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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California • Page 50

Oakland Tribunei
Oakland, California
Issue Date:
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3 i i 50-A Oakland Tribuhs, Scnday, May 1 1, 1552 tT X- i in Use of Gas, Electricity fceassuar m. i -w f- ---N. and to Berkeley in 1881. The first high-pressure-line In the United States was achieved In 1885 with the installation of "pressure gov i it Cu ft If eland -Oakland can lay claim to participation with P.Git E. prede- cessor -'companies in a number of milestone achievements in fas and electric utility development and pioneering in California.

Fifty-one years ago, for ex-ifmple, the longest electric transmission Una in the west, con- nected Ridge Substation at Oakland to the Colgate Powerhouse on tha Yuba River, 142 miles distant. Over that line flowed JOSEPH G. EASTLAND yf" A j. Early day wagon used by Pacific Gas and Electric workers to As ft 1 yA Yx j. Old caa holder was located first such utility was incorporated with a capital stock of $150,000.

Antoine Chabot was its first president Oakland's population of 2500 watched with limited interest as the infant company constructed the city's first gas plant on a $3000 parcel of land on Washington Street be and other Eastbay points. The 1885 generating plant that produced only enough electric power to light f75 arc lamps com pares in no way with the modern Contra Costa steam plant at An-tioch which has a normal operating capacity of 340,000 kilowatts and in two years will add another 226,000 kilowatts. Those 15 gas customers of 1866 look rather puny alongside today's total of 225,592 in the East-bay division, but there are even more electric customers in East-bay, 306,823. Oakland -first" of today, including the new 17 million cubic foot holder at Richmond, I now totals 43 million cubic I feet, contrasted to the original holdef constructed in 1866. In.

Oakland alone there are five gas holders with a total storage of .26,179,000 cubic feet of gas. Much of Oakland's gas comes through the new $3 million 24-30 inch main from Irvington which delivers gas from Texas, Kettle-man Hills and Rio Vista fields. Anothes older main from Irving-ton, 20 inches in diameter, delivers Additional gas to Oakland FROM SAWMILL TO AUTOMOBILE OF OAKLAND INDUSTRY How ah Acorn Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker All Played Their Part A Mighty Maze of Machines By JOHN T. MARTIN, Tribune Financial Editor This is fhe second article industry in Oakland from a portable sawmill to a vast ana 'complex machine which now produces everything from "automobiles to hobbv-trins -lubricants to addina machines. ST0R7 40,000 volts of electricity.

t- I Part of that 142-bOla transmission line was the spectacular single-span crossing over Car-quinez Straight, where Join the waters of Suisun and San Fran-dsco Bays. This crossing, the continent's longest at that time, was J427- feet from tower to tower, and 201 feet above the high water level. fl Two Vears later- the Oakland line voltage had increased to a new high of 60,000 volts, and In still another five years, 1908, the Big Bend Powerhouse on the Feather River sent lOO.OOO volts over an even greater distance 154 miles to Oakland. It was the Oakland-Colgate line also that first used the an cestor of today's "oil circuit-breakers, when in 1903 a Ster ling switch was installed on the line. Designed by R.

H. Sterling, this was one of two of the earliest Tbreakers" or used on high-voltage lines, without which modern-day electric transmission and distribution systems would not operate safely or continuously. Oakland also was among the leaders in early-day use of gas. Eighty-seven years ago, 1865, Joseph G. Eastland and W.

W. Beggs obtained a franchise from the Oakland City Council to build a gas plant and lay mains In the city streets. By June of 1866 the Oakland Gas Light Company Oakland's Sprouted Into outlining the development of meal, feed and middlings brought between $40,000 to 000 The Venus Mills, fourth in Oakland, was built in November, 1867, by. W. Starr en Third Street between Broadway and Franklin Street A year later Starr sold an interest to E.

Mills and under the joint ownership the mill, had a capacity of 100 barrels of flour day. It was taken ever by Gerrick and Warner in the earyly ENCINAL HOME MILL i The Encinal Home Mill sprang up in 1876 at Fourth and Wash ington. Streets as a 'result of a flood on the Sacramento River, William Williamson had a mill at Rio Vista in 1866. A disas- terous flood swept the river val ley and Williamson crated up his machinery and came to Oakland on a barge. In 1885 he took In Henry Gould as a partner.

