Sunday, July 15, 2012

TIME MACHINE ... Pocomoke's "Birdseye."

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)


December, 1956.

(The Salisbury Times)

Pocomoke City holds ties to products that are known all over the world. Birdseye, division of General Foods Corporation, makes its productive facilities known wherever food is eaten.

When you see the product names Maxwell House Coffee, Baker's Chocolate, Baker's Cocoanut, Swans Down, Jello, Post's Cereals, Kool-Aid, Gaines Dog Food, Calumet, you can relate them to Birdseye products coming out of Pocomoke City, Maryland. These products are ready-to-cook frozen chicken, frozen beef, chicken and turkey pies, and frozen fruit pies. Such is the product background of a company founded in Pocomoke City as recently as 1942.

While the United States gets most of the 200,000 to 250,000 broilers processed and frozen each week at Birdseye in Pocomoke City, many of them are shipped to markets throughout the world. Shore broiler growers can well be proud of the hearty acceptance of their birds in this worldwide market. This helps partly to explain the reason Birdseye Frozen Chicken is so popular with the modern and efficient homemaker.

In addition, many of the 300,000 chicken pies shipped from the plant each week contain chicken raised by Delmarva growers.

Among the 650 co-workers, there are 75 of them who have been with Birdseye for ten to fifteen years of happy service. Many others working with Birdseye have also given long years of service.

In this modern plant, designed to create ideal working conditions, (this) top quality can be assured. Poultry Division Manager T.H. Ramsay, a Nebraskan transplanted to the Eastern Shore, numbers among his duties the responsibility for the maintenance of the quality of the products processed by Birdseye in Pocomoke City.

Charles G. Mortimer, president of General Foods, and Frederick G. Otterbien, Birdseye General Mgr., assigned Robert E. Breedlove, age 36, to Pocomoke City as Manager of Local Operations, and John T. Smullen, age 31, as his Assistant. This youth accent on management helps explain the outstanding record this company has made. Behind the forward thinking of management, and its energetic work, stand such successful benefits as a retirement plan, group life and hospital insurance, paid vacations, paid sick leaves, plus a stock purchase plan through which added benefits accrue for immediate dividends and retirement payments.

This management thoughtfulness is fully reciprocated: The co-workers give unstintedly of their abilities, time, and energy. This is the kind of effort that made America an industrial giant.

(Excerpts of ad text on Eastern Shore industry, sponsored by a Salisbury electrical supply firm.)

Footnote: With an increasing popularity of TV Dinners the demand for frozen chicken declined and Birdseye closed it's Pocomoke City plant in 1965. The local plant was purchased by Campbell Soup, providing employment initially for about 300. A worldwide restructuring program by Campbell brought a close to its' Pocomoke City operation in 1990.

December, 1937

(Daily News Record- Harrisonburg, Va.)

Warm Water Is Unused By Town

POCOMOKE CITY, Md., Dec.2. (AP)- An underground stream of water- 85 degrees winter and summer- has been flowing under the business district here for 25 years. And nothing has been done to utilize it.

The spring was discovered several hundred feet underground when a test well was drilled. At that time the city was thinking of using artesian water for its city supply. The warm water kept on flowing and was diverted through a 3-inch pipe to the Pocomoke River.

Residents attempted to form a company to operate the "Pocomoke baths," but nothing came of the venture because of lack of capital. The water contains chloride of sodium, sulphur and magnesium compounds, engineers said.


August, 1895

(The Daily News- Frederick, Md.)


From The LaPlata Crescent

A spark from a cigar dropped in a stable in Berlin, Worcester County, last Sunday evening, reduced to ashes the business portion of the town and destroyed over $250,000 worth of property. Though the losers by the fire may not be able to look at it in that light, the conflagration, so far as the town is concerned, may not be an unmixed evil. Many of the now flourishing towns on the "Shore" date their present era of prosperity from some more or less disastrous fire. Salisbury, Snow Hill, and Pocomoke City have in recent years all sprang Phoenix-like from their own ashes, and the new town has in each case far out classed the old. There is no reason to suppose that Berlin cannot or will not do likewise.


July, 1938)

(Cumberland Evening Times- Cumberland, Md.)

Pocomoke City- A potato growing record is claimed by Ray Redden, farmer living near here, after he took 146.6 barrels of prime white potatoes from each acre of one plot. The crop included only five barrels of culls. Seventy to eighty barrels is considered average, a hundred-barrel yield unusual.  



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