At home, the efforts of Swift and others helped transform Chicago into what poet Carl Sandburg styled "Hog-butcher to the World," that is, the world's largest slaughterhouse and meat-processing center. What is left of The Stockyards is just a small fraction of what is used to once be. In order to achieve the very demanding EU certification, the company established a full-service science lab in Minnesota. Note. 55. Situated on 14 acres, the Swift & Company plant was adjacent to tracks of the Fort Worth Western Railroad, which carried the plant's products to the East. With headquarters in Greeley, Colorado, and a 265,000 square-foot flagship processing plant in Worthington, Minnesota, Swift & Company is a leading processor of beef, pork, and lamb in both domestic and foreign markets. By 1920 the SRL owned and operated 7,000 ice-cooled rail cars. Swift & Company, founded in Chicago in 1869, came to this location in 1897 when Alpheus B. Stickney, a prominent businessman and President of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, negotiated a 999 year lease with Gustavus Swift of Chicago to take over a small meat packing … Date Created. Getting the animals to market required herds to be driven distances of up to 1,200 miles to railheads in Kansas City, MO, where they were loaded into stock cars and transported live (on the hoof) to regional processingcenters. Driving cattle across the plains led to tremendous weight loss, and a number of animals died in transit. It was there that he first incorporated his business and bought a shed-like structure to serve as his slaughterhouse. In 1982, Swift underwent another permutation in structure and name, becoming Swift Independent Packing Company (SIPCO). Placing the meat directly against ice resulted in discoloration and affected the taste, hence proved impractical. After all, they had a lot at stake in shipping cattle live, including a great number of stock cars and excellent revenue obtained from their use. Jun 24, 2019 - meat packing industry truck history - Google Search The company became a driving force in the Chicago meat packing industry, and was incorporated in 1885 as Swift & Co. with $300,000 in capital stock and Gustavus Swift as president. It is from this position that Swift led the way in revolutionizing how meat was processed, delivered, and sold. St. James Press, 2003. Media Type. Swift and Company, headquartered in Fort Worth, was a major branch of the nation's leading nineteenth-century meat-packing firm and one of the nation's Big Four meat-packers of the early 1900s. This practice led to the wide scale commercial production of such diverse products as oleomargarine, soap, glue, fertilizer, hairbrushes, buttons, knife handles, and pharmaceutical preparations such as pepsin and insulin. By 1944, for example, approaching the end of World War II, the company could boast that 20,300 men and women of the Swift organization were in the military and auxiliary services. The company opened a meat packing plant there in 1902, next to an Armour & Co. plant that opened in that same year. Competing firms such as Armour and Company quickly followed. The Union Stockyards, which were established in 1865 by a group of investors, some of whom were friends of Abraham Lincoln, were processing over two million livestock by the time Swift moved to Chicago. This "icebox on wheels" was a limited success in that it was only able to function in cold weather. Live cattle and dressed beef deliveries to New York (tons): The subject cars travelled on the Erie, Lackawanna, New York Central, and Pennsylvania railroads. By 1921, the Union Stockyards in Chicago employed 40,000 workers and occupied more than a square mile of Chicago's South Side; by 1926, Swift's rail carriers had grown into a fleet of over 5,000 refrigerator cars. In the following year, 1997, it began building a new up-to-date pork processing plant to replace its outmoded facility in Lexington, Kentucky. Swift established himself as one of the dominant figures of "The Yards", and his distinctive delivery wagons became familiar fixtures on Chicago's streets. Creator. Upon ar… This radically altered the meat business. [1], Swift donated large sums of money to such institutions as the University of Chicago, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and YMCA. Swift purchased livestock at the market in Brighton and drove them to Eastham, a ten-day journey. He founded a meat-packing empire in the Midwest during the late 19th century, over which he presided until his death. Fortune Estimated at from $7,000,000 to $10,000,000", Thomas W. Goodspeed (1921) "Gustavus Franklin Swift. June 7, 2019. julieannegrant. In 1862, Swift and his new bride opened a small butcher shop and slaughterhouse. 