In the middle of the 19th century, a crazy German invented a method for compressing 2lb of beef into 1oz of extract. With British financing he opened a processing plant on the Rio Uruguay utilising all the spare meat that was lying about. With it came the Industrial Revolution. All the latest innovations from Europe arrived, and Fray Bentos had electricity three years before anywhere else in Uruguay.
I'm guessing the rust is new
They soon expanded (or is that compressed) into corned beef under the Fray Bentos name, and lower grade extract that was later trademarked oxo, along with 200 sub-products. After the Great War, the German sold out to British interest and the company was renamed El Anglo. The flow of cheap, quality meat was especially important during the war, and Fray Bentos effectively became the kitchen of free Europe. It had the largest meat packing plant and refrigeration unit that has ever existed. Today it is a museum, which is how I came to know all this crap. Amongst the interesting industrial artefacts, the highlight for me was a two headed calf preserved in formaldehyde. Presumably the rest of it ended up as oxo cubes.
And you thought corned beef was good for you
Once the world's largest refrigerator
Hard to imagine it a hundred years ago