Re: Carstens reefer

Douglas Harding

OK I've been doing some more digging regarding the Carstens Company. I have
not found any evidence that the company used the reporting marks CPCX, as
seen on the photo of #109. CPCX was used by Cosden Petroleum beginning in
1937, known for Diamond, DX & Mid-Continent Oil products. Near as I can tell
Carstens used TCRL, and perhaps TCRX.

As for the photo itself, it looks like the car has been repainted, except
for the logo, as if someone was attempting to preserve it. And there are no
other markings or lettering, which makes me wonder if someone, not knowing
the proper lettering just guessed as to the reporting marks.

Reporting Marks, from ORER and other sources.

1901 ORER no listing.

1907 document for Asso of Transportation & Car Accounting Officers p 976
shows Carstens Packing Co (see Thos Carstens Refrigerator Line - TCRX)

1908, March, ORER listed as Thos Carstens Refrigerator Line - shows reefers
listed 100-110 - TCRL

1909, March listed as Carstens Packing Co.

1910, listing in Wyoming Auditor report as Thos Carstens Refrigerator Line

1913 ORER shown as Carstens Packing Co. - TCRL w/ 5 reefers 101-108, 4 tanks
101, 104-6


c. 1900 Art Griffin decal with the following lettering:

Carstens Packing Co. Beef & Pork Packers CRL 103, P.S.E. Ry (Puget Sound
Electric Railway?)

Clover House #8883-01 dry transfer lettered as:

White Swan Shortening, TCRL 108

The Carstens Packing Company was a Meat Packer based in Tacoma WA. Here is a
Company Time Line I have created.

1890 Organized as Carstens Brothers, a small butcher shop with three
employees in Seattle

1897 The Carstens Packing Company was founded, opening a packing house near
the Grant St. Bridge

1903 relocated to Tacoma, on the Tacoma tideflats, 1623 East J St.; site of
the old Pacific Meat Co. ruins relocated in Tacoma in 1903 under the name
of Carstens Bros. Packing Co.

1904 Incorporated by Thomas Carstens

1905 it was reincorporated as Carstens Packing Co. Known as one of the
largest slaughtering and packing houses on the west coast.

1908 A new sausage kitchen was constructed, doubling the capacity of the
department. A modern three-story boarding house for the accommodation of
their employees was built with workers only being charged a nominal fee for
room and board. It is not clear whether the company also had separate dining
facilities elsewhere on plant grounds.

1909 150 cattle, 400 sheep and 300 hogs were slaughtered daily By the
decade's end, Carstens handled 1,800 cars of cattle, 600 cars of sheep and
1200 cars of hogs yearly.

1914 Purchased Empire Packing Co of Spokane WA

1914 had a fire

1916 had a fire, built new concrete structures to replace wood buildings.

1926 Oct 21, Advertised bonds for company expansion, built a new 4 story
unit to hold the sausage factory, sausage coolers, lard refinery and smoke
houses, beef coolers and beef sales coolers. Had 652 employees with packing
plants in Tacoma and Spokane, and 50 distributing branches and markets in 24
cities and towns throughout the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and

1931 build a new office building

1947 put a new Kartridg-Pack machine into use in mid-May for packing wieners
side-by-side, bound together by paper loops instead of the usual method of
stringing them tail-to-tail. The Kartridge-Pack had the ability to pack
3,200 pounds of wieners per 8 hour shift.

1947 June Carstens added refrigerated trucks to their fleet. The new trucks
are the first of their kind in Tacoma. They were built on Chevrolet chassis
and designed by Right of Way Auto Works of Tacoma. Designed by Carstens
personal, the trucks are called "mobile sales units".

1954 sold to Hygrade Food Products Inc.

1954 built new fertilizer production facility to replace an outmoded part of
the plant

1990 plant closed

Carstens had a lard, tallow and oleo refinery on part of its 15-acre
property. Along with a glue factory, tannery, and fertilizer plant.

Doug Harding

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