In 1870 Canadian door-to-door salesman Joseph Baker invented and patented an in-home flour sifter, which he began selling with his other merchandise. By 1876 Baker and son Allen had set-up offices in London and Liverpool, and three years later established a factory in Finsbury. The company demonstrated flour sifters and biscuit (cracker) making machinery at the Paris Exhibition in 1889, and sold them to leading biscuit purveyors Huntley & Palmers and Peek Frean & Co. (See cracker tin collection.)
After Joseph Baker died in 1892, Allen took over the company and branched out into a variety of food production machinery, including chocolate confectionary machines, an automatic baking machine for sugar wafers, and a traveling chain oven for baking biscuits. Since Baker’s original sifter, many other companies have tried to improve and revise his design.