Letter from Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr., to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase (June 13, 1933)


Dublin Core


Letter from Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr., to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase (June 13, 1933)

Alternative Title

Chase Correspondence (June 13, 1933)


Chase, Sydney Octavius, 1860-1941
Chase, Joshua Coffin, 1858-1948
Southern Railway (U.S.)
Citrus fruit industry--Florida


An original letter of correspondence written by Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr. to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase. The letter summarizes a meeting that Sydney, Jr. attended relating to the marketing and selling of citrus products throughout the United States. The marketing strategies described throughout the meeting pertained not only to the state of Florida, but to other farmers and growers throughout the nation. Techniques included the overseeing of shipments to different markets by a government inspector and the use of an innovative teletype machine. Between the years of 1932 and 1933, growers in the Florida citrus industry faced controversy in attempting to regulate the shipment and selling of its products.

Chase & Company was established in 1884. The company sold insurance and later invested in storage facilities and fertilizer sales. Chase & Company was known mainly for its agricultural interests and maintained a series of citrus groves throughout Central Florida. The company was based out of Sanford and became one of the city's largest employers into the early twentieth century.


Chase, Sydney Octavius, Jr.


Original letter from Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr., to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase, June 13, 1933: Chase Collection (MS 14), box 3, folder 13.49, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr., to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase, June 13, 1933.

Is Part Of

Chase Collection (MS 14), box 3, folder 13.49, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Citrus Collection, Chase Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Is Referenced By

Folder referenced in Chase Collection finding guide, http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/chase.htm.




5,831 KB


3-page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead






Chase & Company Office, Sanford, Florida
Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Orlando, Florida

Spatial Coverage

28.811729, -81.268138
40.023133, -75.171987
28.539291, -81.377907

Temporal Coverage


Accrual Method



History Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher


Entire Chase Collection is comprised of four separate accessions from various donors, including Cecilia Johnson, the granddaughter of Joshua Coffin Chase and the children of Randall Chase.

Rights Holder

The displayed collection item is housed at Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Rights to this item belong to the said institution, and therefore inquiries about the item should be directed there. RICHES of Central Florida has obtained permission from Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida to display this item for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Digital Collections (UFDC), University of Florida


Marra, Katherine

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Warner, S.C. "Development of Marketing Citrus Fruits in Florida." Florida State Horticultural Society vol. 36 (1923): 198-200.
Hopkins, James T. Fifty Years of Citrus, the Florida Citrus Exchange: 1909-1959. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press: 1960.
"Sydney Chase Sr. (1860-1941)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=600.



June 13, 1933.

Mr. S. O. Chase,
P. O. Box 25,
Asheville, N. C.

Mr. J. C. Chase,
414 Manheim St., Germantown,
Philadelphia, Pa.


You will probably recall that a meeting was called in for 9:30 this morning by a state committee of growers to put before the growers and shippers of the state the Farmers Marketing System.

Mayor S. Y. Way, of Orlando, welcomed the audience of about four hundred growers and shippers. I would say that there were about 100 or more people there representing shippers, or connected with shipping organizations. Mr. A. E. Pickard, of Orlando, acted as Chairman, and enthusiastically indorsed this new marketing system. He was so enthusiastic in his indorsement that it would lead one to believe that he not only had fruit to sell but has hopes of helping sell somebody elses; that is it would appear that he possibly had a job in view.

Mr. Pickard introduced Mr. H. H. Stockfeld, Vice President of the Company, claiming that Mr. Stockfeld had called on Mr. Andrew Mellon, and without any introduction to Mr. Mellon had secured, without collateral, a quarter of a million dollars for the promotion of this new selling scheme that was to help the farmers and growers of the United States. The Chairman also stated that Mr. Stockfeld had brought the Austin car to the United States, and that in spite of the pessimism of many of his friends had put the deal over and made the people of this country like it. He was also introduced as being the man who had introduced non-shatter glass in this country, first to Mr. Ford then to other automobile concerns. From the above writer gathered that Mr. Stockfeld had not delt with highly perishable goods, such as vegetables and citrus fruits.

Mr. Stockfeld in beginning his talk stated what he had accomplished in Australia, in organizing the retail grocerymen in a town of about 300,00 people. I do not recall the name of the town. He did not go into the details of the accomplishment, and only spoke in generalities; therefore it was not possible to base an opinion, except that it was a wonderful success.

