Code-Portwood Canning Company, San Leandro Canning Company
California Packing Corporation
H. G. Prince was a canner in the San Francisco Bay Area, formed as a successor to the Code-Portwood Canning Company around 1914. The company expanded with a the purchase of the San Leandro Canning Company in May 1922
Henry G. Prince, the principal, had been a fruit salesman and supposedly had learned the trade working for Crosse and Blackwell. By 1902, Prince was a director for the newly-incorporated Code-Portwood Canning Company, taking ownership of the company in 1914. Henry Prince died in 1917.
In 1926, H.G. Prince had 3,500 employees in Oakland for a total payroll of $1,300,000 payroll. The 29th Street plant produced $3,500,000 of canned goods with 800 employees, with every can marked as coming from Oakland. Prince was sold to California Packing Corporation in 1928. Product canned in their plants continued to have the H. G. Prince name on the labels through at least the 1940's.
H. G. Prince was an early adopter of trucks rather than the railroad to bring the crops to the cannery. The cannery found that sending fruit by rail from meant stopping picking by 2:30 to get the crop to the railhead. With the trucks, crews could be picking til almost 5:00.
Photos of employees from Oakland Museum.
- Canned Foods: January 24, 1914: "A contrivance has been invented by Arthur Duncan, manager of H. G. Prince & Co., successor to Code Portwood Canning Co....
- May June 1917 Western Canner and Packer
- May 1922 Western Canner and Packer
- 1900 United States Census
- Panorama of employees caption, Oakland Museum.
- Obituary: Henry G. Prince, western Canner and Packer. The obituary lists his company as the successor to the Cole-Portwood Canning Company.
- Among the Trade: May 25, 1917 California Retail The May 25, 1917 California Grocer's Advocate: "Henry G. Prince, head of the H. G. Prince Packing Co. of San Francisco, passed away at his home this week."
- Mayor's Message: Polk's 1927 Oakland City Directory.
- Andrew F. Smith, Pure Ketchup: A History of America's National Condiment, with Recipes. University of South Carolina Press. "In 1926, CalPak acquired the H.G. Prince Co. and hence CalPak can trace its roots to both of California's first canners."
- My father remembers that the Del Monte San Leandro was still canning some grades of fruit with H.G. Prince labels in the 1940's when he held summer jobs there.
- June 1921 Canning Age