship and boat. Second title page and overleaf has publishing details. A forward precedes the main text, written in diary form, interspersed with photographs, many of them featuring the author. The account begins with the author's farewell event, and ends with a welcome home parade by factory staff.

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