Pioneers & Legends of the Ceylon Plantation Industry
George Henry Kendrick Thwaites was an English botanist whose contribution to the early plantation industry of Ceylon was second to none. Thwaites was appointed Superintendent of the Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya in 1849, a position he held for 30 years until his resignation in 1879. He was the first to detect the coffee rust disease that went on to destroy the industry in Ceylon. It was also Thwaites who, after initial use of China jat seed, settled on the Assam-hybrid tea seed variety which was to become the industry standard.
Scotsman James Taylor started Sri Lanka’s first tea estate, 19 acre Loolecondera Estate, marking the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon.
The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade
The first public Colombo Tea Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co. under the auspice of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
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