George E. Hyde & Company

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Summary
Business

Cannery
Main Location

Campbell, CA
Brands

Sunnyside
Aliases

Hyde Cannery
Predecessors

Campbell Fruit Growers Union
Successors

Campbell Packing Corporation
Hyde cannery from railroad tracks, 1921
George E. Hyde Sunnyside brand peaches can label.

George E. Hyde & Company operated a well-known cannery in Campbell, California. The Hyde Cannery was the work of George E. Hyde, a local orchardist and dried fruit packing plant manager. George became the manager for the predecessor Campbell Fruit Growers Union plant in 1909. The Union had been having problems keeping growers business during good years and bad[1]; in 1913, Hyde and his partner, Ruel K. Thomas, a director of the CFGU, leased the plant and turned it into George E. Hyde & Co. Hyde soon bought out Thomas, and wholly owned the plant and drying yard. The new company packed 1,000 tons of fruit in 1914, with packing proceeding from June through December[2]. Not all that fruit was from the Santa Clara Valley; Ralph Hyde visited Ceres in 1914 to buy fruit[3].

Hyde became interested in canning in 1915[4], and began both drying and canning fruit. The August 1921 Canning Age article highlights the cannery and the modern conveniences Hyde installed. Hyde continued drying fruit as well, with the Canning Age article explaining that a loft held the dried fruit processing equipment. Hyde was also a collection station for Sunsweet in 1917[5].

October 1922 Western Canner and PAcker quotes Hyde as saying that business is September was the greatest ever for the company, and 90% of the "actual and prospective pack" in 1922 had already been sold. "The export business had been particularly gratifying to the company."

In 1923, Hyde leased his warehouse to the Lawrence Warehouse Company for field warehousing[6].

Hyde Cannery may have been running in the 1928 season - a truck driver for the cannery was hit by a train according to the A August 28, 1928

The cannery closed down after the 1928 season, with occasional restarts. The cannery finally shut down for good in 1930 when the banks refused to issue credit for opening that year[7][8]. The banks finally forced a judgement on the bankrupt company in 1931, with the sheriff selling the cannery on the steps of the courthouse on May 25, 1932 on behalf of the American Trust company. More details of the closure and bankruptcy in "How Much is that Cannery II".

The cannery was supposedly leased by W.A. Bundy and the Campbell Packing Corporation in 1933 and 1934, and supposedly bought the plant in 1934[9]. According to September 14, 1933 Campbell Interurban Press article, the canning portion was being used by Sunsweet for warehousing (with canning equipment removed), and the Higgins-Hyde Packing Company leased the warehouse for storage and grading. An article in the April 28, 1934 San Jose Evening News announces the sale of the machinery, equipment, and fixtures to the Campbell Packing Corporation. The article notes that:

The Hyde Company has been shut down since 1926. The property was acquired by the American Trust Company in 1928 when the plant when bankrupt. The Campbell Packing Corporation plans to take over the entire property, consisting of six acres of land and an 18 cottage camp ground, and operate the plant this pear season."

The plant was sold to Sunsweet in 1937, and was used as warehouse space. Sunsweet also built fruit drying facilities on the site which was run as the Campbell Cooperative Dryer.

The buildings still exist and have been repurposed as offices and restaurants.

The Hyde Cannery Plant

The property had previously been occupied from 1887 to 1890 by Flemmings Fruit Dryer, then by Frank Buxton's Dryer from 1890 to 1892. Hyde's cannery was originally constructed in 1892 for the Campbell Fruit Grower's Union. The plant was leased to George E. Hyde ("a co-partnership") in 1909, and operated as a dried fruit packing house. Canning started in 1915, and continued drying fruit on machinery on a mezzanine level[10].

Locations

Location Years Address Details
Campbell 1909, 1917, 1921, 1926, 1928 Central Avenue
West Side 1900 ??? San Francisco Call 1900 list of dropoff locations for California Cured Fruit Association.

Photos

George Hyde Cannery John C. Gordon Collection / San Jose Library

Hyde Cannery panorama

Hyde Cannery Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

First cannery, 1915

Office and warehouse #1, 1921

References

  1. Robert Couchman, The Sunsweet Story, Sunsweet Growers, 1967
  2. Testimony of Mr. George E. Hyde: The seasonal problem in agriculture. Final Report and Testimony Submitted to Congress by the Commission on Industrial Relations created by the act of August 23, 1912. U.S. Senate document no. 415, 1916.
  3. July 29, 1914 Modesto EveningNews.
  4. August 1921 Canning Age magazine
  5. July 21, 1917 San Jose Evening News list of Sunsweet collection stations
  6. Go In Looking for Model Details, Come Out With Corporate Accounting Experience, Vasona Branch blog
  7. [How Much Is That Cannery II, Vasona Branch blog
  8. July 9, 1930 San Jose Evening News
  9. April 22, 1933 San Jose Eveing News
  10. August 1921 Canning Age