The plant was- enlarged in the early JOs. Jacob Shamm found the Bay Cityv Roller Flouring Mill at First and Clav Streets in 1875. In 1883 he was Joined by J. C. Westphal and the plant was considerably expanded, achieving a capacity of 100,000 casks of flour and 18,000 tons of ground barley annually, i i Barley and hops became im portant agricultural crop in the middle 50s and two German gentlemen began brewing.

The two partners set up shop on the northeast corner of Ninth Street and Broadway in 1852 under the name of the Oakland Brewery. The modest establishment pro duced 150 barrels of lager beer during its first year. LEADERSHIP CHALLENGED I In 1855 the partners sold to J. C. Wilman who enlarged the plant and then- sold to Joseph BechL It was destroyed by fire In 1863 but Becht rebuilt on the Same site and in 1867 sold to Lawrence Knauer and his son, Fred.

Two years later the new owners 'sold an interest to E. Mangle, John Bose and Charles Kramm. They forthwith bought larger property and put up a three-story, brick and frame Kf'V and Durant Street This plant did 10,000 barrels a year. When Bose died and Mangle retired, Joseph Dieves bought an interest This brewery dominated the market in Alameda County but new breweries sprouted dur ing the "70s and '80s to challenge its leadership. An ale-like steam beer which never caught on in the East but was highly popular around the Bay area was the specialty of the Brooklyn Brewery operated at 18th Avenue and East Fourteenth Street in 1883 by Schmidt Schoenf elder.

Their early pro duction was 3050 barrels per day, but this was increased to 6000 barrels by 1887. rr.v The East Oakland Brewing Company waa established in 1880 at Eighth Avenue and' East Twelfth Street by R. Rlggenber-ger. By 1887 it was turning out 2000 barrels annually, about considered by Oaklanders as their Very own for it was founded by prominent Oaklanders and its destinies were guided by them. AMPLE SHORE FACILITIES The plant was made up of 28 buildings on a nine-acre site with 1200-foot frontage on the Central Pacific Railroad tracks and had amnle shore facilities.

Dollar value of its hardware, farm implements and the like exceeded $1,000,000 a year. Subscribed capital was $2,000,000. Egbert Judson was president; D. Hen shaw, vice-president and general manager; C. B.

Morgan, secretary; Anthony Chabot D. Moody, J. J. H. Hase and Nicholas Ohlands, directors.

Shortly after the turn of the centur the California Bridge Company was set up as a sub sidiary of the (judson Manufac turing Company. This new firm employed 250 hands and averaged 40 bridges a year for erection in California and other Western states. First example of Eastern firms opening an assembling branch here occurred during this period with the establishment of a fac tory at Washington, First and Second Streets by the North western Manufacturing and Car Company of Stillwater, Minne sota. The parent plant shipped parts to Oakland for assembly and distribution on the Pacific Coast: WOOLEN MILL EXPANDED The? California Hosiery Com pany built a woolen mill on First Street in 1881 with paid-up capital of $100,000. They did a business the first year, necessitating immediate expansion.

By 1885 capital was increased -to $370,000. William E. Jordan was president; John Williams, secretary; J. Swenerton, superintendent; J. A.

Chase, J. Kryster, Wallace Everson, J. B. McChes-ney, M. T.

Brewer and J. F. Harms worth, trustees. Thomas Crellin later became president with Freemis Blake, C. T.

Faust and Peter Thompson serving among the directors. The company operated 125machines, employed 150 hands in the plant ernors" on the Alameda line Oakland recorded another "first" when its housewives adopted the Fletcher gaS cook stove, brought by Eastland to the Eastbay from England. Oakland's first electric service was inaugurated January 1, 1885, from, a small plant built at Sec ond and Washington Streets, al though the plant's capacity was only enough for 75 are lights. When Thomas Alva Edison invented the incandescent lamp, which utilized less power for the same amount of light, this capacity was utilized -more effectively. Gas and electric companies be gan merging their interests in the late 80's, when they found management and operating costs could be saved by consolidating the two services.

The original Oakland Gas Light Company was reorganized as the Oakland Gas Lieht and Heat ComDanv. Several Alameda and Berkeley companies were merged into the single system. Then, this company, in, 1903, was consolidated with the California Gas and Electric Corporation, whiqh two years later joined with the San Fran cisco Gas and Electric Company to form the present Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The Eastbay's gas storage of SAGA This was the iron industry. After 1870 numerous iron works and machine shops sprang up in the town.

Ives Scoville opened the first machine shop at 511-513 Second Street in 1871, building machinery, steam engines, woodworking and laundry equipment in addition to the Scoville and Bartlett Patent Washing Machine. He and a man named Bartlett invented one of the first washing machines. Scoville later invented the Climax Side Hill Plow and soon the firm 'became known as the Oakland Iron Works. By 1882 the business outgrew its plant and because Scoville lacked capital for larger quarters he took on a partner, T. H.

Eich- baum, and moved to a larger shop at Jefferson and Second Streets. The Pacific Iron and Nail Company was established on a 14-acre waterfront area adjacent to Market Front and Myrtle Streets in 1882-83 and represented an in vestment of $500,000. For the first two years the company languished and by 1885 waa virtually "on the. rocks. Then controlling interest fell into new hands.

H. J. Sadler became president and 'treasurer; P. A. Wagner, vice-president; Charles Buttlar, secretary; William Wright general agent; Jacob Altmeyer, superintendent; Baxter Booth, foreman; W.

F. Man, H. E. Bottlin, Charles Goodnell and R. Sadler, board members.

OUTPUT DOUBLED By the end of 1885 the company was fuming out 18,000 kegs of nails a month, and by 1893 a total of 30,000 kegs monthly. An estimated 65,000 tons of iron and steel were required daily to keep the plant in production and 25 tons of coal were consumed each day. They led all western competition at the turn of the century. The Straw Burning Engine factory set up at 625 Myrtle Street Pacific Coast Oil Co. plant fat 1879 and was forerunner around 1880 by Mitchell, Fischer and Ketscher, licked a problem for farmers.

Mechanical 'thrash ing machines had long been used in the field but they burned coal and wood, often, a nuisance, to cart around and an expense to keep on hand, i This trio experimented with their machine five years before coming up with a thresher, in 1885 that would burn not only straw but by switching grates it would consume coal or wood as welt Their first sales totaled 80 threshers for a $250,000 income. In 1825 the Judson Manufac turing Company was established on the Emeryville-Oakland boundary line. Although if was in Emeryville territory it was 5 at First and Jefferson Streets. tween First and Second, and erected, as well, a storage holder, tomers for its gas, which was manufactured from coal. The Oakland Gas Light Com pany built new plants and more mains as Oakland grew.

Service was extended to Alameda in 1877 stonecutters at work, annually turning out 10,000 feet of granite and 20,000 feet of marble worth about $70,000. In addition the firm imported marble from Scot land, Belgium and Italy as well as granite from westerly, Barre, Quiniey and Red Beach. Other marble works then blos somed. F. E.

Knowles and Company at Seventh and Castro Streets in the Manhattan Marble Company of California at First and Filbert Streets, 1873; J. Kelly's Marble Works. Seventh and Market Streets. 1882; J. O'Connor Company near Mountain View Cemetery, 1883, and Daniel D.

Dwyer, Broadway between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets, 1876. BRICK KILNS SET WR, Need for other building ma terials resulted in Remillard and Brothers! established kilns in Alameda County in the late 1860s with offices at Ninth Street and Broadway. They produced burnt brick both for construction work and ornamentation. Pioneer Oakland entrepreneurs did not confine themselves to light industry. Shipbuilding and railroad rolling stock also took their places in the city's economy.

Many of the first ferryboats were built in the Oakland harbor but It was 1853 before the first steam freighter was launched on the estuary. The chief shipwright was Charles Minturn who was associated with Edson Adams, H. W. Carpentier and A. J.

Moon. It was a -small vessel as were all early ships built here. Construc tion of larger craft was precluded by the shallow waters around tne oar at ine mourn oi xne estu a a. ary. This bar was removed in 1859 and in 1865 A.