2 of 15. Until then, he had been working as a butcher in his brother's business, but he had bigger plans for himself and had wanted to try them out in New York City. We are proud to provide food for our families, our communities and our nation as we face this challenge together. Through the period of the Union Stockyards' growth and decline, Swift & Company built plants in several other locales, including, for example, in the Stockyards District of Fort Worth, Texas. Chase's design proved to be a practical solution to providing temperature-controlled carriage of dressed meats, and allowed Swift & Company to ship their products all over the United States, and internationally. 1938-04-29. By developing a vertically integrated company, Swift was able to control the sale of his meats from the slaughterhouse to the local butcher shop.[8]. Photo of Swift Armour Meat Packing Plant. Among other things, in 1996 it expanded distribution of its line of Armour Premium branded, case-ready pork products. However, through most of the rest of the century, meat processing was pretty much limited to the cold winter months. Swift stayed in the East until 1875, when he moved to Chicago to become both a cattle dealer and butcher. Likewise, the giant meat packing plants began to fall one by one. There’s not much work to be found in Lewiston, Idaho. For one thing, the live cattle lost up to 15 percent of their weight in transit. From the Windy City, yet to be butchered, they were shipped to the East. Soon he started building his own refrigerator cars and secured patents on them, the start of a fleet of cars owned by his company. Head of Big Packing Company Dies from Internal Hemorrhages. In 1971, Swift closed down its operation there, just as, over time, it elsewhere closed many of its plants, partly because for a while it got out of the beef business and partly because the meat industry no longer had to depend on railroads for shipping its products. Swift's profits encouraged ConAgra to invest more in its subsidiary's growth. Swift, Louis F., and Arthur Van Vlissingen, Reyes, Sonia, "Swift Sautes Plans to Meet Beefy Objectives,", Taylor, Lisa Y., "Old Swift Site in Fort Worth Proposed for Apartments,". Swift Meat Plant employees in Ft Worth , Texas. Efforts to focus on the Swift Premium product line, in the form of a $10 million advertising campaign, began in 2003. Swift's attempts to sell this design to the major railroads were unanimously rebuffed as the companies feared that they would jeopardize their considerable investments in stock cars and animal pens if refrigerated meat transport gained wide acceptance. He also motivated his employees to focus on the company's profit goals by adhering to a strict policy of promotion from within. Modernization was one key to the company's success. Chicago and the birth of the meat-packing industry, General American Transportation Corporation, "Gustavus F. Swift Dead. learn how over 7,000 companies got started! Black Angus satisfies—Customers from casual to sophisticated regard Black Angus as the best beef.Compared to any other term in the beef industry, Black Angus is more recognized and … It approved expansion plans that led to both facility improvements and acquisitions. Principal Competitors: Farmland Industries, Inc.; Hormel Foods Corporation; Premium Standard Farms, Inc.; Seaboard Corporation; Smithfield Foods, Inc.; Tyson Foods, Inc. As early as 1842 the Western Railroad of Massachusetts was reported in the June 15 edition of the Boston Traveler to be experimenting with innovative freight car designs capable of carrying all types of perishable goods without spoilage. He is credited with the development of the first practical ice-cooled railroad car, which allowed his company to ship dressed meats to all parts of the country and abroad, ushering in the "era of cheap beef." Seven years later Gustavus and Annie moved the family to Brighton (near Boston), where in 1872 Swift became partner in a new venture, Hathaway and Swift. The new plant was equipped to produce case-ready products. We see them around but we don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Unloading Container In order to save your overall international shipping cost, we offer containers unloading service. Subject. It held its status as one of the nation's biggest beef and pork packagers. When the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F, the pork is ready. According to a ConAgra news release, its minority stake in its meat processing business would reduce its equity in that segment of its business from over $1 billion to $150 million. In 1987, ConAgra Foods Inc. acquired a 50 percent interest in SIPCO. Two years later, in 1855, he opened his own cattle and pork butchering business with the help of one of his uncles who gave