Libby, McNeil, and Libby

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Sunnyvale Canneries

Libby, McNeil, and Libby was a Chicago-based canner, organized in 1875.

Their Sunnyvale cannery, opened in 1907, was large and long-lived; the water tank from the cannery still sits in the industrial park off Mathilda, painted as one of Libby's cans. Libby's opened the Sunnyvale cannery as their first west-coast plant due to the encouragement of local real estate agents and proximity to San Francisco[1] Sunnyvale had primarily been a meat-packing company; the Sunnyvale plant was an attempt to broaden their product line[2] The cannery's first product was canned apricots[3]. The cannery closed in the early 1980's, and the plant was torn down by 1985.

Wikipedia entry for company.

Newspaper articles in 1916 suggest that Libby's was connected with the Swift meat-packing business[4].

Libby, McNeil, and Libby in Sacramento

Libby's expanded into Sacramento in 1913. The plant employed 1,400 people in 1921, and was nicknamed "Old Reliable" because of its ability to fulfill production contracts[5]. The plant had sidings served by the Southern Pacific and Northern Electric (Sacramento Northern).


Location Years Address Details
Sacramento 1913-1982 1724 Stockton Ave. History
Sacramento 1914 Folsom Blvd. and Hazel Ave Olive pickling.
San Francisco 1912 112 Market Street Santa Marina Building
San Francisco 1922 465 California Street[6].
San Francisco 1960 North Point near Taylor[7].
San Jose 1926-1927 4th and Lewis Leased from California Prune and Apricot Growers.
Santa Clara 1927- Franklin Street
Sunnyvale 1907-1981 Mathilda and Evelyn Avenue water tank still exists.


  1. Kent L. Seavey, Yolanda Wuth, and James C. Williams, Images: Sunnyvale's Heritage Resources, 1988, City of Sunnyvale. Chapter 4.
  2. Canneries hold important place in Sunnyvale's history: August 9, 2012 San Jose Mercury Views
  3. C.W. Geiger, "Libby, McNeil, and Libby's Sacramento Cannery". In January 1921 Canning Age.
  4. $25,000,000 Merger of California Canneries: August 23, 1916 San Jose Evening News.
  5. C.W. Geiger, "Libby, McNeil, and Libby's Sacramento Cannery". In January 1921 Canning Age. Article includes plan of factory site and location of different buildings and railroad sidings.
  6. These Shippers have Signed On With Peach and Fig Growers: July 1921 Associated Grower magazine
  7. William Kaufman and Michelle Kaufman: "The State Belt: San Francisco's Waterfront Railroad". Signature Press, 2013.