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Fortune Cookie Production at Benkyodo, San Francisco - ca 1914-1941 - WWII - 1946-1958

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Drawing of Sembei Baking Machine

 The actual griddles were made of cast iron and rested on a steadily rotating circular stage above a section of a gas-flame burner, which baked the cookie dough inside. A metal peg on the tip of the griddle upper section rode on a metal track that opened and allowed for the removal of the baked cookie and then the closing of the griddle top after fresh dough was automatically poured into the open griddle.

As my rough drawing shows, one or two employees could work at the end cycle of the baking and then pluck-out the hot sembei, place a fortune slip and fold the cookie into the closed shape that we all know. The folded cookie would then be placed in a wooden holder to allow the cookie to cool and harden and then placed into a tin container.

Based on this original

uploaded by garyono
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