A. Cohen built the ferryboats El Capitan and Ala meda for the Oakland-San Fran cisco Shipbuilding became increasingly important and grew to vast proportions in the new century, especially during World Wars I and IL, RAILROAD EQUIPMENT The way was paved for build ing railroad stock on Novem ber 20, 1861, when the Oakland and San Francisco Railway, was granted a franchise. The company imported a shipload of iron and constructed its own rails, an en gine and the chassis of several cars. Thus Oakland became the first Pacific Coast town to build a complete locomotive that actu ally ran. Oakland's second railway line was the Oakland and Alameda Railway Company established in 1864-65 by A.

A. Cohen. It also built its own rolling stock and turned out the Coast's second locomotive, the J. G. Kellogg, named for a prominent citizen of theera.

The engine weighed 20 tons, had an 11-inch cylinder and stroke of 22 inches. A third rail line, this a horse- drawn affair, was the Oakland Railroad Company incorporated in May 3, 1866. Here again, Oakland-built rolling stock was used. Then 1 the I opening of the first transcontinental rail line in 1869 doomed the infant industry. Lack of iron and coal was.

a serious handicap. IRON INDUSTRY STARTED With the coming of the trans- continental railroads and clear ing of the estuary, Oakland commerce with the East and Europe made enormous strides. Curiously enough, the community made particular headway in an industry which had to look beyond ffte State for its raw materials. CEIfTEHKIAL if service Oakland customers. modern times is the company's microwave radio communications system ffom the company's dispatching headquarters to its I Newark substation.

This is the first use of microwave communi cations in P.G.&E., and it's likely -that the success of -this first "beam" willMead to additional microwave installations. One of P.G.&E.s largest operating divisions, Eastbay Division, is headquartered at 17th and Clay in Oakland. Headed by William H. Park, the division encompasses both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. lost to the record.

He discovered an extract from eucalyptus leaves could be turned into a paint product which, when spread inside steam boilers, would prevent the incrustation common to boilers. DA NAVY CUSTOMER Protected by patent rights and supported by Oakland capitalists he set up a plant northwest of Lake Merritt on Indian Gulch Creek in 1885. By 1888 the factory was "working around the clock? and customers included the United States Navy, The Petroline Paint Company opened a factory on First Street near Jefferson in 1885. The plant refined crude oil into its lighter and heavier constituents. The lighter material was sold for manufacture of illuminating gas; the tar separated from the heavy stuff and sold to contractors for sidewalk construction.

The remaining asphaltum became the base for the company's paint First large pottery plant 4n the Oakland area was the San Antonio Pioneer Pottery established in 1870 by Dannial Bran-nan with headquarters at 12th Street and 17th Avenue. It satisfied the demands for water and sewage pipe created by expansion of the Oakland water and sewage systems." Competition came in 1874 from the California Pottery and Tera-Cotta Works at East 12th Street and 23rd Avenue. Its founder was Serril Windsor who enjoyed immediate success specializing in sewer and, chimney pipe made from Amador County clay. Almost unnoticed by the two big pottery operations, James Miller opened a small shop where. he moulded objects d'art hawking them in person from door to door.

His work found lqcal favor and soon he moved to larger quarters and took on' two assistants. His business grew into the Oakland Art' Pottery, a group of buildings on East 12th Street at Nineteenth Avenue, employing 50 workmen. CANNING INDUSTRY One of the largest industries in Oakland during the '80s and '90s was the J. Lusk Canning Company on Claremont Avenue at. Temescal.

Creek. Local boosters tagged it "largest in the world." They hired 1000 workers atithe peak season and turned out 100,000 cans of fruits and vegetables per day. The firm had its roots In the early when Joseph Lusk ac quired 350 acres of land south of' Berkeley. He eschewed the usual wheat crops for fruits and vege tables. Boon he had larger crops than the fresh produce market could absorb and he decided to preserve the surplus.

In 1863 he built a small plant on Eyoy Ave nue between San Pablo and Telegraph Avenues. This first plant grossed $10,000 on 20 tons of jams and jellies, $3750 on 000 gallons of wine, $2000 on 10,000 gallons of vinegar and $20,500 on fresh fruits and vegetables. Cost was estimated at $20,000. He had no trouble rais ing additional capital for hie cannery. By 1888 the plant sprawled over eight acres and produced 180,000 cases of fruits and vegetables a year.

