Charles W. Armour

Charles W. Armour

Stockbridge, Madison County, New York, USA
Death 22 Mar 1927 (aged 69)
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Burial Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Plot Armour family plot
Memorial ID 6304961 · View Source
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Businessman. He was one of the five Armours who developed the meatpacking firm of Armor & Company. He was born in Stockbridge, New York, where his parents were farmers and little is known of his early life. His brother, Phillip Danforth Armour and associate John Plankington opened a small slaughterhouse in Kansas City in 1871. The company already had two large packinghouses, one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and one in Chicago, Illinois. Plankington retired from the business in 1885 after which it was reorganized and he joined the business, that would soon become the world's largest food processing and chemical manufacturing enterprise with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The company was the first to produce canned meat and also the first to employ an assembly-line technique in its factories to speed up production. It also reduced the tremendous amount of waste involved in the slaughtering of hogs, taking advantage of the potential resale value of what had previously been waste products, such as fertilizer, glue, and pepsin. To ship meat products, the company utilized refrigerated railcars, establishing the Armour Refrigerator Line in 1883, which soon became the largest private refrigerated railcar fleet in the United States with over 12,000 cars by 1900. The company fought to keep unions out of their meatpacking plants and was successful in breaking three major strikes directly concerned their factories. Additionally, the company's reputation was further tarnished by the scandal of 1898-1899 when it was charged with selling tainted meat, providing fodder for the bestselling novel by Upton Sinclair entitled "The Jungle" which exposed the dark side of the meatpacking industry. In 1910 the name was changed to Armour & Company and the plant grew till it had approximately 90 acres of floor space, and employed about 5,000 people. He died at his home in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 69.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill Walker
  • Added: 31 Mar 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6304961
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles W. Armour (10 Jun 1857–22 Mar 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6304961, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .