Mgr. San Jose Box Manufactory

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            Albert Lake, the proprietor and manager of the San Jose Box Manufactory, is at the head of one of the most important and prosperous industrial enterprises in the city—a position which he has earned by an exhibition of business tact and persistent energy in surmounting obstacles and overcoming difficulties which would discourage most men.  Twenty-six years ago C. S. Hobbs, S. D. Gilmore, George Gilmore and David Pomeroy built and started a box factor on North San Pedro Street, under the firm name of Hobbs, Gilmore & Co.  The building was 25x40 feet, and was simply a nailing shop, the cutting being all done in San Francisco.  The business was conducted by this firm about five years, when they sold out to Mr. Lake.  He struggled along amid adverse circumstances a number of years, and on the night of October 31, 1887, the entire plant was destroyed by fire.  His property was lost, but his spirit was not broken; so he set about devising means to rebuild.  He planned and drew the design for the new building, completed his arrangements, and was ready to start work on it in December.  It was rapidly pushed to completion, and the larger and much superior factory was put in operation.  The lot on which the new plant stands is 150x196 feet, at 233 to 237 North San Pedro Street.  The main building is 75x80 feet, two stories in height, and its exterior is iron.  It is thoroughly equipped with all the latest and most perfect patterns of machinery for box making in duplicate, and is what is called a double mill.  Among other rare machines it contains a gang edger, the only one on the Pacific Coast.  This machinery is propelled by a sixty-horse-power engine of the best class.  The boiler-room is situated in another building 50x65 feet, there being no fire about the factory.  An iron-lined fuel room is located on each side of the boilers, one for sawdust and the other for shavings.  Every particle of dust and shavings is taken up from the factory by patent blowers and carried through metallic pipes to these fuel rooms.  The lumber is brought into the factory on trucks drawn by steam power, and when cut ready for nailing is hoisted by the same power to the second floor, where the boxes are put together.  Owing to the superior equipment and convenient arrangement of his plant, Mr. Lake says he works up lumber $3.00 a thousand cheaper than it has ever been done before in this valley.  From forty to fifty men are employed in the factory, and every kind of wooden box is made.  It has the capacity for working up 30,000 feet of lumber per day.  The product is sold chiefly in the Santa Clara Valley and in Southern California.

            Mr. Lake came to California in 1862 from his native county, Chautauqua, New York, where he was born in October, 1843.  His parents, who came to this State in 1861, both died in Alameda County.  Two sisters reside on this coast.  Mr. Lake married Emily Morey, in San Jose, in 1874.  She is from Illinois.  Five sons constitute their family.  Mr. Lake has served one term in the Common Council of San Jose.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 394-395
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy



SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight