O. A. Harlan & Company

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Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

San Jose


California Prune and Apricot Growers

O. A. Harlan & Company was a San Jose-based dried fruit packer in existence before 1917. The company was operated by Orrin A. Harlan, a San Jose businessman. Harlan's first incarnation of O. A. Harlan and Company packed for the California Prune and Apricot Growers in at least their first season of 1917. That company was sold to the [[California Prune and Apricot Growers in 1918[1], but he went back into business, started another incarnation of O. A. Harlan, and sold that business to the California Prune and Apricot Growers in 1928 when he became general manager of that organization. Harlan sold out to California Prune and Apricot Growers (Sunsweet) in 1928 when he was also made general manager of the organization. Harlan owned multiple packing plants (including one in San Jose, pictured in the Sunsweet Story.) He kept a fresh fruit packing house in Campbell when he moved to Sunsweet.

Harlan's San Jose plant at 4th and Margaret, south of downtown, was built in 1918 of reinforced concrete. The building was 60 feet by 180 feet, and cost $20,000 to construct[2]

The company was relatively small. Harlan sold 180,000 pounds of "evaporated" prunes to war board in 1919 at 10.75 cents/pound to the War Department's director of purchase and storage[3]. That same year, CalPak sold 2.5 million pounds of fruit,, Richmond sold 2,000,000 pounds, Sunsweet sold 3.8 million pounds, Garcia and Maggini sold a million pounds. Even more sales from same and different vendors.

Harlan had previous experience in the dried fruit business, and had been the manager for Rosenberg Brothers in 1907 when they occupied the former Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange plant on Sunol Street in San Jose.


Location Years Address Details
Campbell 1928
Mountain View
San Jose 1917, 1918 4th and Margaret Southwest corner Sold to California Prune and Apricot Growers in 1918, still a CP
San Jose 1928, 1931 4th and Lewis (city directory) Photo in Sunsweet Story.


  1. Coast News In Brief: August 3, 1918 California Fruit News
  2. San Jose Cannery: July 1918 Architect and Engineer
  3. List of Government Contracts and Purchase Orders: Official U. S. Bulletin By United States. Committee on Public Information, March 31, 1919.

[[Category::Dried Fruit Packer]]