|Image Source: Library of NSW|
Abel had owned a bakery in Newtown, and inspired by a butter shortage he set out to manufacture a substitute for pastry and cake fat.
With World War I rationing and the lean times of the depression, the Margarine Company flourished. In 1921 the factory had machinery installed that could extract oil from peanuts. It opened up a side branch of peanut products having purchased the entire crop (123 tonnes from 119 hectares) production from the Burnett region of Queensland in 1922. In 1925 the company adopted the name ETA for its peanut products. ETA products were the first major peanut products in the Southern Hemisphere. Until this time, peanuts were being imported from China and Japan. This step boosted the local production and was responsible for the establishment of the Peanut Industry in Queensland. Charles Abel was the one to encouraged farmers to plant peanut crops in the famous Kingaroy peanut growing area.