Pioneers & Legends of the Ceylon Plantation Industry
Sir Guildford Molesworth was an English Civil Engineer who arrived in Ceylon in 1859. In 1862 he was appointed the first Chief Engineer of the newly established government railways in Ceylon, and the first track, 54 kilometers from Colombo to Ambepussa, was completed in 1864. With servicing the coffee (and soon tea) industry as a primary objective for establishing the railways in Ceylon, steady progress was made with lines eventually reaching the prime tea growing areas of Kandy, Nawalapitiya, Nanu Oya, Bandarawela and Badulla. Molesworth ended his career with the railway department as its Director General.
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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