Central Station

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

More Unburied Treasures at PCL

Among the treasures found at the Old Pacific Coast Canning Co., soon to be the Pacific Cannery Lofts, is a large scale Murphy Cardinal Scale used, I am guessing, to weigh the cans of fruit being loaded onto the trucks for distribution. The Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company(see wmbedded image of its headquarters in the 1950's) is located in Webb City, Missouri at the base of the Ozarks. Founder William H. Perry started the new company as a result of customer need for a line of special-capacity scales rising out of Americas' construction era boom. The new scale line proved to be so successful that Perry had to resign from Webb in 1956 and devote his full attention to his new and rapidly growing company. And so, Cardinal Scale was born. As a new scale manufacturing entity, Cardinal was in need of its own heavy-duty scale line. With this in mind, Perry began discussions with Sacramento, California's L.R. Murphy Company, a well-known west coast player in the large-capacity scale business. It was L.R. Murphy who pioneered all-steel, large scale design... a major revolution in the weighing industry.

Up until that time, all large-size scales had been laboriously constructed of cast iron in designs that could not easily have been changed. Nor could these scales be easily transported from their sites of manufacture on the east coast.

Steel was readily available to Murphy on the west coast as a result of the construction explosion that began there in the 1930's. He gained a competitive edge with its use, and it was this advantage that made sense as Perry and Murphy began talking about a partnership that could be mutually beneficial.. particularly in terms of product distribution.

In 1958 an agreement was reached, and the two companies began working together, marketing all-steel, welded motor truck and axle-load scales to all parts of the country. The companies were closely associated for 15 years, and then in 1973, Cardinal acquired Murphy Scale and completely integrated the operation, with full-service plants in Webb City, Sacramento and Denver.

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