Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back When South San Francisco Was "The Industrial City"

I may be a big fan of the fruit and canning industry in San Jose, but I've still got a soft spot for places farther north, like all the industry around "South City", as South San Francisco is known in the area. South City had the slaughterhouses, the Bethlehem Steel mill, the paint factories, and lots of other heavy industry in its day, now all buried underneath the corporate campuses of biotech firms like Genentech.

Anyone growing up on the peninsula in the 1970's remembers driving past the Bethlehem Steel facility along the Bayshore Freeway, but the property just behind there was Edwards Wire Rope Co., maker of wire rope for those building America. Jack Burgess searched out information about them in regards to the wire rope used to haul lumber cars up the side of the Merced River canyon to logging areas, and found this neat slideshow showing the work of the factory.

Also check out the Southern Pacific's SPINS maps of South San Francisco for more hints about the sheer number of industries there "back in the day."

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