George Frank and Company

From Packing Houses of Santa Clara County
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cannery, dried fruit packer
Main Location

San Jose, CA

~1900 - 1919

California Prune and Apricot Growers, Smith-Frank Packing Company

George Frank and Company was a turn-of-the-century dried fruit packer in San Jose, operating from around 1900 to the early 1920's. Frank's earliest plant was on the "west side" (Cupertino) area around 1900, appearing in a list of drop-off sites for the California Cured Fruit Association. In 1901, George Frank and Company was operating at Race and San Carlos (in the former E. E. Thomas Fruit Company plant, but burned to the ground on December 24, 1901[1]. Within a couple years, Frank had relocated southwest of downtown San Jose along Meridian Road at Paula St. in a building that likely pre-dated the company. Frank's new plant attracted workers in the 1902 season by having an orchestra play during working hours[2]. A large addition was added in 1903[3].

By 1910, personal issues caused challenges for Frank, with news reports of a messy divorce and claims for money and the business[4]. The business and land no longer appeared on Meridian Avenue at that time, but appears on Alum Rock Ave. by 1917.

Frank's packing house was leased to Sunsweet in 1917, and was sold to the California Prune and Apricot Growers by June 1920. He started a separate company with D. L. Smith, the Smith-Frank Canning Company, after 1917, then sold a cannery to the George N. Herbert Packing Company in 1919, moved to Sacramento and reorganized as the Smith-Frank Packing Company. The new company claimed it would operate canning and dried fruit packing plants at Sacramento and maintain an office in San Jose[5]. The company was still in existence as late as 1922[6].


Location Years Address Details
Sacramento 1919 12th and B Street.[7]
San Jose -1901 San Carlos at Race St. Former E. E. Thomas Fruit Company plant? Burned in 1901[8].
San Jose 1901-1911 Meridian Road near Paula

"Meridian cor narrow gauge[9] Burned 1913[10][11].

San Jose 1917 Alum Rock Ave[12]
West Side 1900

In San Francisco Call list of drop-off locations for California Cured Fruit Assn.


Sunsweet Plant #10, Alum Rock Age, San Jose (former George Frank and Company plant): History San Jose.


  1. Packing House Is Burned to the Ground: December 24, 1901 San Jose Evening News.
  2. Prune Packers Listen to Music, October 16, 1902 San Jose Evening News
  3. New Packing Houses Erected In Valley: June 25, 1903 San Jose Evening News
  4. Mrs. George Frank Files Four Sensational Suits: July 23, 1910 San Jose Evening News
  5. March 28, 1919 California Grocers Advocate. D. L. Frank, billed as the manager and vice-president, said the company had been in the dried fruit business for a long time, but "saw great possibilities in canning fruit and vegetables."
  6. April 8, 1922 California Fruit News advertisement shows plants in Sacramento and San Jose.
  7. California Canneries: December 1918 Western Canner and Packer
  8. Packing House Is Burned to the Ground: December 24, 1901 San Jose Evening News.
  9. In 1906 San Jose city directory.
  10. $75,000 Fire Destroys Packing House of George Frank & Co on the Meridian Road: November 4, 1913 San Jose Evening News. Plant was on Meridian Road where crossed by the SP.
  11. 3 Suspects Are Taken Into Custody: November 12, 1913 San Jose Evening News. Vandals stole machinery and metal from the burned packing house.
  12. Cot Growers Asked By Association to Cull Out All Smut. July 21, 1917 San Jose Evening News list of Sunsweet collection stations.