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Entries : Wilson & Co.
Wilson & Co.

Wilson & Co.

The giant Chicago-based meatpacker Wilson & Co. began as a New York slaughterhouse in the 1850s called Schwartzchild & Sulzberger, which expanded to Kansas City in 1893. After the company hastily opened slaughterhouses in the early twentieth century in places like Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it quickly fell into financial trouble. In 1916, control of the company went to Thomas E. Wilson, a former president of Chicago-based Morris & Co. packinghouse, and the firm's health was soon revived. The company's name changed to Wilson & Co., its headquarters moved to Chicago's Union Stock Yard, and it joined Armour and Swift at the top of the American meat industry. In 1917, when it had already established a sporting goods subsidiary, Wilson ranked as one of the 50 largest industrial corporations in the country. By the mid-1930s, the company employed about 3,900 men and 1,000 women at its plant on Chicago's South Side. At the end of World War II, Wilson's annual sales neared $440 million. Like other leading packers, Wilson stopped slaughtering in Chicago during the 1950s, but kept its headquarters in the city for several years afterwards. By the middle of the 1960s, the company grossed over $800 million in annual sales and employed about 17,000 people in the United States. In 1967, Wilson was purchased by Jim Ling of the Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) conglomerate, and its executive offices were transferred from Chicago to Dallas, Texas. Over the next few years, parts of the old Wilson were gradually sold off, until it was no longer a coherent entity. See also Wilson Sporting Goods Co.