Schuckl Cannery

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Rancho Soup, Black Knight[1]

Schuckl and Company, Sunnyvale Packing

Sunnyvale Canneries

California Canners and Growers
Schuckl Cannery, Niles, Cal. From ad in February 1922 Western Canner and Packer

Schuckl and Company was a San Francisco export broker, dried fruit producer, and canner initially operated by Max Schuckl, an Austrian immigrant[2][3]. The company had a sales office in New York[4].

The company started in Niles, California, both canning and packing dried fruit. Max Schuckl, in 1914, commented in an article about the outbreak of war in Europe "we [California] don't sell more than 20 cars a year [of peaches] to England, and perhaps 30 cars to Germany. Apricots, being more of a luxury, may drop in demand and price. But prunes are a real foodstuff and will be needed."[5]. In 1922, the company was appointed export agents for Sunsweet, handling all exports to Germany and Austria[6].

The company was noted as packing cherries in May 1922[7] The company expanded to Sunnyvale when they purchased Sunnyvale Canneries in 1925[8]. Fred Drew was the manager of both the Sunnyvale and Niles canneries in 1928[9].

Schuckl and Company also canned salmon in Seattle[10].

Schuckl died in 1937; Emil Rutz, took over as President; Paul Case, former sales manager, took over as vice president. Rutz had joined the company in 1923 as office manager, but became treasurer in 1930 and vice president in 1931. Rutz was active in both the cannery and trade groups; he had been a director for the Canners League of California, negotiated with the Cannery Workers Union as president of California Processors and Growers in 1944 and 1945, and president of the National Canners Association in 1947. Case had been a west coast buyer for the Kroger Grocery Company.

Even in the 1930's, the company was still primarily focused on exports. In 1937, exports were responsible for about 95% of sales; as World War II approached, the company began to focus on domestic sales; sales were still made by executives traveling to Europe to book orders for the next year. However, when Great Britain banned import of canned fruit and vegetables, Schuckl lost 65% of its business; the remaining 35% of the business was domestic[11].

In 1942, the company had 4,903 shares of stock outstanding. 1,900 shares were held by Schmidt & Co, 857.5 by L.S. Ackerman, 577.5 by Florence A. Sears, Therese E. Schuckl, 639 shares, Emil Rutz, 277 shares, and Paul Case, 126 shares.

By the 1940's, the company had branched into soups. Their Rancho Soups brand (billed as a product of Sunnyvale Packing) not only exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island[12], and also sponsored "Jane Endicott, Reporter" on CBS Radio in 1942[13]

After World War II, Schuckl bought the former United States Products cannery on Moorpark at Race, then being used by American Home Foods to produce Clapp's Baby Food.

Schuckl's Sunnyvale cannery continued to operate well into the late 20th century. A 1956 lawsuit against the company accused them of responsibility in a grade crossing accident at Fair Oaks Ave. because the cannery stacked too many boxes near the road. The lawsuit also describes the track arrangement and plant arrangement[14].

Schuckl & Co was sold to California Canners and Growers in 1963.[15] The Sunnyvale cannery was demolished in 1984. The current site contains apartment buildings.


Production and profits from incorporation to 1944 were as follow:[16]. The 1,900 share leap in outstanding shares in 1935 may have been from an investment by Schmidt & Co.

Fiscal Year Ended Cases Packed Sales Before Taxes Net Profit After Taxes Shares Outstanding Dividend Per Share
2/29/24 65,000 $469,656.70 $ (7,558.85) $ (7,558.85) 1,000 ....
2/28/25 137,448 798,820.26 8,235.30 8,235.30 1,000 ....
2/27/26 332,376 1,458,701.50 37,959.01 32,992.71 1,430 ....
2/28/27 407,538 1,528,553.56 98,567.64 87,947.51 1,970 ....
2/29/28 325,204 1,296,335.89 11,357.52 9,389.98 2,075 $6.00
2/28/29 533,851 2,293,402.33 124,543.96 112,141.49 2,218 7.00
2/28/30 565,146 2,496,822.97 15,141.18 14,231.34 2,735 8.00
2/28/31 611,567 2,092,262.22 75,125.52 64,055.97 3,000 8.00
2/29/32 939,613 2,076,033.91 (69,466.63) (69,466.63) 3,000 4.00
2/28/33 1,075,503 2,010,900.88 (125,121.57) (125,121.57) 3,000 ....
2/28/34 1,158,990 2,675,255.26 109,018.83 86,518.83 3,000 ....
2/28/35 902,711 2,485,667.07 (159,989.81) (159,989.81) 4,903 ....
2/29/36 935,609 3,169,458.59 (66,060.22) (66,060.22) 4,903 ....
2/28/37 1,062,401 2,835,533.06 192,686.08 150,686.08 4,903 ....
2/28/38 1,503,255 3,910,194.73 138,400.18 114,400.18 4,903 3.00
2/28/39 1,544,122 4,439,190.56 65,908.63 63,308.63 4,903 0.75
2/29/40 1,787,866 5,242,963.48 110,138.12 84,738.12 4,903 4.50
2/28/41 1,663,463 3,311,160.52 (156,651.97) (156,651.97) 4,903 2.75
2/28/42 2,059,837 6,189,670.67 459,250.27 332,179.14 4,903 6.00
2/28/43 2,119,562 8,895,355.03 743,332.72 200,791.14 4,898 8.75
2/29/44 2,510,362 9,104,578.53 538,043.08 166,072.68 4,898 10.00


