The Illinois Pacific Coast Co.
San Francisco, CA Biographies





THE ILLINOIS PACIFIC COAST COMPANY
One of the largest glass bottle manufacturing plants of the United States, and the largest west of the Rockies, is that of the Illinois Pacific Coast Company, which is situated at Fifteenth and Folsom streets in the city of San Francisco. The record of the development of this mammoth industry is typical of America's vast progress in manufacturing, and is one of the concerns in which San Francisco holds justifiable pride.

The history of the Illinois Pacific Coast Company extends back over a period of approximately a half century. At the corner of Sutter street and Grant avenue (the latter thoroughfare then known as Dupont street) there existed a drug store conducted by the firm of Abramson & Bacon. Among the various salesmen who called, upon this drug firm was A. Heunisch, who sold pill boxes for a livelihood and possessed much natural business ability. He conceived the idea of manufacturing bottles and bottle supplies right in San Francisco, rather than purchasing them from the eastern manufacturers, and thus save a considerable sum of money. He interested the two druggists, Mr. Abramson and Mr. Bacon, with the result that the three of them organized the Abramson, Bacon & Heunisch Company. They first bought an interest in a plant then existing at Seventh and Townsend streets in San Francisco, operated by the San Francisco & Pacific Glass Company, and soon afterward they were enabled to purchase the entire business. Business grew with the increase in the population of the Pacific coast, and it became necessary to remove the plant to larger quarters at Fifteenth and Folsom streets, the site of the present large concrete building, which was built in place of the original frame structure. The company now has four plants and eight furnaces in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with ample capacity for larger expansion.

The company now conducts its business under the name of the Illinois Pacific Coast Company, having absorbed the Pacific Coast Glass Company in 1930. Sales branches are maintained in Oakland, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and in the Orient. The growth of this plant has been the result of the skillful management and great energy manifested by men associated with the company, one of the leading ones being Max M. Cohn, who serves on the board of directors, and whose business sagacity and keen vision made him an important factor in the success of the plant and its product. The other officers of the company at this writing are as follows: Charles C. Cole, chairman of the board of directors; Carlton N. Davis, president; William H. French, vice president; Otto Rosenstein, vice president and production manager; and W. S. Thomas, secretary and treasurer. All of the above named men have been affiliated with the company for many years, and have carried it through many vicissitudes to its present position of prosperity. They have reorganized the business in a manner which has been productive of increased benefits.

The glass containers manufactured by the Illinois Pacific Coast Company are acknowledged to lead the world in quality. The tens of millions of glass bottles and various types of glass containers manufactured yearly are made by methods a decade in advance of the general industry. Milk bottles were submitted to the United States Bureau of Standards in Washington, D. C., by nearly every milk bottle manufacturer of the country, and were given the most thorough tests by the bureau. Those made by the Illinois Pacific organization were rated as first, thus proving the claims advanced by this company.

The glass bottles are made from the following elements: sand, from Belgium or Brentwood, California; soda ash, from Inyo county, California; lime, from Eldorado county, California; feldspar, from the vicinity of San Diego; selenium, for coloring or de coloring, from Russia; niter, from South America; arnica, from the Orient; and borax, from the Death valley. Other minor ingredients are obtained from various parts of the world. Whirling machines have taken the place of the old time glass blower, and the materials are fused in huge furnaces which acquire a heat of 2675 to 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten glass, after refining, is distributed to the machines and the correct amount required is automatically dropped into a mold. Mechanical operation then produces the bottle, which is dropped onto the traveling conveyor, and when it reaches the cooling rack it has a temperature of about 900 degrees. The annealing machines, which were developed and patented by the Illinois Pacific Coast Company, cool the bottles by a steady, rapid progress through chambers, each a trifle cooler than the one preceding. The annealer, which is sixty feet long, is controlled by a thermostatic device, as the temperatures of the compartments may never vary over two and a half degrees up or down. Cooling of the silicates of sodium, calcium, and aluminum in glass necessarily must be done rapidly to prevent crystallization. In technical terms, glass, when cold, is still a liquid, but solid enough for all uses. At 2000 degrees, glass is a thick, viscuous liquid, and below 1000 degrees is then in the solid stage. Every bottle manufactured by the Illinois Pacific Coast Company is subjected to the most rigid inspection, and any which are with flaw of even the most minute character are discarded and remelted. There are over one hundred million glass containers which are produced by this company through this process every year, and every milk bottle produced does not vary, one from the other, more than one eighth ounce, which is the figure requested by the state bureau of standards. In addition, the Illinois Pacific Coast Company makes all of the corrugated paper used in packing the cartons of bottles, being one of the largest corrugated paper manufactories in the United States. The cartons are likewise made and printed by the concern.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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