Re: Old Photos from Southern Railway in Knoxville yard

Bob Chaparro

Old Dutch Cleanser & Cudahy Packing Company

Probably more than you want to know, but a few factoids I've found...

In 1905 the Cudahy Packing Company became the first company to manufacturer and market a cleansing powder, Old Dutch Cleanser.

Cudahy had a pumicite mine in Meade County, Kansas, and had a tie to a company that used pumicite to clean up the floors of the slaughterhouses of Chicago. Pumicite is a variety of pumice, a highly pressurized rock that is formed when lava and water are mixed. Seismotite is a trade name for pumice used by Cudahy and was seen in Old Dutch Cleanser advertising.

Later, Cudahy's pumicite was taken from a mine located underground in the Mojave Desert. Pumicite production began in 1923. The mined rock was trucked to a siding on the Southern Pacific Railroad at Saltdale, seven miles south of the mine. It was delivered to Los Angeles where it was processed and blended with other material to create the cleanser.

Twelve men were employed by Cudahy to oversee the mine and produce 100 tons of pumicite per week. Cudahy Camp was a small company operated camp created to house the miners. Numerous structures were built at the camp, however their uses have not clearly been established.

The mine produced 120,000 tons of pumicite for the company. The mine closed in 1947 because the mineral was discovered at ground level in other locations.

Old Dutch Cleanser was sold by Cudahy to Purex on April 24, 1955.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

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