Berger and Carter

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Sales Agent and Manufacturer

1903 - 1923

Berger and Carter was an industrial sales company. The company, with a presence in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland, Seattle, sold iron and steel, machine tools, and food preserving machinery. The company primarily sold other company's equipment; its 1200 page catalog included machinery for a range of food preserving tasks[1]. As early as 1904, the company was a selling agent for Sprague Canning Machinery of Chicago, and acted as Sprague's agent for the west coast[2].

The company was founded in 1903 as Berger-Carter as jobbers and dealers in iron, steel, and machinery. The company was incorporated in 1907. [3]. It also had an export department selling to South America, Asia, and South Africa. The steel business resold plate, sheet, bar, and boiler tubes. The machinery and supply side resold machine tools. The canning machinery department both made its own machines and resold equipment from east coast manufacturers. In 1919, the company listed earnings of $77,000.

From around 1917 to 1921, the company manufactured its own canning equipment and eventually spun the manufacturing business off as Berger, Fleming and Brown. The company made a wide line of canning machinery including slicers, pie foundries, and agitating cookers[4]. By 1921, the company had closed the Hayward plant and was having its machinery made by other companies [5].

Berger and Carter (and later Berger, Fleming and Brown) also made various sizes of mechanical dehydrators from two ton to 50 ton[6]

The 1919 company sales conference brought 175 of the firm's sales force to San Francisco in December 1919[7]

In 1919, Otto A. Berger was chairman of the board, W. W. Fleming was president and general manager, and E. W. Brown was vice-president and treasurer. Anderson Barngrover bought the canning machinery business in January, 1923[8]; Berger and Carter stated the sale would allow them to focus on their iron and steel business.

By 1930, Otto Berger listed his occupation as "Agent: Iron and Steel Lines".


Location Years Address Details
Hayward before 1921 El Dorado Ave. at Amador St.[9] Across from Hunts Cannery.
San Francisco 1920 365 Market Street
San Francisco -1923 16 California Street
San Francisco 1922 400 Mission Street[10]


Berger and Carter's manufacturing plant for canning equipment was in Hayward, California, across the railroad tracks from the Hunt Brothers cannery. The machine shop and assembly building on Amador St. was served by a siding from the Southern Pacific Railroad. By 1921, the plant had been shut down, with the company instead getting its own canning machine designs built by other companies[11].


  1. New Berger-Carter Catalog: [1].
  2. General Catalog of Canning Machinery and Canners' Supplies. Sprague Canning Machinery Co., 1904.
  3. Berger and Carter Company: 1921 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities.
  4. Canning Peaches in the Santa Clara Valley: August 1921 Canning Age. Lists the machinery and makers for the equipment in the Hyde Cannery.
  5. Berger and Carter Company: 1921 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities.
  6. Efficiency In Dehydration hearing, January 1921 Monthly Bulletin of the California Department of Agriculture. Mr. Cornell, Berger and Carter: "The dehydrator branch of Berger and Carter Company will be known as Berger, Fleming, and Brown. They will build evaporators under the King patent." Mr. King (Berger and Carter): "We will build the evaporators in a central factory and ship the parts to be assembled at the orchard. Plants will vary from 2-ton units to 50-ton units. We try to simulate the effect of the sun's heat in drying; in other words, to dry from the center outward."
  7. Annual Salesmen's Convention of the Berger and Carter Company: January 1920 Western Canner and Packer.
  8. Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing Company Acquires Berger & Carter Company Interests in Canning Machinery and Supplies: January 1923 Western Canner and Packer
  9. March 1923 Hayward California Sanborn map. Map shows Luthy Company, a battery manufacturer at the site. The May 7, 1921 Argonuaut magazine notes that the plant was formerly a Berger and Carter plant.
  10. Berger and Carter Company Issues Notable Catalog for Spanish Speaking Countries: July 1922 Western Canner and Packer.
  11. Berger and Carter Company: 1921 Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities.