The great tobacco industry in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, mainstay of the Federal economy in the south, as the copper mines are to the north, opened its annual auctions in Salisbury Mar 14.
General shots of Tobacco Producers Floor, the largest of the three with the thousands of bales laid out ready for selling. Today is a special day for the farmer and his wife, who come to town to see what the 'sales' are like, and what the prices are.. Shots of the buyers, and the auctioneer, in the first instance Eddie Edwards from North Carolina, America, selling bales at the rate of 7 or more a minute, as they walk along the lines, with all the buyers, clerks and whatnots all tagging along like a Flanagan and Allen, Hippodrome dance.
Varous shots round the floors, buyers, sellers, all looking pleased, and very intent on the new season's business.
The audience, for there is always a big audience, watch with intent expressions. Africans wait to carry the bales away after selling
The auctioneers in their order area...Eddie Edwards.
Frank Roscoe (with glasses)
Fred Oxford, also from America
(he is big man)
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Background: The great tobacco industry in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, mainstay of the Federal economy in the south, as the copper mines are to the north, opened its annual auctions in Salisbury Mar 14. It was anticipated that this year's crop would be larger than ever, and bring in a record amount of money. The average crop yields something in the region of GBP25 million, from a sale of tobacco weighing about 120 million lbs. This year the amount was likely to be up considerably from a first rate growing season.
Three auction floors in Salisbury, covering about ten acres of floor space, are the largest of their kind in the world, and run on a system that said to be far superior to the American system, far quicker, and in almost all ways different.
Many of the auctioneers, who have a very special way of selling tobacco, are Americans.