This packing house was in Yakima Washington, but all the fruit was sorted using a Hood River product: the Ideal Fruit Grader from the Ideal Fruit Nursery Company. Notes indicate they packed almost 500,000 boxes of apples and pears in a season.
A sign running down the middle of the sorting machine says, "No Talking Permitted While Machine Is Running."
I worked in a packing house/cannery in Vancouver one summer. It was a big place like this one. There was not a rule against talking.
I was a teenager working with older women who griped about their husbands.
L.E. on 26th June 2019 @ 7:10am
Those are bigger boxes than the size packed now. I can see that it is 4 apples wide.. I can't tell if they are doing a 4x4 pack or a 4x3 pack.
It is interesting that the sorters are on both the far right and far left. So the fruit had to have gone down past them , then around a corner and back down to be sized into the packing bins. It appears that packed boxes on the track go clear to the back end, then come around and come down along behind the sorters to probably some type of lidding machine. You can make out where the packed boxes from the left cross over about half way down the packing line. Personally, it looks kind of like a confusing operation, but guess it worked.
If you are a good packing and fruit in running you aren't going to be talking while the machine is on......
A few years ago I flew to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and drove to Gettysburg. About half way there is Rice Packing Company. in Garner, Pa. There is a corrider in that area that grows apples. They are the biggest packing facility of the east coast. They own a huge amount of orchards themselves, but pack for others. I just had to stop and when the people found out where I was from, I was allowed to self tour their plant. It was not open to the public. They had the nicest cleanest place I have ever been into. I can't recall how much fruit they ship per year, but it is massive. A lot of their fruit goes to New York City.....
Charlott on 26th June 2019 @ 7:17am
Again, thanks Charlott for making the photo even more meaningful anad sharing your many life experiences.
nels on 26th June 2019 @ 8:44am
Agree: Thanks Charlotte!
Kyle on 26th June 2019 @ 12:48pm
I believe my great-grandfather Frank Davenport had box factories at both the Belmont and Ruthton plants. I would guess that a lot of these boxes were made there. Hundreds of thousands!
Jerry L on 29th June 2019 @ 4:37pm
Do you suppose they actually transported boxes from Hood River to Yakima. I would think that they probably had shook mills up there in the Simcoe somewhere. There were numerous shook mills up on Fir Mountain and those short logs for box shook were brought down here to the plant they had set up along the railroad track in Odell.
Charlottt on 1st July 2019 @ 7:07am
I worked stacking labeled LA lugs for Webster Orchards as a teenager. A man named Leo Phillips came down in the nights and made the boxes on an ingenious machine. He would lay the box ends on their sides, lay a thinner board across them, and then wonder of wonders, he would step on a pedal and from a bin over his head, nails would rattle down metal tubes to the wood and with a loud wham they would all be nailed in at once. Then he would turn the wood over, lay another board on, and wham in another set of nails. Same for adding the box bottoms. He could go on for hours.
A fascinating feature of this man was the neat row of nailhole scars across one hand. I never had the nerve to ask him about it, but I assumed he had stomped on the pedal while he was still adjusting the boards.
My job was to nest three madeup boxes together and add them to the stack of them that reached the high warehouse ceiling. I built towering staircases of boxes, laying decking boards on top of the stair treads and scrambling up to add each layer and re align the decking.
I am turning 80 next week, and I daresay I am one of the limberest old ladies you will ever see. I owe my flexaibility to my early exertions at Webster Orchards.
Barbara Parsons on 21st November 2020 @ 3:03pm