Renown Flour Mills 1947

From what I was told a cooperative of farmers started out construction of Alberta Flour Mills Ltd.. Information from the Glenbow Archives shows that in 1915, George Lane, serving as a stockholder and member of the board of directors. Despite a vigorous financial and public campaign and the injection of large loans from the stockholders Lane and William Pierce.

From the Calgary Herald 1917.

Alberta Flour Mills Ltd.

Board of Directors.

J.E.A. MacLeod, Wm Pearce, George Lane, Seabury K. Pearce

Alex Ingraham, Thos. I. Clark, Edward E. Stevens

The Officers and the Management:

J.E.A. MacLeod, Calgary—————————————President

Wm. Pearce, Calgary———————————– Vice-President

Seabury K. Pearce, Calgary——————–Secretary-Treasurer

Edward E. Stevens, formally of Minneapolis–General Manager.

Alex Ingraham, formerly of Minneapolis———-Milling Engineer

Thos. L. Clark, formerly of Minneapolis—Superintendent Miller

Bankers:

ROYAL BANK OF CANADA.

Fiscal Agents:

The Western Agencies & Development Co. Ltd..

Lougheed Block, Calgary, Alberta

the Western Agencies & Development Co. Ltd., offers for subscription.

25,000 shares of the Capital Stock of Alberta Flour Mills Limited.

The State of Kansas, raised in 1915 —95,708,000 bushels of wheat,

and manufactured 69,610,749 into flour.

The States of Minnesota, North and South Dakota raised in 1915 –

285,420,000 bushels of wheat, and manufactured 148,241,920 into flour.

The Province of Alberta raised in 1915 approximately 100,000,000

bushels of wheat, and manufactured around 9,000,000 into flour.

Calgary has as great, and in many cases greater, advantages for

the milling of wheat, then either Kansas City or Minneapolis.

Here is your opportunity to become connected with a milling.

Enterprise founded on the right principles—to get in on the ground floor the

steady and large dividends paid by the milling companies of Canada,

tell the value of the investment; the present listed value of the stocks of the

large milling companies in Canada, tells the value of the security.

From The Northwestern Miller November 7, 1923;

The Calgary (Alta) Herald stated recently that it had received information to the effect that the plant of the Alberta Flour Mills, LTD, East Calgary, was to be completed and that the work would probably be started next spring. The report adds that local representatives of the company, while refusing to make any comment, had not denied that negotiations were underway for financing the project. It is reported that from $4,000,000 to $6,000,000 will be involved in the undertaking.

It is believed in western flour and grain circles that the establishment of the Panama Canal route for the transportation of flour from the prairies and the possibilities of the flour markets in Japan and China, account in part for the revival of negotiations to complete this large plant. The foundations and part of the heavy construction were accomplished several years ago, but owing to war and other conditions the work was discontinued.

Alberta Flour Mills Ltd. sold its assets to Spillers Ltd. of England in 1925. Spiller’s mothballed the operation during the 1930s, and it served as a warehouse for the military during World War II. In 1946 new management bought the mill and it became Renown Mills Ltd. “B” Mill was installed with the capacity of milling 3000 hundredweights of domestic flower in 24-hours. The original “A” Mill was used for overseas export orders and had a capacity of 7000 hundredweights per 24 hours. In 1952 the last acquisition during Philip Pillsbury’s tenure as chief executive officer consisted of two Canadian milling concerns — Renown Mills Limited at Calgary, Alberta, and Copeland Flour Mills Limited at Midland, Ontario, and the mills became Pillsbury Canada Ltd. and A total of 10,000 hundredweight a day when both mills were running. In 1952 Pillsbury Mills of Minneapolis, Minnesota purchased the mill, and it became Pillsbury Canada Ltd.

There were about 15 warehousemen working day shift when I started, there was also 4 packers they ran the machines that packed flour into jute bags for export, and paper bags for domestic orders. The warehouse to me looked like it hadn’t changed much since 1930, the first two floors of the brick part of the mill was warehouse space, and flour was stacked on the rough concrete floor, it originally had hardwood floors, but they were torn up due to flour beetle infestation. The bags were stacked 10 layers high everywhere you looked, the domestic flour was packed in 100-pound paper bags, and the Packer ran his machine from the third floor. It would come down a chute and go through a bag flattener to a table elbows height, where we would load up on our two wheel cart with seven bags of flour, and wheel it over to where the flour was being stacked. There would be a warehousemen there whose job was to help you unload your wheeler. The bags were stacked in threes starting on the floor we would place to bags, side-by-side, and one bag at the end of the other two on the next level we would do the opposite so the bags would be interlocked. Depending on the distance from the table to where we were stacking bags in the warehouse there would be three or four of us in constant motion to keep up with the Packer. We would do this, from 8 o’clock till 10 o’clock in the morning and have a 15 minute coffee break then worked till 12 noon and take a half an hour lunch break worked till 2 p.m. then a 15 minute break, and worked till 4 p.m. when the next shift started.

If we were finished on the second floor the table would be folded down and a chute put in connecting to the first floor to a conveyor belt that would send the bags down to a shoulder height table where we would load up our wheelers, or if close enough 2 of us would carry the bags on our shoulder and pile up the flour. The advantage of the shoulder height table was that you learned how to carry 100-pound bag upright and using the muscles in your shoulder you could propel the bag 2 feet over your head, which was the height of 10 layers of bags. The flour could also be routed out to the front-loading dock, where you see the boxcars in my picture. They would come off on other conveyor belt into the box car were two men would load it 6 rows in each end and 3 rows across the doorway, at 60 bags to a row 900 hundredweights would be loaded in each car. You have to understand that, while some crews would be stacking the new flour on the warehouse floor, other crews would be loading and unloading trucks and box cars at the back loading dock of the mill. Every bag in the warehouse was handled at least two times before it reached its destination. The work was very physical, and I understood what Pete said about me not being able to handle the work, this made me all the more determined to carry on. The first month was the worst, but after that I started getting into good shape. More to come later.

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