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Old News Stories
Murray's Cannery, 1941

From The Chatsworth Times
July 16, 1942

Cannery Takes Drudgery Out of Canning;
Sets New Record for Serving County
by Sara Lawson McGinty

Canning season for the housewife used to mean long hours of solitary work in the hot kitchen. Now it proves almost as good an opportunity for social contacts as an all-day singing. For the Murray County High school cannery, the facilities of which are used by approximately half the families in the county, is so popular that the waiting line resembles that of a barber shop on Saturday. Except that a majority of the customers are women.

The two large pressure cookers hold 218 quart cans or 400 pint cans and can be refilled every hour. Counting the time it takes to wash, pack, seal, cook and cool the produce, a customer can get a job done in about two hours. But if he has to wait his turen he can count on spending several hours at the cannery. So farm families come in wagons, trucks, and passenger cars, prepared to stay half a day. They bring their lunch and often linger after their canning is finished to chat with neighbors and friends.

Head man at the cannery is G. I. Maddox, Vocational Agriculture teacher at the high school. C. L. Saylers is his only helper. They show the canner how to prepare her vegetables and attend to the cooking. When the beans, tomatoes, apples or whatever the product may be, are sealed in shiny new cans, cooked, cooled and handed over to the customer to take home and store on his pantry shelves the customer pays a small fee–4 ˝ ˘ for No. 2 cans and 5 ˝ ˘ for No. 3 cans. This charge goes on the cost of the can, the sealer, wood, salt, and upkeep of equipment.

"It's much quicker and easier than doing it at home," one woman said as she paid for a generous supply of vitamins to be stored up until are are needed for next winter's meals.

"School canneries were started 10 years ago by the late L. M. Sheppard, supervisor of Agricultural Education at the University of Georgia," Mr. Maddox pointed out. "He believed the shool should serve not only the children, but the whole family."

The Murray County High school cannery is now in its seventh year of operation. Mr. Maddox and a group of Vocational Agriculture students constructed the present cannery.

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