Mr. Stockfeld informed the audience that Mr. L. B. Nutting, Chairman of the Board, had contributed $100,000. for the promotion of this marketing system, for which he did not ask any security or free stock, or the return of principal or payment of interest. I wish more men free with their money to this extent could be found and brought to Florida. Mr. Stockfeld then went into some detail as to the way the system was to work. The fruits or vegetables first shoulf be prepared for loading in the car, and a government inspector should pass on the grade and pack and issue a certificate as to his findings. This certificate, with the amount of vegetables or citrus would be sent to an office of the Company where it would be sent to the different markets by the wonderful teletype machine. This teletype machine, so Mr. Stockfeld informed th esudience, was instantaneous, and could do everything but actually talk. On receipt of this information in the different markets, of which there would be sixty or more as against the present nine or ten auctions, the information would be cataloged and made ready for the buyers to use in bidding on the cars the following morning. These bids would be simultaneously flashed to all parts of the country where teletype machines were in use in their offices.. In this way if a car of vegetables or citrus was being bid on in more than one market all markets would be advised as to what the others were bidding; also the office where the grower was waiting to see how much his fruit or vegetables would bring. Mr. Stockfeld later gave us a demonstration of the way the teletype machine worked with three they had set-up in the Municipal Auditorium. In other words he held a little game of auction, and to some of the growers it might just as well have been auction bridge. After the demonstration of these machines the Chairman invited the people to ask any questions they wanted to. One person asked the question if it would be possible to withdraw his fruit, and not sell it, if the price was not satisfactory. To this Mr. Stockfeld answered "Yes", that a grower could withdraw his fruit, and refuse to accept the offer any time he felt the price was not high enough. Another person asked when they would get their money, and if they would have to let the fruit go out of their possession before they received the money. To this Mr. Stockfeld replied that the money would be available to them within a few hours after the sale, that the fruit would not have to leave their possession before they received the money. Another person asked where the fruit would be held in the meantime ,and if it was not sold the first day it was ready to loaded in the car where it would be held. These last two questions were not answered directly or indirectly, but were very skillfully evaded. Mr. R. P. Burton, from Lake County, asked Mr. Stockfeld what would be the outcome if a car of fruit was sold, and on arrival in the market the buyer found that it did not come up to government inspection which was made in Florida, due to decay or some other conditions which the buyer did not have any control over. To this Mr. Stockfeld answered that it would be entirely up to the buyer, and they would not necessarily have anything more to do with that car of fruit, as they would already have secured the money for it, and turned same over to the grower. There were a number of other questions asked during the meeting up to about twelve o'clock, but most of them were not answered, but evaded by a continuous line of talk and reading of telegrams and recommendations that had been received prior to the introduction of this new system in Florida.

People were given the impression that Mr. Attaberry, President of the Pennsylvania Railway, indorsed the system very enthusiastically; that the American Telephone & Telegraph Company indorsed the system very highly. All of these recommendations seemed very natural. In answer to some of the questions letters of recommendations were read rapidly, and without informing the people who they were from, other than that they were prominent, had been in business for a number of years, and understood the situation. The more Mr. Stockfeld talked the more obvious it became that he knew very little, if anything, concerning the subject on which he was talking.

Just as the writer was leaving, and before the crowd broke up, Mr. Stockfeld advised Mr. Burton that he had a negative mind, and that only people with negative minds could not grasp the opportunities which this new system made possible to the producers of the state. He said they were in a position where they could begin operating as quick as four days from the time they decided to begin. One grower became so excited, and talked so fast, that he very nearly lost his set of teeth on the floor, but managed to catch them and replace same, and continue his talk.

This whole program seemed to be one of promotion. Any one using that system would have to purchase one share of stock. The price of this one share was not named. It is really ridiculous to think that well educated, sound thinking, people could fall for any such scheme, but there are some who really believe in this new marketing system.

I believe this about sums up the matter, with the exception of many generalities which were delt with by Mr. Stockfeld, and which meant little or nothing to any one who is familiar with the handling of fruits and vegetables from the field to the market.

Yours very truly,

S.O.C Jr.


Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

3-page typewritten letter on Chase & Company letterhead



Chase, Sydney Octavius, Jr., “Letter from Sydney Octavius Chase, Jr., to Sydney Octavius Chase, Sr. and Joshua Coffin Chase (June 13, 1933),” RICHES, accessed May 26, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/1204.