Lesser industries else flour ished. Oakland's industrial grewO from 1850 until the beginsizj cf the 20th century was steady ta plodding. twice the capacity- at the time of its founding. Up to now Oakland industry had followed the course of nature. Sawmills and planing mills had bee nsuggested by stands of timber; tanning followed cattl raising; flour mjlls came with wheat; salt refining with salt deposits and brewing with hop and parley farming.

Now indus try was to lead the way for agri culture. OAKLAND COTTON MILLS On August 25, 1865, William E. and J. Wolney, along with B. F.

Rector, filed articles of incorporation for the Oakland Cotton Mills. At the time, not a boll of cotton was grown In Califor nia and the partners were obliged to import the product from Mexico. I They started their plant with a capita Istock of $100,000 and it was ready for operation in December. The mill was located on the east side of Second Ave nue near i East Tenth Street in Clinton (later a part of Oak land). Undaunted by shortage of capi tal and the absence of readily accessible raw material, the part ners set out to woo California growers over to cotton and one year later the mill actually re ceived 10 bales from a Tulare Couny ranch.

The mill was equipped with 32 looms and had a capacity of 1200 yards of cloth a day. in the xirst months only 18 of these were in regular operation, but gradually all or them came into operation and the mill employed 50 women and aeveral men. IMPORTS FROM MEXICO Despite the partner's mission ary seal the Tulare County experiment in cotton growing was not repeated. The mill continued importing from Mexico. In ,1868 the corporation filed to increase their capital to 8200.000 and branched into jute bag manufac hiring.

They installed new machinery and doubled the number of workers. Tha jute was lm ported from Calcutta. Despite this handicap the mill prospered sufficiently to attract the attention of San Francisco capital and in 1870 the firm was sold to Leopold Cohn and Philip Susmann who 'changed the name to the Pacific Jute Manufacture ing Company and hiked the capital to $1,000,000. They threw out the cotton looms and installed more jute machinery. B.

F. Rector was appointed to the Board of Trustees, i Even, though the lumber industry thrived in the middle 1800's not all Oakland construc tion was of wood. In 1852 Walter Blair, of Vermont established granite quarry in what is now Piedmont and began turning out material for chimneys and fire places for the living, tombstones for the dead. FIRST PAVEMENT LAID By 1864 he was also supplying navine materials for uauand streets. Tlfe first pavement laid in Oakland from Blair's quarry was on Broadway and cost the city $3.18 a square foot -One year before, the 'of Oakland purchased 200 acres of land for a cemetery which was called Mountain View.

This was not far from Blair's quarry and it proved a boon to Blair and his business flourished so much it attracted others. i'W: In 186S the Amador Marble Company, which operated In Amador County, bought a one-acre site adjoining the new cemetery. The new firm soon had a dozen of the native product, the company offered 10 pounds of first-grade seed free to anyone in California willing to plant it They agreed to buy the entire crop at a fair price. Growers increased and the mill flourished. Officers of the new company included George W.

Beaver, president; W. D. Moody, vice-president; John Y. Miller, secretary; C. F.

A. Talbot M. Leven-tritt John Center, G. C. Ains-worth, G.

E. Christ and E. W. Newhall, directors. Other textile concerns sprang up during the period and enjoyed a local reputation.

The Oakland Glove Factory, established by two Stockton women, Mrs. Spaulding and Mrs. Robbins, at 406 12th Street; Roller's Shirt Factory, opened in 1879 at 1007 Broadway, and employed 25 workmen and 10 salesmen at its peak; Joseph Green's Ribbon Factory was at Market and Sec ond Streets. Taking a leaf from the book of the California Cotton Mill Com pany, the Pacific Cordage Com pany established in 1873 near the Fruitvale Railroad Station, sought to encourage California growers to experiment with the raw product it needed. The com pany offered free hemp seed to anyone with land to grow it and also promised to buy all the hemp produced in the state.

Sev eral ranchers successfully produced high quality hemp but it Wasn't enough to supply the mill needs. FAINT MANUFACTURING Three large factories dominated the paint manufacturing field in this period. These were the Paraffine Paint Company, now the Pabco Company; the Downie B. L. P.