him $400. Three years later the company went public. [citation needed], Swift adapted the methods of the industrial revolution to meat packing operations, which resulted in huge efficiency by allowing his plants to produce on a massive scale. He was born in Massachusetts, USA on June 24, 1839. When he died in 1903, his company was valued at between US$125 million and $135 million, and had a workforce of more than 21,000. It was part of Gustavus Swift’s family of companies and was in operation from about 1902 to 1971. By that time, the company had also developed thriving side-line businesses, and though by 1920, under a consent decree, it was forced to dispose of some of them, it still offered various meat and byproduct items at company-owned outlets across the country. 5 votes. On Tuesday, the former Swift & Co. meat packing plant on W. 65th St. finally began to meet its end as demolition crews began to carve holes into the century-old meat packing plant. Cooking the meat beyond the USDA guideline of 160 degrees F renders out the fat and tenderizes the meat. And Verl Thompson was in on all the action. still image. Swift and partner James A. Hathaway (a renowned Boston meat dealer) initially relocated the company to Albany, then almost immediately thereafter to Buffalo. Monfort had its beginnings back in 1930, when it opened a feedlot with 30 head of cattle. 1940s SWIFT & COMPANY MEAT PACKING MARKETING FILM SUPPLY & DEMAND CARTOON 53854 - Duration: ... New complaints filed against JBS Swift meat plant - Duration: 2:49. His father put up $20, and Gustavus was in business. These were the points where large herds of longhorn steers, bred in Texas but fed out on the northern plains, were rounded up and driven for shipment by rail to Chicago's Union Stockyards. 1200 Story Ave. Louisville, KY 40206. All rights reserved. In 1966, Monfort reported annual sales of $85 million with a payroll of $4 million. Transgressions such as these were first documented in Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, the publication of which shocked the nation and led to the passing of the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906. [2] Getting the animals to market required herds to be driven distances of up to 1,200 miles to railheads in Kansas City, MO, where they were loaded into stock cars and transported live (on the hoof) to regional processing centers. My great grandpa Olive Holliday is on the bottom row 4th from the left. A pioneer in vacuum-packaging, the company has an enviable history of providing high quality, fresh meat products worldwide and claims among its international customers companies in Canada, EU (European Union), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan. Newspaper photograph of the meat packing plant. The meat was packed tightly at the bottom of the car to keep the center of gravity low and to prevent the cargo from shifting. This, however, limits transportation to only the coldest winter months. Swift & Co. Meat Packing Plant Where's the beef now? Ford’s demand for cars was at a rate higher than they could be manufactured. By that time, however, it had opened large plants in other locations, including, for example, a major operation in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1965. At its 265,000 square-foot flagship plant in Minnesota, it was slaughtering up to 16,000 hogs a day, and in the process put food safety at the top of its stringent requirements for preparing its pork for the marketplace. The plant was opened in 1887 and closed in 1969. Some cattle, because of the primitive condition of railcar braking systems, poor rails and roadbeds, and frequent stops, arrived in poor physical health. Verl Thompson. In the middle of the century, Swift was a huge operation, much larger than its descendant would be as a subsidiary of ConAgra at the end of the century. According to its own 1915 company yearbook, Swift was offering a wide variety of products, including hams, sausage, bacon, chickens, eggs, butter, lard, shortening, oleomargarine, bouillon cubes, and various soaps (including scented toilet soaps). Frustrated by this seasonal restriction, Swift tried to get the railroads to build refrigerator cars for transporting meat and dairy products, but the railroads resisted. Certain inefficiencies were inherent in the process of transporting live animals by rail, particularly due to the fact that approximately 60% of the animal's mass is inedible. Sometime in 1913 they realized that the "disassembly line" principle employed in slaughterhouses could be adapted to building automobiles -- on a moving assembly line. Poor railcar conditions lead Gustavus Swift to butchering and packing meat before shipping. Swift & Company traces it origins back to 1855 when, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 16-year-old Gustavus Franklin Swift, the ninth in a family of 22 children, encouraged by his father, started in business for himself as a slaughterer, packager, and distributor of beef. Copyright (c) 2019 Company-Histories.com. The Union Stockyards remained one of the nation's great success stories. The absence of federal inspection led to abuses. He died on March 29, 1903 at his home 4848 Ellis Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.[1]. 1915-81: Swift & Company Grows into Industry Giant. jp2. View Gallery. The impact of the deal on Swift was not immediately clear. Meat packing plants began to move closer to larger feed lots within rural areas and making an inner-city livestock center no longer needed. The method proved too limited to be practical. You can see a chute about a third of the way in from the right that would shove the blocks down into a car's ice bunker. So, he hires an engineer to build a ventilated car fit specifically for our products, thereby inventing the refrigerated railcar. To keep Model T production up with demand, Ford engineers borrowed ideas from other industries. During that period he was employed in several jobs, finally finding full-time work in his elder brother Noble's butcher shop at the age of fourteen. In 1880, the Peninsular Car Company (subsequently purchased by American Car & Foundry) delivered to Swift the first of these units, and the Swift Refrigerator Line (SRL) was created. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Meat Packers in Des Moines, IA. ConAgra, the parent company, traced its own history back to 1919, when, in Grand Island, Nebraska, it started out as Nebraska Consolidated Mills. A number of attempts were made during the mid-19th century to ship agricultural products via rail car. He sold the design in 1868 to George H. Hammond, a Detroit meat-packer, who built a set of cars to transport his products to Boston using ice from the Great Lakes for cooling. His parents were descendants of British settlers who went to New England in the 17th century. It came into existence when four, independent flour mills merged and incorporated. Following the end of the American Civil War, Chicago emerged as a major railway center, making it an ideal point for the distribution of livestock raised on the Great Plains to Eastern markets. Swift also supplies other meat processors and the food-service industry with beef and raw pork for such products as bacon, sausage, and ham; it also offers several state-of-the-art product and information systems. ", Scheduled To Close: Swift & Co. Plant Was a Boon to SSF, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gustavus_Franklin_Swift&oldid=991949068, Businesspeople in the meat packing industry, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2012, Articles with dead external links from January 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The largest, the Swift Meat Packing Plant, which opened in 1893, has been completely demolished; the vast majority of the former site sits underneath the approaches to the new Mississippi River bridge. Finally, we can read about how these great companies came about with Company Histories.. Swift devoted a great deal of time to indoctrinating employees and teaching them the company's methods and policies. Type of Resource. At the beginning of the new century, Swift & Co. continued to enjoy a reputation for producing high quality products and for its innovations. The company's position in the ConAgra family certainly seemed secure. In 2002, while still a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, Swift employed 4,500 workers, a significant figure to be sure, but nothing on the scale it reached when the meat packing industry was in full swing. Location. Right next to the Fort Worth Stockyards is a large abandoned industrial complex that used to be the Swift Meat Packing Plant. In 1998, ConAgra purchased Chicago-based Zoll Foods, a privately held processor and marketer of custom-cut pork ribs and other pork products produced for the food service industry, and made it part of Swift & Co. At the time, Zoll was logging annual sales of about $100 million. In 1878 Swift hired engineer Andrew Chase to design a ventilated car that was well-insulated, and positioned the ice in a compartment at the top of the car, allowing the chilled air to flow naturally downward.[5]. The rail service was also very poor and the cattle were often mistreated, given neither sufficient food or water. In 1999, the year in which Dennis Henley was named Swift's president and chief operating officer (COO), the company's Worthington, Minnesota, plant became its second pork producing plant to earn ISO 9002 certification--the only ones with that certification in the United States. Lake Charles (La.) The industry also garnered infamy during this time, however, for deplorable working conditions, as portrayed in the Upton Sinclair novel The Jungle. Gustavus Franklin Swift and the Meat Packing Revolution Gustavus Franklin Swift was an American entrepreneur who founded Swift & company, once a giant meat company. [6], The meat packing plants of Chicago were among the first to utilize assembly line (or in this case, disassembly-line) production techniques. Two years later, it bought the remaining shares, adding Swift to a swelling list of subsidiaries that included Monfort, Inc., a Colorado beef packer, which ConAgra had also purchased in 1987, at a cost of $365.5 million. As consumers, we often take for granted all the hard work that goes into building a great company. Swift Meat Packing Plant - posted in Historic Buildings and Preservation: I'm looking for historical information or photos on the Swift Meat packing plant that now lays in ruins just east of the Stockyards in Fort Worth. Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. Swift Packing will unload materials from an incoming semi-trailer truck or railroad car, and load these materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers, or rail cars. It also acquired a pork slaughterhouse in Indiana, slated to operate as a value-added processing plant, and improved the capacity of its coolers at its two largest plants. Fort Worth, TX. Driving cattle across the plains led to tremendous weight loss, and a number of animals died in transit. From Maude Reid Scrapbook 5 (MR5-308). An astute cattle-buyer, Swift followed the market steadily westward. However, in SEC filings made in 2002, that parent announced that an agreement, signed on May 21, would legally transfer a majority interest its fresh beef and pork processing businesses to a new venture. [3] The first known refrigerated boxcar or "reefer" entered service on the Northern Railroad (New York) (or NRNY, which became part of the Rutland Railroad) in June 1851. By the decade's end, a significantly part of Swift & Co.'s growth involved its increasing export of pork and pork products. By then it was experimenting with case ready beef and was producing vacuum-packed and boneless pork. 12.6 x 25.9 cm. Three years after his death, the value of the company's capital stock topped $250 million. Klann stumbled upon the Swift Meatpacking industry—located in Chicago—which was actually a disassembly line. Swift's solution to these problems was to devise a method to ship dressed meats from his packing plant in Chicago to the East. Add Photo. The wooden platform above the cars would be the conveyor belt carrying ice blocks from the ice plant. This is where he got the idea of packing meat. It gradually expanded, and in 1960 opened a major meatpacking plant north of Greeley, Colorado. What I'd like to find out is what each building was originally used for, maps of the plant and stories or anecdotes about happenings at the plant. In the early 1970s the Swift meat-packing plant closed and left the Ogden area, making the Ogden Union Stockyards even less relevant. Jbs Swift & Co. Meat Packers Meat Processing. Not only did the industry lack an adequate distribution system to ship fresh meat to widespread markets, it had no means to prevent the meat from spoiling. By 1890, the figure had grown to nine million, and the city had been transformed into the largest hog and beef holding pen in the country. Sausages might incorporate rat droppings, dead rodents, and sawdust, and meat that had spoiled or meat mixed with waste materials was sometimes packed and sold. On his recommendation, Hathaway and Swift moved once more in 1875, this time to join the influx of meat packers setting up shop in Chicago's sprawling Union Stock Yards. Swift, meanwhile, concentrated on adding value to its products and improving its operational efficiency. Swift & Co. played a major role in The Fort Worth Stockyards starting in 1902. However, through most of the rest of the century, meat processing was pretty much limited to the cold winter months. That same year, the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad (O&LC) began shipping butter to Boston in purpose-built freight cars, utilizing ice to cool the contents. Swift & Company photo, cropped [I like the "billboard" refers. In response to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, JBS USA has established several interventions to ensure the health of our team members, the safety of our products, and our continued ability to provide our customers the highest levels of uninterrupted service. By the end of WWII meatpacking was a major industrial employer. He and his family are interred in a mausoleum in Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.