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From Fruit Picking Ladders, through to Blood Transfer Machines. A number of fascinating inventions were born of Mooroopna ingenuity. Have a look at the inventions below - we're sure you'll be surprised by at least a few of them.


E. D. Parsons


The 3 Leg Ladder was used in probably all orchards in the Goulburn Valley. The ladders were considered safer to use than the traditional 4 leg ladders because of the uneven ground they were required to be used on. ED Parson’s, now called EDP, developed and manufactured these ladders in Mooroopna in varying heights.

3 Leg Ladder

E. D. Parsons


They also manufactured Fruit Grading Machines which are now quite highly electronic. The grading machines could handle the bulk bins and tip them on to conveyor belts, where they were sorted and delivered to one of a number of sorted areas. They were then packed into cardboard boxes ready for the market. They now also manufacture bagging machines for many different vegetables and fruit, to suit the retailing of the individual product.

Fruit Graders

Dr Duncan Mackellar

Blood transfusion only became available globally in 1901 with the discovery of the major blood groups (A<B<AB<&O), thus preventing severe reactions following transfusion. In 1940 it was recognised that the rhesus (Rh) blood group. Later it was recognised that the Rh factor (or D Antigen) was just one in a system of various antigens. The Rh blood group system consists of 50 defined blood group antigens, D,C,c,E , which are the most important antigens. In 1915 it was found that by adding Sodium Citrate it prevented clotting, so blood could be stored for non direct transfusion. In 1934 Mooroopna Hospital announced that a class of men had been tested for blood transfusions, and were available to donate blood.

Dr Duncan Mackellar started the direct transfusion service at Mooroopna in 1941. It had been tried at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, but they did not have the community support  that existed in Mooroopna, so the service did not continue. With the support of the Red Cross, and Mavis Newton organising donors, the Mooroopna service continued until 1966.

Blood Transfer

E. D. Parsons


  • Ardmona Fruit Products introduced fruit in plastic instead of cans: Circa 1980

  • Ardmona introduced packing of fruit in fruit juice instead of syrup: 1976

  • Ardmona introduced machine colour sorting of fruit (for ripeness of product) : Date??


Ardmona Fruit Products Co-op.Ltd. started in Mooroopna in 1921. Their first processing system was the drying of Apricots, and the handling of fruit for market. It was in 1926 when they started processing and canning fruit from the local orchards. In 1934 they celebrated the production of their one millionth case of fruit. In the 1950’s they had more sophisticated canning machines, and in 1965 they started processing Granny Smith Apples. In 1971 they invested in a multi-million dollar ‘Juice & Paste’ concentrate plant. In 1973 they commenced tomatoes processing operations. In 1976 they became the first processor to recognise and satisfy the demand for fruit packed in natural juice, a move soon followed by other major manufacturers around the world. In the mid 1980’s the ‘Goulburn Valley snack pack’ was launched in the ERCA format- a key development in deciduous fruit packaging technology. Ardmona was the first company to pack fruit in long life plastic tubs. In the 1990’s Ardmona Rich & Thick Range of tomatoes was launched, then in the late 1990’s, SPC were in a world first launch of microwavable Beans and Spaghetti. In 2002 The Shepparton Preserving Company, SPC,  and  Ardmona merged to become SPC Ardmona. In 2004 SPC Ardmona established a production base in Spain. In 2006 $15Million was invested in the new National Distribution Centre in Shepparton.

SPC Ardmona is still a major national and international company today.

Fruit Innovation
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