He develops a special affection for Madeiran culture and plays a fundamental role in the promotion and development of the wicker sector and banana culture.
It is however in the Industrial area that William Hinton plays a more significant role in the Madeiran society.
Aligned with the visionary path of William Hinton, his son Harry Hinton, builds the steam industrial unit known and still remembered by the people as the ‘Engenho do Hinton’, which on the main facade was placed the following information: ‘Fábrica do Torreão’, established in 1845.
In the eighteenth century the British community began to settle in Madeira creating a strong connection to the island where they saw their business thrive.
It is not by chance that the section of the customs street, ‘Rua da Alfândega’, near the Palace of São Lourenço was called the English Street. William Hinton is one such case. In fact, in 1838, attracted by its charms, he chooses Madeira Island as his new home.
'Engenho do Hinton'
Engine of industrial development and promoter of technological progress, this industrial unit, given its size and working capacity, employed at the beginning of the twentieth century, 230 workers.
As a result of the technological improvements and the testing of new techniques, the Torreão Factory reached its peak in 1920, when it was able to transform 608 tons of sugarcane in a 24-hour period, becoming one of the largest, if not the largest, sugar cane processing unit in Europe.
The juice obtained from the sugar cane on the Hinton mill was of a very high purity. The ‘garapa’ would be transformed, through a fermentation process, into what we call sugar cane wine, only then would could the distillation process begin and give birth to Madeira Agricola Rum.
Such was the impact of this commodity that, in the first half of the twentieth century, Madeira island was known as the island of rum.
Hinton factory doesn’t exist anymore it was demolished to give place to Santa Luzia gardens, where it is still possible to admire the imposing chimney of the old mill.