Re: 50' box cars, car assignments, and WWII

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>


I am not sure where the can manufacturers were on the west coast. Perhaps some large food processors made their own in the their canning factories. Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Los Angeles look like good candidates either way.

However, one of the major suppliers of tinned steel to the California food industry was United States Steel's Columbia Works in Pittsburg (no "h"), California. After WWII, this plant was set up with a tinning works specifically to produce can stock. Columbia also made other steel products, including thin steel sheet for appliances.

Steel for Columbia came from the USS Geneva Works near Provo, Utah. The D&RGW, WP, and Sacramento Northern developed a profitable traffic between Geneva and Columbia, mostly carrying coils for can and other thin sheet production. Columbia was located on the SN, a WP interurban subsidiary. This traffic continued until fairly recently under UP ownership of all three roads, but I don't know its current status. Geneva has been mothballed for several years now. Columbia continues in operation. The works was also served by the ATSF and SP.

You can read more about the Columbia works and the SN's steel service at my web site: . Also don't miss the related page on the WP's unique 29' coil gons which has more information on Geneva and Columbia.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Jack Wyatt wrote:

. . . . I assume you are talking about
late steam era. That raises the question of where were the can manufacturers
located? I would guess they were spread over the food producing areas of the
country because it would be cheaper to transport tinplate than cans. Did the
West coast have a lot of can manufacturers with all of the agricultural
producing areas and Pacific fisheries?
Jack Wyatt

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