|William (Wilhelm) Klages (Truth, 27.11.1932)|
|ASCO - the "gut factory" (Campbelltown Library Local Studies collection)|
Margaret Firth of Ingleburn remembers her time working at the factory -
"Oh well, he used to make the surgical gut it was, he used to get the special intestine things from the abbatoirs, and they used to prepare them, sterilise them and all that sort of business, cut them up, and then we girls used to have to roll them, when it was dry, roll them and smooth them down, and they'd get it fine enough to sew eyes with, you know, and then the coarser stuff".
William's son Eric learned the trade after attending the local school, Granville Technical College, and then studying chemistry at Sydney Tech. He worked for the family business before building his own factory, designing machines for treating, stretching, polishing and manufacturing what was commonly known then as "catgut" - nothing to do with cats! He also branched out into the manufacture of tennis racquet strings and violin strings.
|A 1946 advertisement for Spiroflex tennis gut strings.|
Eric died in 1982, and the factory ultimately closed in 1986.
|Eric Klages checking the quality of the material under manufacture.|
(Macarthur Leader, 5.12.1972)
Local Studies Pamphlet files
Grist Mills Vol.21 No.1
Margaret Firth oral history - Local Studies collection
"From many lands we come" by Hugo Bonomini et al.