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The Man Who Invented Vegemite

The Man Who Invented Vegemite [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Callister
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The true story behind an Australian icon.

Vegemite is perhaps Australia's most enduring cultural icon. But how did this pungent, salty black paste, which for most of us is how we start the day, come to be created? Cyril Callister was a passionate scientist and innovator, and his story is inextricably bound with that of our country through the first half of the twentieth century, through two world wars and the Depression.

He was the grandson of a gold miner who arrived in Ballarat in the 1850s. His own father, a widower, raised a small army of kids, and Cyril was the first to go to university. He was sent to England during WWI and in the 1920s was employed by the flamboyant and entrepreneurial Fred Walker, charged with the task of creating a substance that would, in time, be named Vegemite. Cyril remained at Kraft until his death in 1949. He was a progressive boss and encouraged further training for all of his staff, many of them women.

Cyril was also a husband and father to three children - two were struck down by polio as children, while the third, a fighter pilot, was tragically killed while on a dawn air sortie in the Trobriand Islands, east of PNG during WWII.The Man Who Invented Vegemite is a must-read for all of us interested in remarkable Australian stories. Jamie Callister, sets out to learn more about the grandfather he never met and, along the way, discovers that extraordinary things can happen to (almost) ordinary people.

About the Author

Jamie Callister was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1960. After university, he travelled and worked overseas for several years before moving to Queensland. He has since worked in television and media as well as building and construction. A keen surfer, Jamie lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with his wife and three children. This is his first book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2425 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pier 9 (1 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NP5T0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #694,493 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! 11 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found out about this book via a quirky story on the BBC news website about the history of Vegemite. I was intrigued, and pleasantly surprised to find it available for Kindle download. I was even more pleasantly surprised to enjoy the book so much!

This is the true story of Cyril Callister, who (unsurprisingly) invented the iconic Vegemite yeast spread. The book covers much, much more than that though. It's a social and political history of Australia through the first half of the 20th century, via the Callister family's story.

From the post gold rush depression in Victoria, through both world wars, political upheaval and social unrest and finally the boom years of the 50s - we experience them all via a single Australian family. Also intriguing is the story of the history of food science and technology. It's not something I'd given any thought to before, but its incredible to realise that 80 or so years ago, there was little knowledge of vitamins and really no means of preserving food. Finally, it is, of course, the rags to riches tale of Vegemite itself - from a foul tasting substance that no one wanted to buy, to a still (to most non Aussies) foul tasting substance that is a global brand!

The book is written by Cyril Callister's grandson, pieced together through family papers and personal anecdotes. It's beautifully told, and really engaging - I found myself in tears over one story of world war 2, such was the emotional involvement I felt with the characters.

Highly recommended as both a personal account of modern Australian history, and as an engaging tale of a likeable Australian family.

Give the book a go - I think you'll like it. If you haven't tried Vegemite - give that a go too, but as to whether you'll like that... I make no promises :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story 19 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really good read , very well written, would tell anyone to read this !! I have it on my kindle which i. Would also recommend to buy!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read (if you're Australian) 6 Sep 2013
By MissTex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present for my Australian partner and he absolutely loved it. Informative and well written book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for an Aussie! 11 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my (Australian) husband who is a die-hard Vegemite fan.

He thought it a really good read... it's more about the man himself rather than the product but nevertheless he enjoyed it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story about the inventor of Vegemite 28 April 2013
By L. F. Hunter - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I especially like biographies of normal folk who achieve something. This is the history of Cyril Callister, the Victorian who invented Vegemite. It is a bit dry at times, but really a great read overall. Knowing Cyril's background is important to understand what drove him, and the author does this well.

I was looking forward to this book being released, and I am not disappointed., The way Jamie Callister, the author and grandson of Cyril, has structured this book is very good. It's a great flow.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story 14 Feb 2013
By Debbienz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really interesting story about the reasons behind the invention of Vegemite and the struggles to gain its market acceptance. As someone who always travels with a pot - I loved it.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 9 Feb 2013
By Rosalie - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an Australian living in New Zealand I like to seek out books about my birth country and I found this readable and informative. Thank you.
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