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Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Collection - Imperial Sugar Packing Department

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation


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  •  An Imperial Sugar employee wheels in a large bundle of bags 
  •  Stamping bags 
  •  Filling bags with sugar 
  •  Down the conveyor belt into the storage room 
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This short feature offers a behind-the-scenes look into the packing department at Imperial Sugar. From gathering and stamping bags to filling them with sugar, industrial machines assist workers with the steady process. Director Bob Bailey began his career in still photography, but shifted his focus to industrial and educational filmmaking of the Houston area by the 1930s. The subjects of his many films include the gas and petroleum industry, real estate business, natural disasters, and sports.
The city of Sugar Land now occupies the site that was once the Oakland Plantation. It was there that in 1843 Samuel May Williams installed a commercial sugar-grinding mill on his land, leading to a rapid shift from cotton to sugar cane as the area's dominant crop. In 1905, the area's sugar plantations were acquired by the Kempner family, who dubbed their company the Imperial Sugar Company. Though sugar has not been refined at the original plant since 2003, the company's headquarters remains in Sugar Land, making it the oldest extant business in Texas.