Food Machinery Corporation Sales Records and Photographs

Finding aid created by History San Jose Research Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
History San Jose Research Library
1650 Senter Road
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 287-2290

Descriptive Summary

Title: Food Machinery Corporation Sales Records and Photographs
Dates: 1919-1985
Collection Number: 1980-120
Creator/Collector: Food Machinery Corporation
Extent: 79 linear feet
Repository: History San Jose Research Library
San Jose, California 95110
Abstract: Over the course of the 20th. century, Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) grew from a local company producing pump sprayers, into an international manufacturer producing insecticide, war ordinance, and canning machinery. This collection includes catalogs, sales records and photographs of canning machinery, including glass negatives, and completed invoice records. The photographs are housed in their original linen cover albums, and still shelved in the original steel shelving.
Language of Material: English


The collection is open to the public by appointment

Publication Rights

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Food Machinery Corporation Sales Records and Photographs. History San Jose Research Library

Acquisition Information

Donated to the History Museums of San Jose in 1980.

Biography/Administrative History

In 1883 John Bean invented a continuous spray pump to battle the fruit tree disease known locally as "San Jose Scale." This tree disease threatened the thousands of acres of orchards in the Santa Clara Valley. This was at the time a threat to the romantic reputation surrounding spring-time in the Valley, a Valley that was affectionately named "Valley of Hearts Delight." Seeing the success as Bean sprayed his prune trees, his continuous sprayer gained local support with other growers. Founded in 1883 John Bean built his company into the John Bean Manufacturing Company. Over the next four decades, and with the canning industry booming, John Bean expanded the company to include canning machinery. In 1928 John Bean Manufacturing Company merged with its primary competitor, Anderson-Barngrover (A-B) Canning Machinery. That same year the company acquired controlling stock in Sprague-Sells (S-S) Manufacturing. The resulting merger produced a new corporate name, Food Machinery Corporation (FMC). During World War Two, FMC produced weapons ordinance. After World War Two, and by acquiring several more companies, FMC expanded to include a chemical division. The corporate name changed again to Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation (FMC Corporation). FMC left San Jose in the 1980s.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection includes several sales brochures, a centennial history, and a sales price book from F. J. Fay that includes several inter-office correspondence documents. Included in the price book is a letter that connects the price book to past patent litigation. Additionally, the collection includes machinery catalogs from FMC, as well as catalogs from both Anderson-Barngrover and Sprague-Sells produced before the 1928 merger. The collection also includes 20 linear feet of photographs in their original linen albums, parts description sheets dated from 1947-1978, a project photograph file, and finished sales orders, all in their original folders. This collection also includes 46 linear feet of glass and acetate negatives.

Indexing Terms

Canned foods industry
San Jose (Calif.)
photographic prints
sales catalogs
black-and-white negatives