Browse Exhibits (1 total)

Traces of the Factory: H.P. Cannon and Son, Inc.

Cannon Family Papers_Folder 6_H.P. Cannon and Son labels_Cannon Brand Sugar Corn.jpg

H.P. Cannon and Son, Inc., which produced canned goods between 1881 and 1981, was one of the largest canning companies established in Delaware. Gradually moving from canning fruit to exclusively vegetables, the company experienced significant growth during their existence. At one point near the end of World War I, they were a leading producer of sweet peppers. With such an impact on the canning industry in Delaware, it is interesting that the Cannon name has drifted into the shadows of Delaware’s collective memory. It is difficult to find any extant examples of Cannon’s canned goods and many of the materials associated with the name are tucked away in archival collections. One trace of the company can be seen in Bridgeville, Sussex County today: the old Cannon Cannery factory. Although the building is repurposed for another company, it still provides us a glimpse into the past when Delaware’s industrial heritage really began. The large factory also captures a moment in the company’s success, where large-scale production reached its height during the 1950s. Looking at archival materials and photographic collections recounts the Cannon Company’s history and its impact on the Delaware agricultural industry. This will shed light on the factory’s workers who were integral to the success of the cannery, particularly, the lives of the African-American itinerant workers at the factory.

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