Difference between revisions of "Anderson Prune Dipper Company"

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Main Location

San Jose


Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing Company.

The Anderson Prune Dipper Company was a agricultural machinery manufacturer in San Jose in the early 20th century. The company was founded by William C. Anderson in 1890[1]. Anderson was an orchardist in the Willow Glen district of San Jose; in 1888, he patented a hinged basket system for dipping prunes in a hot alkaline bath to retard fermentation during drying[2]. Anderson built the first models by hand in a rented wood lot under the name "W. C. Anderson Horticultural Supplies", working with fellow orchardist Luther Cunningham from Saratoga. In 1889, the company added J. B. Burrell and his prune perforating machine to form the Anderson Prune Dipper Company. (The ASME document declares that the company was only named in 1897.)

The company quickly introduced graders, processors, dipping tanks, trucks, sack holders, and other machines for fruit production. By 1903, it was claimed 90% of California fruit was processed with his machines. The company also studied industrial processes for handling fruit, such as Daniel Farrell's patent in 1900 for bleaching nuts with alkaline solutions rather than acids[3]. Albert Riley Thompson, hired in 1901 to help with design, later headed the company's engineering efforts and designed the first rotary cookers.

In 1902, the company merged with fellow manufacturer Barngrover, Hull and Company forming the Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing Company, settling a long-running patent dispute over the prune dipper designs. Cunningham retired, with Hull taking his place in the company. An 1899 San Jose City Directory shows Cunningham as a principal in Cunningham and Barngrover, horticultural supplies, suggesting he may have left the company earlier[4].


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1899 455 West Santa Clara St[5].
San Jose 1900 453-461 West Santa Clara St.[6]


  1. Leigh Hadley Irvine, A History of the New California: Its Resources and People. Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.
  2. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The FMC Rotary Pressure Sterilizer. International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, May 17, 1982.
  3. Daniel Farrell, Process of Bleaching Nuts. U.S. Patent 663,069, Dec. 4, 1900. Assigned to Anderson Prune Dipper Company.
  4. Cunningham and Barngrover, horticultural supplies. In 1899 San Jose City Directory.
  5. Anderson Prune Dipper Company. 1899 San Jose City Directory.
  6. Anderson Prune Dipper Co. advertisement. July 28, 1900 Pacific Rural Press.