Leesburg Packing House, 1913

From the The Leesburg Commercial, Friday, October 10, 1913:

Leesburg Packing House

Leesburg has long been known as a great orange producing section, and Leesburg oranges and grapefruit have justly earned an enviable reputation among the buyers and in the markets.

With the opening of the new Leesburg Packing House, we have taken another step forward, and have an institution of which we can all be proud, for we have a citrus fruit handling establishment second to none in the state.

Messrs. Cooke & Fussell are to be congratulated upon the success that has crowned their efforts to give this city a most complete, up-to-date model packing house. Situated as it is, between the tracks of the Seaboard and Coastline Railways, with a spur track from each road, they have unequaled shipping faculties.

Image of Leesburg packing house

This photo of a Leesburg packing house came from the Florida Historical Archives, the photographer is unknown.

This house is a large one with plenty of windows for light and ventilation. A distinctive feature being the over head lighting system, which not only affords an abundance of light, but places it directly on the grading belts, where it is most needed.

The interior arrangement is complete and perfect, being planned to care for the fruit from and to either railroad of from wagons with the least possible handling.

The capacity of the house is four cars per day, and the machinery is arranged on two separate two-car units, each unit being operated by its own engine. This is a feature to be found only in this house, and will enable the owners to take care of every shipment, no matter how large or how small, without delay.

The equipment was all furnished and installed by J.P. Camppell of Jacksonville, manufacturer of modern packing house equipment, and those who witnessed the trying out of the machinery were more than pleased with the result. Everything worked to perfection, and it was really remarkable to see the way in which the various machines handled the fruit. They seemed to act with almost human intelligence, in fact, handling the oranges and grapefruit really more carefully than by hand, assign and brushing them and then dyeing them perfectly, and we were greatly surprised at the wonderful difference it made in appearance of the fruit.

Messrs. Cooke & Fussell have spared no pained to make their new venture perfect in every detail, and we bespeak for them the prosperous and successful season which their efforts warrants.

Messrs. Cooke & Fussell have formed a partnership and will operate the house under the firm name of Fussell & Co.

O.L. Fussell, who has been in the business many years, will be the active partner, and will have the valuable services of C.L. Parker, lately manager of the Gold Buckle packing house in California, as manager.

Nothing but thee best material will be used and every effort made to put out the best pack in the state.


Image of clipping from the newspaper

The Leesburg Commercial, October 10, 1913, upper left corner of the page.

The October 10, 1913 edition is the earliest copy of The Leesburg Commercial in the microfilm collection at the Leesburg Public Library.  ”Leesburg Packing House,” author unknown, ran in the upper left corner beneath the paper’s digits: The Leesburg Commercial | Printed Fridays | J.C. Pratt, Publisher | Rates of Subscription One Year (In Advance) $1 | Six Months .50 | Entered at post office at Leesburg as second-class matter. | Official Organ of Lake County.

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