Inventors and Patents From the City of Oxnard
Three inventors in Oxnard recently had their patent applications granted. One of them, Charles E Carpenter, invented the first electric flat iron. Another was Henry T. Oxnard, who founded a sugar beet factory. Read on to learn more about these pioneers and their inventions.
Charles E Carpenter invented the first electric flatiron
In 1903, Charles E Carpenter, a Rhode Island native, invented the first electric flatiron. It was the result of the combination of his passion for engineering and his desire to make his work more efficient. He partnered with other Rhode Islandans, including Cyrus P. Brown and Ralph C. Luscomb, who also invented the first electric hairdryer. The company grew to six employees and eventually outgrew its original quarters on Front Street. The company moved all of its operations to the new building.
Henry T. Oxnard founded a sugar beet factory
In the early 1890s, Henry T. Oxnard, a Ventura County farmer, decided to build a sugar beet factory. He hoped to plant the factory in Hueneme, but faced opposition from local residents. Ultimately, Oxnard moved the factory inland to a location known as “five points.”
The original sugar beet factory operated from August 19, 1899 until October 26, 1959. The factory was a state-of-the-art operation that needed a large labor force to process the beets. The town was also home to a sugar beet farm owned by Albert Maulhardt, who grew beets for shipment to the factory. A spur of the Southern Pacific Railroad was also built to serve the factory.
The sugar beet factory boosted the town’s economy. With the increase in sugar production, Oxnard was able to diversify its crops. Besides beets, other crops grown in the area included barley and beans. Oxnard also had a thriving business community that included general merchandise stores, laundries, and banks. In 1907, the city also built its first public library. Today, the Carnegie gift is one of the few remaining structures from the early days of the plaza.
Oxnard’s first real business district grew up around the Plaza. Originally, the streets were named alphabetically, north-south and east-west. The area had a diverse population, with a substantial Japanese and Chinese population. This population grew rapidly, while German immigrants contributed to the city’s thriving economy.
But the factory had problems. Disgruntled immigrant workers clashed with local lawmen, killing one. One worker, Louis Vasquez, could even be considered a martyr. As a result, the factory’s workers organized a short-lived union.
Oxnard’s company grew. In addition to his Pacific Beet Sugar Company, he also founded the American Beet Sugar Factory, and then renamed it American Crystal Sugar. The company’s growth was largely spurred by the influx of foreign labor and a new Southern Pacific railroad line, which reached the region. Other businesses quickly sprung up around the American Crystal Sugar Co. in the Wooley Road and Five Points area. However, the success of sugar beets began to fade after World War II and farmers shifted to more lucrative crops.
The American Crystal Sugar Company was founded by Henry T. Oxnard in 1870. It was a $2 million investment. In addition, the factory spawned a new town and the town was named after him. The company operated on the same site from 1890 until 1964, a span of 74 years.
The town grew and expanded physically and developed its social structure. Eventually, it became the center of business and commerce in the Oxnard plain. In fact, the town soon outgrew the Hill and Rice subdivisions. Oxnard’s tract covered the remainder of the Hill tract C through E streets and Y Street from Fifth Street to Magnolia Avenue. At that time, it was the most expansive subdivision in the city.
The city of Oxnard has a rich history rooted in agriculture. The town has a thriving agricultural economy, and a vibrant cultural scene. The city is a hub of business, including a sugar beet factory. In addition, the city was home to numerous lawyers and dentists.
The area is home to a large community of middle class tradesmen and professionals. It was close to the downtown business district, which was convenient for local businesses and government. In addition, it was central to government and community life. In addition to the Sugar Beet Factory, the town also boasts several other important sites.