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Pastry Wheel - Cake Decorating, Karl Muffler, 1930s-1950s Object Reg. No: HT 18258

Pastry pin wheel, used for cutting long or thin strips of pastry for decoration. It belonged to German pastry chef Karl Muffler. It was used by him during his career as a pastry chef and confectioner in Melbourne from the 1930s and during teaching cake decorating at William Angliss Food Trades School during the 1940s.

This item relates to Karl Friedrich Muffler, qualified pastry chef and confectioner, born in 1900, who migrated to Melbourne from Germany in 1930, aboard the passenger liner 'Balranald'. Muffler quickly established himself in Melbourne, commencing employment with Bill Ikinger (who had recruited and sponsored him) at his cake shop in Brunswick, as well as joining the long-running German establishment 'Club Tivoli'. Muffler went on to establish his own business, 'The Embassy' in Malvern, and in 1939 married fellow German migrant Mathilde 'Hilde' Mayer. At this time they were members of the 'German Labour Front' of which Adolf Mayer (Hilde's father) was president. On 4th September, 1939 Karl Muffler, along with dozens of other German residents (including his father-in-law), was placed into police custody as an enemy alien. He was transferred to Tatura internment camp and while there undertook woodcarving and drafting classes and worked as a cake decorator. He was transferred to a Forestry Commission camp in Broadford, and finally released in 1945. With no family left in Germany he decided to stay in Australia and became naturalised in 1947. After the war, Muffler accepted a position at William Angliss Food Trades School in Melbourne teaching ex-servicemen new skills in cake decoration. He maintained a connection to the German community though Club Tivoli and died in 1996.
Wooden handle with circular metal wheel. Used for cutting long or thin strips of pastry which were then used to, for example, make lattice effect on pie tops, making pastry horns.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Sue Muffler, 2005
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 197 mm (Height), 55 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: cake decorating, forestry camps, german communities, german immigration, internment camps, pastry making
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Karl Friedrich Muffler, German Migrant, Pastry Chef & Internee, 1930
Primary Classification: TRADES
Secondary Classification: Baking
Tertiary Classification: equipment - cutting
Past Owner or User: Karl Muffler, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1930s-1970s

It is difficult to determine for exactly how long Karl used the item but it may have been late into his professional career well into the 1970s, although the tool dates from around the 1930s-1950s.

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