Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

October: A Month of Pumpkins; Day 7, The Pumpkin Label

Vintage Pumpkin Label

Vintage Pumpkin Label from Olney and Floyd Canning Factory

Delta Canning Factory, Oneida NY

Delta Canning Factory, Oneida NY

Many bloggers have asked me recently what the big deal is with pumpkins in the US. This may explain the beginnings on a large scale!

The history of Olney and Floyd Canning Factory in Delta, NY goes like this……..

In 1884, George B. Olney and C. Frank Floyd purchased three or four acres of land by the Mohawk River. It was the first canning factory to be built in this area. The buildings were two stories high and spread out. North of the buildings were long sheds where horse-drawn lumber wagons loaded with sweet corn were placed. On the west and south side of the large building were the store rooms, where the canned goods were stored. The corn was raised by the local farmers. In the fall the corn was cut by hand, shucked by hand, packed into the cans and labled by hand. It was then packed into wooden boxes, and loaded on large wagons pulled by a stout team of horses.

Canners in those days spent their winters making their own cans. On November 20, 1881, a local newspaper stated “Olney and Floyd canning factory owners have purchased a boat load of Welch tin and are preparing to make cans for the next season.”

The Olney and Floyd Company canned corn as the only product at first. Then four years later the Delta plant was purchased. By 1886, both canning factories together had reached the total of one million cans a year. The work at the plant included snipping of beans, shelling peas, shucking corn, all done by hand. Then there was the slow process of filling and hand soldering the tin containers. Can you imagine processing one million cans a year by hand?

In 1881 about 30 people were employed at the can producing factory. In 1887 they were making 4,000 cans a day. It would need to make 600,000 cans to supply both factories. At that time both factories were canning corn, succotash, green and yellow beans, peas, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, spinach, red kidney beans, lima beans and beets. The Rome Sentinel stated on September 27, 1891, “Olney and Floyd had put up 400,000 cans of corn at the Delta plant. The Westernville factory did the same number that year.”

In 1894 there were 100 people employed in the Delta factory.  With George Jr., John and W. Floyd Olney at the Lee Centre factory, they employed over 200 people at the peak of their business. The Lee Centre plant sold canned goods to many of the local grocery stores such as Loblaws and A. & P.

Around the turn of the century, more produce was canned in Oneida County than any other county in New York. Produce was grown by area farmers. Lee Center Canning Factory was built to replace the Delta factory that had closed it’s doors in 1907, to make way for the Delta Dam project. The Lee Center Canning Factory closed in 1971.

The final verdict: Pumpkin fed people and provided jobs! We still love our pumpkin today!

3 Responses to “October: A Month of Pumpkins; Day 7, The Pumpkin Label”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Back to Me

A story of love and loss and reclaiming identity

Duver Diary

A garden diary from the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight

enclos*ure

Life in gardens -- old and new.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Man

The incredibly true misadventures of a home gardener.

My Tiny Vegetable Garden Experiment

Cultivating the art of patience while gardening in a small space

citysonnet.wordpress.com/

photography, poetry

125 Center

existence & images

mybeautfulthings

Finding the beautiful in the everyday

Green Girl Gardener

musings and ramblings on the life and gardening exploits of a suburban 40 something!

kineticheart

The things I love that prompt me into motion

Hortitopia

A region, a garden, a frame of mind...

acoastalplot

gardening and family life by the sea

The Blooming Garden

Ideas from a Suffolk garden

Flowery Prose

Growing words about writing, gardening, and outdoors pursuits in Alberta, Canada.

agoyvaerts

To observe, to be enchanted, and to enjoy the simple stuff in life, is truly a delight.

The Iris and the Lily

GAIA'S HEARTBEAT experience the pulsing earth in photos

Gossip from the Southern Garden

Telling it like it is! by Victoria LK Williams

greenbenchramblings

Musings about gardening, the natural world and things creative.

View from a French Hillside

Life, nature and photography on a French Hillside

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

%d bloggers like this: