Lawrence Warehouse Company

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The Lawrence Warehouse Company was a public warehouse company operating both its own warehouses, and operating field warehouses on the property of manufacturers[1][2]. The company was organized in 1912, and grew rapidly during the World War I years as producers started taking more responsibility for selling their production throughout the year instead of immediately selling to wholesalers[3] The company was founded by V. O. Lawrence. By 1920, the company operated on San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and the San Joaquin Valleys. Organized in 1912, serious growth in last seven years. The company operated facilities in an Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. In 1922, Lawrence relinquished control to A.T. Gibson.

"The Lawrence Warehouse Company originated the idea of field warehouses in California and at the present time is operating thirty-five different plants all the way from Beach, Washington to San Diego, California. Loans secured by Lawrence Warehouse receipts are prime paper, rediscountable at the Federal Reserve Bank, and have become very popular with the banks as well as the canning industry, Gilbert asserts. It is estimated that a good many million dollars will be loaned this way to the canners on the Pacific Coast through this method of financing, worked out by Lawrence Warehouse Company."

By the 1920's, the company appears in records taking over the warehousing of dried and canned fruit packers in the Santa Clara Valley. The Hyde Cannery in Campbell and Higgins-Hyde dried fruit pack in San Jose both used Lawrence to take control of their products so they could borrow against unsold goods.

A 1954 list of bonded wineries and warehouses shows many warehouses operated by Lawrence in the Santa Clara Valley[4].


Location Years Address Details
Oakland None 325 13th Street Headquarters.
Oakland None Foot of Webster St. At piers.
Sacramento None
San Francisco None
San Joaquin Valley None


  1. Advertisement, February 1923 Western Canner and Packer. The ad touts the benefits of field warehousing.
  2. A. T. Gibson, article on field warehousing. February 1923 Western Canner and Packer. Gibson notes that field warehousing also reduces demand on railroad cars by not forcing all product to be shipped to wholesalers immediately after the season.
  3. September 1922 Western Canner and Packer
  4. United States Treasury Department, IRS, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division: Bonded Wineries, Bonded Wine Storerooms, and Bonded Field Warehouses Authorized To Operate July 1, 1954.