Blennd Goes West–Fullerton California 1948

Val Vita Foods-Fullerton Ca- Later Hunt Wesson

The Fullerton Calironia airport gained world-wide attention in 1949 when two flight instructors – Dick Riedel and Bill Barris – flew the “Sunkist Lady” to a world endurance flight record of 42 days.
Also in 1948 and 1949 Reymers Blennd was moving west. Edwin Keagy, now in his 80’s wanted to take Blennd West and Fullerton just outside Los Angeles was the logical spot.
Orange County Calironia citrus was still in its prime in the late 40’s and all the top food manufacturers were trying to make a mark in the area, including Reymers with Keagy spearheading the effort.
In 1932, the same year Keagy signed on with Reymer Brothers a company called Val Vita had opened a small citrus juice plant in Fullerton.
By 1941 Val Vita, had grown into the largest canning company in the nation.
In 1943, it merged with another firm to become Hunt-Wesson Foods Co.
With the establishment of a southeast industrial area as an “all manufacturing zone,” in Fullerton, additional industries started to appear. Before the 1950s had concluded, the city had 142 industries producing a variety of goods,but mostly food and drink and employing 18,500 persons.
It was Fullerton’s big “boom” period as veterans returning from World War II began demanding homes for their families.
In 1948, permit valuations reached $2.5 million, and, in 1949, set a record $3.2 million, which was more than doubled in 1950. In 1956, the building permit valuation skyrocketed to $114 million.
In the Reymers Brothers 1948 Annual Report the Blennd plant at Fullerton California is mentioned, but for whatever reason, Pittsburgh’s Iconic drink would never take hold out west.
By late 1949, Keagy would return to Pittsburgh to finish out his years. His last crack to take the drink he created on Pittsburgh’s northside to the top !

Categories: Your Memories of Blennd | 14 Comments

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