Re: Canning - was Re: Baggage cars in freight trains

Doug Paasch

Yes Dennis,


It is true that some can plants made certain cans, and other plants made other types of cans.  The plants made what types of cans were needed in large volumes for the industries in their areas.  And I mean LARGE volumes, as in millions of cans, as the machinery is big, heavy, expensive, and specific to a type/size of can.  And boy did that can plant pound and vibrate from the machinery.  The physical building was quite a substantial investment, as well as the machinery.  So, small volume customers would indeed have to order from can plants far away if they weren’t near a high-volume customer for the same type of can.


That’s why the Seattle plant made lots of fish cans, because of the Alaska and Washington fish canneries.  BTW, the Alaska commercial fishing fleet was, and still is, based in Seattle at the Port of Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal at the north end of Interbay (as in BNSF’s, nee BN’s, nee GN’s Interbay), and at Pier 91 (former Navy Pier) at the south end of Interbay.  Back in GN days, there was a Western Fruit Express (as in GN’s subsidiary in the WFE/BRE/FGE consortium) icing platform at Interbay (steam era content) along GN’s main out of the north end of the yard.  The fishing industry today still uses a LOT of ice.  Back in the steam era days, the reefers for shipping fish used a lot of ice, too, and Seattle was where a lot of fish were brought in from Alaska and local waters.


Doug Paasch




From: <> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek via
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2022 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Canning - was Re: Baggage cars in freight trains


On Fri, Nov 18, 2022 at 02:43 PM, Doug Paasch wrote:

Here is an item of possible nostalgia for some of you.  I scarfed the attached map of Continental Can plants when they shut down Plant 13 in the 1970’s.  I don’t know what year the map was made though.

I've been wondering why empty cans were shipped from Cleveland to Wisconsin, As I was sure there were can plants in Chicago if not closer. All I can figure is not all plants made all sizes, and they traded increased shipping costs for economies of scale on some of the lesser used sizes.

Dennis Storzek

Join to automatically receive all group messages.