W. C. Hamilton

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San Jose

W. C. Hamilton was a San Jose manufacturer of fruit graders, dipping baskets, field cars, transfer cars and turntables.

Hamilton's fruit grader combined the idea of an incline shaking table with holes for different-sized fruit with an embedded fan for blowing debris and dust off the fruit[1]An 1893 Pacific Rural Press article noted that his fruit grader design had been in use since 1888, and was in use by the West Side Fruit Growers Association and Santa Clara Valley Fruit Exchange. Models varied in size; there is mention of three and five foot models (though it's unclear if this is width or height)[2] while another article refers to the grader as nine to fourteen feet long[3].

In 1893, Hamilton filed a California Railroad Commission complaint against the Southern Pacific for excessive shipping costs for his machines[4]. That case was settled quickly with the S.P. suggesting ways to knock down the grader for lower shipping costs.

An 1895 article claims the grader was the only one used by the California Fruit Exchange[5].


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1893 The Alameda between Montgomery and Autumn[6]
San Jose 1895 451 West Santa Clara St. Factory[7]
San Jose 1900 289 North First Street
San Jose 1902 470 S. 11th Street[8]


  1. The Hamilton Fruit Grader: July 13, 1889 Pacific Rural Press.
  2. The Hamilton Fruit Grader: July 15, 1893 Pacific Rural Press.
  3. The Hamilton Fruit Grader: July 13, 1889 Pacific Rural Press.
  4. W.C. Hamilton vs Southern Pacific Company: In Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the Thirtieth Session of the Legislature of the State of California, Volume II, Sacramento, 1893.
  5. September 14, 1895 Pacific Rural Press
  6. The Hamilton Fruit Grader: July 13, 1889 Pacific Rural Press.
  7. Advertisement, September 14, 1895 Pacific Rural Press
  8. Fruit Graders: W. C. Hamilton: Husted's 1902-3 San Jose City Directory.