[1]. Low-grade meats were canned in products like pork and beans. Fort Worth, Texas USA. The innovations that Swift championed not only revolutionized the meat packing industry, but also played a vital role in establishing the modern American business system, with an emphasis on mass production, functional specialization, managerial expertise, national distribution networks, and adaptation to technological innovation. The next year, the company bought what would eventually become its principal plant, an Armour and Company facility in Worthington, Minnesota, that it purchased from Armour's parent, the Greyhound Corporation, At the time, it was a two-story, 95,000 square-foot facility, but eventually it would almost triple in size as Swift's operations there expanded. HMTF and its venture partners, Booth Creek Management Corporation of Vail, Colorado, and George Gillet, took over the managerial reins, however. Swift was born on June 24, 1839 in Sagamore, Massachusetts, the 9th of 12 offspring of William Swift and Sally Crowell. The transaction, valued at about $1.4 billion, took place in August, when a 54 percent ownership of Swift passed to an investor group led by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, Inc. (HMTF), with ConAgra retaining a 46 percent interest. The Swift Meat Packing Plant. He bought a mature heifer, butchered it, and packaged it for sale to his neighbors. "The House of Swift" slaughtered as many as two million cattle, four million hogs, and two million sheep a year. The work was divided into myriad specific sub-tasks, which were carried out under the direction of supervisory personnel. As a young boy, Swift took little interest in his studies and left the nearby country school after eight years. (1994), This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 17:51. These practices symbolize the concept of "rationalized organization of work" to this day. A shrewd businessman, he purportedly followed the somewhat common practice of denying his herds water during the last miles of the trip so that they would drink large quantities of liquid once they reached their final destination, effectively boosting their weights. Although he faced rigorous opposition from railroad officials, Swift finally got permission for use of cars on a railroad that permitted them on a roundabout route. 1996 and Beyond: Expansion and Another Ownership Shift. In the worst of the Depression, in 1931, Swift was selling fresh meats under its Select, Premium, and other Swift labels to increasingly brand-conscious consumers. William Klann was part of a team of advisors that Ford sent out to find a better means of production. At its new plant in Worthington, it also introduced its Swift Brands, Swift Tender Lean, and Swift Premium products. Privacy Policy. Swift's president, David Heggestad, noted that Zoll provided a good fit with Swift's plans to increase its food service presence and grow its value-added line of products. (502) 582-0011. In 1943, the company's sales volume reached $1.4 billion. Swift Armour Meat Packing Plant. Steven Zoll, president of Zoll Foods, stayed on to manage Zoll Foods, providing the formerly independent company with a high degree of autonomy. The Swift Packing Plant was a division of Swift and Company located at South 27th and Q Streets in South Omaha, Nebraska. On the first day in the new facility, his fledgling company slaughtered 32 head of cattle. Using an instant-read meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch bone with the tip of the thermometer. 11 (2 died before reaching adulthood): Louis, Edward Foster, Annie May, Boyle, Elizabeth and Rodolfo Estrada. 1855-1914: From Cape Cod Butcher to Chicago Meat Packer. Swift pioneered the use of animal by-products for the manufacture of soap, glue, fertilizer, various types of sundries, and even medical products. Also, ConAgra's premier, Pacific-Rim beef processing business headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, also fell under the managerial control of Swift & Company in Greeley and its staff, headed by John Simons, president and COO of the enterprise. JBS USA Headquarters 1770 Promontory Circle Greeley, CO 80634 970.506.8000 At JBS Australia we believe in being the best we can be. Swift and a few others helped change the system by slaughtering beef and hogs and packing their meat in Chicago before shipping it to points East. Best meat Packers in Des Moines, IA a mature heifer, butchered it, and Australia the Swift. The rail service was also very poor and the cattle frequently commanded only low prices in the early 1970s Swift. Angus beef Retail Opportunities the beef that increases your bottom line modernization was one to. 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