Dunkley Company

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Michigan Canning and Machinery Company

The Dunkley Company was a packer and canning equipment manager started by S. J. Dunkley in Michigan. Dunkley started off packing celery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, then canning peaches in South Haven and Hartford[1]. He later invented a cherry pitter among other machines and eventually moved completely into mechanical devices for canning. His company Dunkley moved his company to Oakland, California in 1915[2]. The company was continuing to lease and maintain canning equipment in 1949, employing a mobile staff of mechanics who could quickly reach rural canneries in Michigan leasing the company's equipment. The company was apparently owned by Libby in 1981[3].

In 1916, the Dunkley Company sued many California fruit packers for infringing on the company's patents[4]. The company move may have been related to the lawsuit. During the hearings discussing changes to the 1920 Packer's Decree[5], the wholesalers at Tillman and Bendel claimed that Dunkley was actually controlled by the meat packer Swift and Company, and their control existed only to attack independent California canners.


Location Years Address Details
Kalamazoo, Michigan - 1915
Oakland 1915-1922


  1. Willis Frederick Dunbar, Western Michigan at Work. Radio show, broadcast on WKZO on July 12, 1949.
  2. Obituary: S. J. Dunkley. February 1923 Western Canner and Packer.
  3. "Libby Says It Will Sell Its Canning Operations." December 12,1981 New York Times. "Although no dollar figures were announced, it is believed that the deal involved millions of dollars, and would leave Libby with its fruit juices and specialty foods units that it operates under its Crosse & Blackwell and Maggi, Florida Citrus Groves Corporation and Dunkley Company subsidiaries. The company also said it was planning new acquisitions and product lines, but refused to elaborate."
  4. Central California Canneries vs. Dunkley Company, No. 3824, United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, August 1921. Dunkley argued the companies were infringing on his patents for peach skin removers, but the canneries responded that he had only done minor improvements to already-known processes.
  5. In [Packers' Consent Decree: Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, United States Senate, Sixty-Seventh Congress, Second Session, Pursuant to Senate Resolution 211, to Investigate Matters Concerning the Consent Decree Entered in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in the Case of the United States of America, Plaintiff, V. Swift & Co. Et Al., Defendants.] U. S. Senate, March 23 and April 21, 1922.