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OUR INCREDIBLE HISTORY
From the humble beginnings of an anchovy fisherman’s family more than 170 years ago, Bonk Business Inc. has grown into a multiglobal industrial enterprise at the forefront of 3rd millennium technologies.
 
Bonk Business Inc. is poised on the axle of time for a quantum leap into the future. We are proud of our heritage, working hard for today, and infinitely curious about the future. 
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BOUNTY FROM THE SEA
150 years ago the Baltic Sea teemed with the anchovy. The Bonks were a humble fishing family from the island of Pyhämaa (Holyland), off the Finnish west coast. Keen to better themselves, they processed Baltic anchovies into Garum - a mildly stimulating condiment. Anchovy oil, a by-product of the process, proved extremely viscous and ideal for the harsh Northern winters. Bonk Anchovy Oil greased the wheels of Nordic industry and gave birth to a business empire - until over-fishing caused the Great Oil Crisis of 1883. 
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Hot Oil Applicator
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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Founder Pär Bonk (1853 - 1908) sailed to the Pacific to find shoals of Giant Peruvian anchovy. His plan was to restock the Baltic with this living oil tanker. Pär is seen here with his Nazca Indian scouts.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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In contrast to the tiny Baltic anchovy, the Giant Peruvian anchovy can reach 1.8 metres. It also grows fast, and breeds prolifically. It is a living oil tanker. Some 100 billion tonnes of anchovy biomass swim in enormous shoals off the west coast of South America. Their seasonal movements cause the phenomenon known as El Niño.
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Pär married Popoletta Vuh, the daughter of a Nazca chief, before returning to Finland.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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At first he failed to rear this subtropical fish in the cold Baltic waters. However the experimental use of electrical heating wires in fish breeding pools led to the discovery of the Anchovy Electrical Effect. Stimulated by the current, the fish swam tirelessly in unison along the underwater wires, creating a dynamo.
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Holyland was soon electrified, and the Bonk machine workshops had unlimited energy to power expansion. Pär Bonk founded P. Bonk & Co. in 1893 with the prophetic words “I will make machines that make Man happy”, and soon a cornucopia of mechanical miracles spilled onto the market.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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 THE UNIVERSAL, 1898
The P. Bonk & Co workshops, Pyhämaa.
This ubiquitous steam-powered workhorse was fired by anchovy briquettes. Pär’s brother Halvar “Fartsdemon” Bonk died tragically in an attempt on the Scandinavian steam speed record, a few days after this photograph was taken.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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SNUFF GRINDER IN STOCKHOLM, 1901
The P. Bonk & Co workshops, Pyhämaa.
 
Fresh anchovy snuff was the hallmark of good living at the turn of the century. The bourgeois withdrawing rooms of Nordic burghers were considered ill-furnished without an anchovy snuff grinder, which produced a very fine black aromatic grind compressed into small pellets for insertion behind the upper lip.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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MECHANICAL GARUM WAITER IN VYBORG, 1910 
Refrigerated garum distillation and serving for banquets.
The Bonk Machine Company workshops, Uusikaupunki.
 
Father Poligraf Poligrafitj enjoys Sunday garum with railway engineer Björn Aminoff. The Orthodox hierarchy adopted Father Poligrafitj's recommendation that garum be substituted for sacred wine, and, for a few brief years before the Revolution, some priests observed the rite.
 
Tsarist Russia was a major market for Garum. The 'Garum Waiter' served refreshing ice-cold portions and was a common sight at military banquets. However, the ‘Condiment of the Elite’ was a focus of revolutionary anger. Contracts for distribution with the Tsar were taken over and controlled by Rasputin. Without the knowledge of the Bonk Machine Co., he further refined garum into an hallucinogenic and addictive drug by which he controlled the court and the coffers of the Russian Empire.
photo: Olli Lehtinen
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GARUM DISTILLER, 1917
The Bonk Machine Company workshops, Uusikaupunki.
 
One of Lenin’s first revolutionary acts was the free distribution of garum - the ‘Opiate of the People’. Eighteen Garum distillers operated from Petrograd to Vladivostok offering garum to freed serfs. Lenin also had a second, more sinister, motive. He had been, since his visit to Finland in 1906, a garum addict. He was sadly to die of his addiction in 1924, holding a small crystal bowl containing Garum Extra Superbe. "Vesica Piscis – my dear Anchovy" were his last words as garum trickled down his beard.
 
The repercussions of Rasputin's assassination by rival Menshevik garum dealers in 1916, caused great danger to Bonk export agents who tried to renew distribution contacts with Revolutionary forces. 
photo: Magnus Weckström