Friday, July 8, 2011

Soap, shortening and more

The Procter & Gamble plant on what's now Pier C.

A mainstay of manufacturing at the Port of Long Beach for over 55 years was the Procter & Gamble plant, which opened in 1931 on the Seventh Street Peninsula. A couple of years earlier, the same piece of land was the site of the Pacific Southwest Exposition.

A mound of copra is stored at the P&G facility.
From 1931 until the plant closed in 1988, workers there produced familiar products like Ivory soap, Tide and Cascade detergents, Crisco shortening and many more. Raw materials like copra, the dried meat of coconuts used to produce coconut oil, came in ships to docks adjacent to the plant and were stored for use in manufacturing.

In 1987, Procter & Gamble decided to close the plant as a cost-saving measure, but the area is still a source of jobs: the Port purchased the land and turned it into a container terminal. Now Matson/SSA operates on what is now called Pier C.

If you worked at the Procter & Gamble plant we'd love to hear from you -- you can use our Share Your Memories page to contact us.

Click here for a photo gallery with more images from the Procter and Gamble plant.

Read a 1987 Los Angeles Times article about the plant's closure.

Rose Hart inspects bottles of Crisco oil at the plant, probably in 1981.

1 comment:

PortofLB said...

Reader Joseph Hower writes:
"I worked at the P&G plant for 10 years, from 1978 through the plant closure in 1988. I worked with a lot of wonderful people, and learned lessons that serve me well to this day. I was very sad to see the plant close."