A. Block

From Packing Houses of Santa Clara County
Revision as of 07:21, 21 May 2016 by Robert Bowdidge (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

Santa Clara

Postcard view of Abram Block Fruit Packing House with lug boxes and wagons visible.

Abram Block was a fresh fruit packer in the Santa Clara Valley. The company was founded by Abram Block, an early California pioneer, and former banker. The company was located on the northwest side of Santa Clara, and shipped 500 to 900 carloads of fruit a year. His plant was billed as the "largest deciduous packing house in the world."[1], and shipped quality fruit to many continents. The company employed 75 people during the summer of 1932[2].

The company was incorporated in 1896. Directors were Abram Block, Wm. F. Pickstone and Max Koher of Santa Clara, and James N. Block and John M. Fagg of San Francisco[3][4].

Block was born in Schwihau, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). He came to the United States in 1844. Block moved to California in 1852, tried his hand at mining, and fell back to selling miner's supplies in Nevada City. He later moved to San Francisco and had an interest in the Pioneer Woolen Factory[5]. Block moved to California after reversals in mining stocks[6]. in 1878, he bought a farm near Santa Clara formerly owned by Levi Gould, who exported some of the first fruit east in 1869. Block was a member of the California State Board of Horticulture in 1888[7]. He died in 1902[8].

The company had been represented by California Fruit Distributors but no longer appeared on their list of represented companies by 1921.

Alice Iola Hare photographed women packing cherries at the plant during the summer of 1904[9].


Location Years Address Details
Santa Clara 1896, 1900 El Camino Real and Scott Blvd[10] 1896 San Jose City Directory


  1. Abram Block Fruit Company. In Eugene T. Sawyer, History of Santa Clara County,California, Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 278.
  2. August 25, 1932 San Jose Evening News
  3. Articles of Incorporation: March 25, 1898 Sacramento Daily Union.
  4. A. Block Fruit Company. In California Secretary of State registrations via bizapedia.com. Filed March 22, 1898, disbanded.
  5. Abram Block. History of the State of California and a Biographical Record of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo.
  6. Abram Block biography. In Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
  7. Byron Martin Lelong, A Treatise on Citrus Culture in California. Block is cited as a commissioner for the board's San Francisco district.
  8. Obituary: Abram Block. In August 18, 1906 Horticulture magazine.
  9. Women packing fruit. From March 2014 Les Amis des Sourisseau newsletter, for San Jose State's Sourisseau Academy.
  10. Bea Lichtenstein, Santa Clara. Arcadia Publishing.