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Collection Guide
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Inventory of the Pacific Fruit Express Company Collection, 1906-1989
MS 49  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Collection Description
  • Historical Background

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Pacific Fruit Express Company Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1906-1989
    Collection number: MS 49
    Creator: Pacific Fruit Express Company
    Extent: 58 boxes + 5 file drawers
    Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact the Library in advance of your visit.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Provenance

    Pacific Fruit Express Company

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Senior Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pacific Fruit Express Company Collection, MS 49, California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.

    Collection Description

    A preliminary finding aid has been prepared. The finding aid will be expanded to include unprocessed material. This material has been arranged in the following series:
    • 1. AUTHORITIES FOR EXPENDITURES (AFE)
    • 2. CAR SERVICE ACCOUNTS
    • 3. SPECIFICATIONS, BILLS OF MATERIALS AND DRAWING INDEXES
    • 4. SCHEDULES
    • 5. SPECIFICATIONS
    • 6. INDEXES TO SPECIFICATIONS
    • 7. DEPARTMENTAL FILES:
      • CAR DEPARTMENT
      • MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
    • 8. SUBJECT FILES
    • 9. BY CORPORATE NAME
    • 10. PHOTOGRAPHS

    Historical Background

    The Pacific Fruit Express Company (PFE) was incorporated in 1906 and began operations the following year. A joint project of the Edward H. Harriman-controlled Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, the PFE handled shipments of vegetables, fruit and other perishables primarily from western growing areas to markets in the northern and eastern states. At its height, the company had a total of almost 41,000 ice refrigerator cars. To service these, the PFE operated a number of ice plants and docks, as well as car and repair shops throughout the west. After World War II, the number of cars owned by the company declined, although their size increased. Mechanical refrigerators began supplanting the older ice bunker cars. By 1972 the ice cars had been totally replaced. Joint ownership between Southern Pacific and Union Pacific ended in 1978, with the two railroads dividing the rolling stock and SP keeping the Pacific Fruit Express name.