Friday, November 27, 2009

Thomson-Diggs Teaser

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and the timing was serendipitous. Recently, I’ve been researching the history of the Thomson-Diggs wholesale hardware business. As early as 1910, Thomson Diggs had a presence on R Street. The synchronicity bit of the story is that my sister told me the big roasting pan our turkey was cooking in yesterday came from the Thomson-Diggs Company.  In a few days I’ll post the some of the research as it stands on the history of the business and, if my fact checking holds up, chase down one of those offshoots of history that I keep finding in my research for the R Street Project.

For now, here is a little sketchup doodle of part of what I want to do. It’s not exactly to scale and I didn't model the water tanks on top of  the roof for the automatic sprinkler system; I’m just working on proportions and trying to get the window placement to look right. On my layout, I plan to have this as one of two Thomson-Diggs buildings as low relief models on the backdrop. They’ll sit on the Southern Pacific side of the street opposite the WP freight houses featured earlier in the blog.


  1. I worked for T-D from 1973 for 15 years until just before they closed. I started as an orders clerk, then a stock clerk,to assistant bldg. maint. worker. I used to help drain the water tank on the roof, hosing off the silver coated roof with the water.Some of the river boat pallets that were used in the warehouse are located in Old Sacto. on the boardwalks.Some wood carts are in the train depot. Although it was 220,000 sq. ft.,only the office was air conditioned.Working there was like going back in time.All the windows were painted on the inside so you couldn't see in.(for insurance purposes)The lighting consisted of 150 watt bulbs hanging from the ceiling that had to be turned on and off individually. Robert Monical was Superintendant, Ed Town was President.Up until 1976, the delivery truck was a '49 International.It was a tightly run company, most of the salesmen cars were Ford Pintos. A great company that hired mostly veterans, as I was. I have a lot of good memories from there.

    Greg Pealer

  2. My grandfather, Clarence Briggs, worked for Thomson-Diggs for 52 years, starting as a store clerk and retiring as a traveling salesman. Thanks for putting this together!