Company and the Petroline Paint Com pany. The Paraffine Paint Company was established on the Bay shore on two acres of land between Shell Mound Park and the stockyards in 1884. Its first president w4 Joseph PoWney and Balph Shainwald was secretary. They manufactured paints, roofing paper, weather lining for build ings and a manila paper wrapper. Sales totaled $500,000 annually during these early years.

The black paraffine paint they featured was a secret process and preserved tin and wood from Early branches were established in New York, Chicago and St Louis. The Downie Boiler Incrustation Preventive Company was established by a man of that name- whose initials seem to be As has been seen, Oakland got into the tannery business as a result of a flood. The great deluge of 1861-1862 drowned thousands of head of cattle, and the "skinners' moved in forth-. with and made a killing by stripping the dead animals of their iklns and selling the hides in the markets. After the flood the tanners itayed'on.

and this led, inevit-Ubly, to the establishment;) of a number of boot and shoe manufacture in the town. Wentwnrth Root and Shn Company began production in '1883 near the 16th Street railroad station. In 1887 the 'plant had a capacity of 600 pairs of boots and hoes a day. Some of the East- bay's most prominent men of the era were stockholders: V. D.

Moody, president of the First Bank; Anthony Chabot, of uie uontra costa water, WV P. Jones of the Oak land Home. Insurance Company; 'Walter Blair of the Oakland Piedmont Railroad Company; ex- Governor George A. Perkins; ex en: George Hearst; A. K.

P. Harmon. A. M. Simpson and it fft Tt HAf much smaller establishment the field was the shop set up in 1 873 oy jj.

smart at ua isroaa 'wy. He confined his production to -the limits of his retail atore Which he operated in conjunction with the factory, i During the late 1800s virtually sit of the city's coal was supplied byj. J. Kennedy, the pioneer eoal dealer in Alameda County. -Kennedy became an iron molder So 1881, saved his money and In 887 opened his coal business a capital of 1335.35.

His yard was at Eighth and Chester Streets and it grew steadily with the 'town's expansion. Known as the "Coke King of Oakland." Kennedy at one time stroDlied all "the coal for the city, state and county in' this area, including the University of California. Tearly flour mills milling was another early and important industry here. Most of the limited East-hay land under cultivation in the middlft 'Rfi Via AmwAmA n- tmm and wheat This gave rise number of flour mills in the com munity, the first of which was She' Clinton Mills at what is now 11th, Street and 12th Ave-t uet The toill was started in 1854 1 Uy Joseph! Bassett A. Welch and E.

Weston and four years later maintained a healthy lead over all competitors. During the late 70s production Was increased to 100,000 barrels -year. Then Bassett withdrew from the firm, leaving his two tfarners to carry on. Blanchard and Plummer built the 'Oakland Flouring Mills on Broadway and Telegraph at San Pablo Avenue in 1861 and sold a few years later to B. T.

and J. U. Learned, "Who operated under the firm rKame of Pendleton it Co. By 1889 the plant had a capacity of 312 "barrels of flour a day. "Another mill, the Golden Rule flouring' Mill, opened in 1884 Third Street and Broadway.

If was destroyed by fire in 1876 but' was immediately rebuilt by the 'partners, Babcock Gould. The main building was three ttories high. The rebuilt miU trr.cloyed 1ft millers and had, a rapacity of 60,000 barrels rfj at Point Alameda In early 1880's. Pacific Coast was founded, oi the Standard 03 Co. of Caliiornia's Eastbay operations.

and another. 125 women and girls in their homes. When Cohn and Susmann bought out the old California Cotton Mills and, turned it into a jut Oakland was left without an important cotton milt In 1884 a new com pany, "the California Cotton Mill Company, was established with capital of $600,000." Production got; under way in April of the next year at the East Oakland plant on cotton sheeting, toweling, burlap wrappings, wicking, ropes 'and twines and seamless grain bags. This new I firm' induced California farmers to grow cotton and bought SCO bails from the Bakers-field area during its first year of operation. Encouraged by the good quality OAKLAND'S BANKS AND BANKERS I The story 'of Oakland's banks end bankers, from Its tarty days to the fxtstnt, will be told en this page in a forthcoming Sunday issue of The Tribune," TTatH for If.

uouf year. aaiuon, dui.

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