E. E. Thomas Fruit Company

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Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

San Jose


E. E. Thomas Fruit Company was an early San Jose-based dried fruit packer run by Edward E. Thomas and William Cameron as Vice President[1]with E. B. Howard handling the marketing and Thomas handling the drying, dipping, and shipping of fruit. Thomas was the son of a local orchardist, in his thirties, and living at Race and Luther Streets in San Jose. The company shipped 650 carloads of dried fruit in the 1893-1894 season[2], and dried 500 tons of fruit in 1896-1897. The original building burned down in 1897; a new $5,000 plant would replace it[3]. The company also patented a fruit spreading machine, patent 482284.

The company must have been fading by 1899; E. E. Thomas killed himself in 1899, supposedly because of financial pressures. Thomas was owed money by Howard, and had only worked with him because he could not get a loan without using Howard. [4].


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1893, 1896 Race Street near San Carlos Street Northeast corner[5]


E. E. Thomas Drying Yard, San Jose History San Jose / Silicon Valley History Online

Main packing house[6]


  1. 1896 San Jose City Directory
  2. The Sunsweet Story
  3. Pacific Rural Press, Aug 21 1897
  4. SAN JOSE BANK FAILURE DROVE HIM TO SUICIDE: E. E. Thomas, Prominent Fruit Packer, Turned on the Gas and Went Hence.San Francisco Call, Feb. 8 1899. Article includes sketch of Mr. Thomas
  5. 1896 San Jose City Directory
  6. Charles M. Shortridge, "Sunshine, Fruit and Flowers: Santa Clara County and Its Resources, Historical, Descriptive, Statistical..." , 1896, San Jose Mercury News.