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First Shipment Of California Vegetables To Boston?

Bob Chaparro
 

First Shipment Of California Vegetables Cross-Country?

This statement appeared in a Narratively.com blog post about the fruit and vegetable business in New York:

"In 1904, Andrea D’Arrigo, Matthew’s grandfather, then 16, emigrated from Messina, Sicily, to Boston via Ellis Island. His younger brother Stefano soon followed. Both learned English, earned engineering degrees and fought for the U.S. during World War I. When they returned stateside the brothers found work at a roadside produce market. In 1925, Stefano traveled to central California during a wine grape-buying trip and observed firsthand the land’s fertility. The brothers came up with an idea to expand business: broccoli. A year later Stefano sent 28 acres worth of broccoli 2,800 miles from San Jose to Boston via train—the first ever cross-country railcar of California fresh vegetables in U.S. history..."

To me the year 1925 seems a bit late for the first cross-country shipment of vegetables by rail.

Anyone agree?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Tony Thompson
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:

A year later Stefano sent 28 acres worth of broccoli 2,800 miles from San Jose to Boston via train—the first ever cross-country railcar of California fresh vegetables in U.S. history..."
To me the year 1925 seems a bit late for the first cross-country shipment of vegetables by rail.

    You are very right, Bob. The date of 1925 is around 50 years too late.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
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Donald B. Valentine
 

Would you care to cite the support for your comment please Tony?  
1925 sounds a little late to me but not 50 years late.

Thanks, Don Valentine

Jon Miller
 

On 2/6/2019 4:25 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:
broccoli---------vegetables

    It may have taken 50 years for the east coast to like broccoli:-D

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
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Tony Thompson
 

Don Valentine  wrote:

Would you care to cite the support for your comment please Tony?  
1925 sounds a little late to me but not 50 years late.

      Thee are citations to a number of 19th century examples in the PFE book's Chapter 3 and elsewhere in the book. Certainly there were both fruit (mostly oranges) and vegetables moving across the country from California to the East Coast by 1880, and a few examples during the 1870s.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Mark Cartwright
 

>>>>.  Several small carloads of California crops were shipped eastward via the new transcontinental route almost immediately after its completion, using a special type of ventilated boxcar modified specifically for this purpose. The advent of the iced refrigerator car or "reefer" led to increases in both the amount of product carried and in the distances traveled. <<<
From - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rail_transportation_in_California
I am for sure and for certain rail shipments of nuts, fruits and vegetables were being shipped via rail (ATSF) from Stockton, California by 1878.
Yes, I agree off by 50+ years.
Further, I have photographs of California Dispatch Cars near the tender of passenger trains heading East in 1895.
====
As for the period from 1869 to 1877 via the Central Pacific....?
I have read some writings from very unhappy farmers over the rates from the Central Pacific towards the year 1877. There are further suggestions, that the Central Pacific was not Welcome to further build a connection from Lathrop to Stockton during the 1870's.  Instead, the Santa Fe was asked to come to Stockton instead.
Both the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe were however in operation here by 1899 with the Western Pacific (D&RG) in close proximity soon after.
By 1925, even the Western Pacific was announcing a One Million Dollar investment to their operations in Stockton as well. The Front Page of the Stockton Independent Newspaper announcing this investment is hanging on my wall.
====
There are massive storehouses constructed here, which are still standing today, dating back to the 1870's.
Here is a video of the area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7h2QUPKyOo
Most of the area however, has succumbed to repeated fires over the past 60 years. Today, most of the area has NOT been redeveloped, mostly populated by the Homeless. I would say the decline began around 1959.
====
Here is one more tidbit of information....
Edwin Tobias Earl was born on a fruit ranch near Red Bluff, California on May 30, 1858. His father was Joseph Earl and his mother, Adelia Chaffee. His brother was Guy Chaffee Earl. Career. He started his career in the shipping of fruits. By 1886, he was President of the Earl Fruit Company. In 1890, he invented the refrigerator car to transport fruits to the East Coast of the United States. He established the Continental Fruit Express and invested US$2,000,000 in refrigerator cars. In 1901, he sold his refrigerator cars to Armour and Company of Chicago and became a millionaire.
:)) Mark

Donald B. Valentine
 

Thank you Tony & Mark. Given what you have both provided where were the earliest re-icing stations located and how close in proximity to one another were they given the average distance traveled by most trains, either passenger or freight, in those days?

Cordially, Don Valentine

Tony Thompson
 

Don Valentine  wrote:

Thank you Tony & Mark. Given what you have both provided where were the earliest re-icing stations located and how close in proximity to one another were they given the average distance traveled by most trains, either passenger or freight, in those days?

    Sorry, that's not something I have researched for that early period. By the 1890s, Armour had created a network of icing stations, but before that, I don't know. 

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Fred Swanson
 

Perhaps coming into Boston since New York is a couple mile short of cross country:)  D'Arrigo still has a large presence in the Salinas Valley. I looked up one of their companies (Andyboy) for their history and found a Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Arrigo_Brothers  It says nothing about being the first vegetable shipment.  It does say They brought seeds from Italy and in eat year mentioned shipped broccoli.  I found interesting they helped with innovating refrigeration for cross-country vegetable travel.
Fred Swanson

Jack Mullen
 

"...nuts, fruits and vegetables were being shipped via rail (ATSF) from Stockton, California by 1878."
Maybe I'm misunderstanding or misremembering, but I believe the Santa Fe didn't even reach Southern California until the early 1880s, let alone getting farther north.

I don't know how important a role Edwin Tobias Earl may have played in refrigerator car development, but the broad statement "In 1890, he invented the refrigerator car ..." is bogus, although it comes verbatim from Wikipedia.  :^o
The obit* which wiki footnotes as the source actually makes a narrower claim that he "invented a combination ventilator-refrigerator car",  having found ventilated boxcars unsatisfactory.
* https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SN19190111.2.70&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1

Does anyone have more knowledge of Earl's role?
Jack Mullen

Dennis Storzek
 

On Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 08:47 PM, Fred Swanson wrote:
Perhaps coming into Boston since New York is a couple mile short of cross country:)  D'Arrigo still has a large presence in the Salinas Valley. I looked up one of their companies (Andyboy) for their history and found a Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Arrigo_Brothers  It says nothing about being the first vegetable shipment. 
But it does say they were the first the first to ship fresh fruits and vegetables from California to the east coast YEAR ROUND, which may say more about their ability to manage their farming operation than anything it says about railroad technology. I can see how a unsophisticated writer could pick up on the "first."

Dennis Storzek

Richard Bale
 

Don...
John Signor prepared a map showing the location of Santa Fe icing stations between the west coast and Chicago. The map appears on page 166 of John White's The Great Yellow Fleet. 
Richard Bale

In a message dated 2/7/2019 3:50:53 PM Pacific Standard Time, tony@... writes:

Don Valentine  wrote:

Thank you Tony & Mark. Given what you have both provided where were the earliest re-icing stations located and how close in proximity to one another were they given the average distance traveled by most trains, either passenger or freight, in those days?
    Sorry, that's not something I have researched for that early period. By the 1890s, Armour had created a network of icing stations, but before that, I don't know.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history