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Inside Duarte-Monrovia Fruit Exchange in 1896-7

"The Duarte-Monrovia Fruit Exchange was organized for the purpose of packing and selling the citrus fruits of its members. The Exchange has two packing houses as shown in the illustrations. One on the Southern California railroad built by that company for use of the Exchange. Another on the Southern Pacific railroad, the company making a liberal cash donation. These houses are well furnished with all facilities for the proper and convenient handling of fruit. In the upper house the grader is run by water power, from a reservoir nearby. During the busy season there is no more interesting sight than the operations in these houses. The ripe golden and silver fruit is received at the door, weighed, trucked to its place, and labeled to owner. When ready, the fruit passes to the experts who carefully grade it as to quality. It is then turned into the grader, which separates it as to size. At the various spouts of the grader, are the busy packers. See how their hands fly! By practice they become very expert, and seem to enjoy their work. Many are women. Now the packed boxes pass on to be covered, labeled, etc., thence out to the car which is to carry it to its destination, perhaps across the continent, or perhaps to some intermediate city". Monrovia Messenger Souvenir Edition 1897. At Santa Fe railroad at Myrtle & Duarte Road. From the Myron Hotchkiss collection. See full details here.

For more historic photos and papers, see the Monrovia Historical Society’s complete Legacy Project collection here. Learn more about the Monrovia Historical Society here.

- Brad Haugaard

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