Location Years Address Details
Niles 1919
San Francisco 1917 16 California St.[17]
San Jose 1945 570 Race Street

Leased former U.S. Products cannery.

Sunnyvale 1925-1962 182 South Fairoaks Avenue

Offices and main cannery. Designed by William Wurster. Cannery was on south side of tracks west of Fair Oaks Ave., office and warehouses were east of Fair Oaks Ave[18].


Shuckl Cannery Office (William Wurster, architect) Sunnyvale Library


  1. Black Knight: used for canned fruits and canned vegetables. US Trademark #147,468, U.S. Patent Office, August 16, 1921. Trademark had been used since January 23, 1920.
  2. Personal Mention and Notes: June 1921 Western Canner and Packer. "Mac Schuckl, head of Schuckl & Company, San Francisco and New York, returned to San Francisco from Europe, via New York, during the first week of May.
  3. Max G. Schuckl, Alameda CA. 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Schuckl lived at 828 Laurel St. in San Francisco, and listed his job as "broker, canned products". He immigrated in 1907.
  4. New Members (of Merchant Association): Greater New York. Schuckl and Company, Mr. W. A. Wiley, Manager, 100 Hudson St. California Products.
  5. War and the Dried Fruit Market: August 15, 1914 Pacific Rural Press.
  6. California Canneries. March 1922 Western Canner and Packer.
  7. California Canneries: May 1922 Western Canner and Packer.
  8. Heritage Resource Designations for Southwood and Fairorchard Neighborhoods (2008-0296), City of Sunnyvale, May 12, 2009.
  9. Niles Notes: July 20, 1928 Hayward Review.
  10. Among the Fish Canners: October 25, 1919 The Canner magazine. "Manager E. B. McGovern of E. B. McGovern and Co., brokers and distributors of canned salmon at Seattle, Wash. announce he has merged his interests with Schuckl and Company of Seattle and San Francisco, but that he will be in full charge of the Seattle office."
  11. Schuckl & Co., Inc. vs Commissioner. U.S. Tax Court, 8 T.C. M. 1047 (1949). The case argued over whether bonuses paid to staff in 1942, 1943, and 1944 were proper deductions from gross income.
  12. Sunnyvale Packing Co. Photo: "Santa Clara County Exhibit at 1939 Worlds Fair, San Francisco." Collection Of Sunnyvale Historical Society
  13. Advertisers, Agencies, Stations. January 10, 1942 Billboard Magazine. "Sunnyvale Packing Co, effective January 5, sponsors "Jane Endicott, Reporter" on five CBS Coast stations Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:45-11 PST, in interests of Rancho Soups. Lord & Thomas handled the deal." The initial episode of the "soup-opera" included a history of Rancho Soup "made in a small town in the west", available on the Coast, and in Montana "If good canned soups can be made, why can't they be made right here in the west where the best vegetables can be found?"
  14. Pennington vs. Southern Pacific Co., California Court of Appeals first district, division 2, case #16675 , December 5, 1956. The appeal includes details of track arrangements, signaling, and operations on the San Francisco commute trains.
  15. City of Sunnyvale. Historic Resources Evaluation Report, Fair Oaks Overhead Bridge Rehabilitation. The document notes that the bridge on Fair Oaks Ave. over the Southern Pacific tracks was built in 1967.
  16. Schuckl & Co., Inc. vs Commissioner. U.S. Tax Court, 8 T.C. M. 1047 (1949). The case argued over whether bonuses paid to staff in 1942, 1943, and 1944 were proper deductions from gross income.
  17. Schuckl & Co., dried fruits. Annual Directory of the City and County of San Francisco. 1917.
  18. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Sunnyvale, California. January 1930.