These days, bacon is everywhere – on sandwiches, in omelettes, and in cupcake icing.  Back in the 1920’s, when this ad appeared, Kingan’s Bacon was “reliable.”

Kingan & Co., featured in this Indianapolis Collected article, not only made bacon, but also virtually every product which could be rendered from pork or beef.  Samuel Kingan opened his first meatpacking plant in Northern Ireland.  He later immigrated to the United States, where he opened meatpacking plants in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, both of which were destroyed by fire.  In 1863, Kingan settled in Indianapolis and opened a meatpacking facility in the area that is now the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field.  Kingan’s first location burned not long after it was opened, but was rebuilt and reopened within a year of the fire.

In 1875, Kingan merged with J & T Sinclair, a firm founded in Belfast, Ireland.  The new company became Kingan & Co.  Kingan & Co. employed many Irish immigrants.  In fact, some Irish immigrants would have their belongings shipping directly to the Kingan facility, as they had not secured housing in the Indianapolis area.  Kingan would eventually build apartments and a church for his workers.

Unfortunately, about a century later, centralization of the meat market and another fire at the Kingan location forced Kingan to close the doors of what was once one of the largest meatpacking plants in the United States.

12 responses to “Sunday Adverts: Kingan & Co.”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    I think Hebrew National was the last producer at this facility (they’re now in Omaha, I believe)

  2. thomas brower says:

    I have the metal shown above kingan$co reliable etc. is it collectable?

  3. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Hi Thomas,
    Pretty much anything is collectible these days, don’t you think? 🙂

  4. Connie Buller "MrsB" says:

    I am a volunteer with FindaGrave, and was looking up Philip Mannino, who lived in Omaha, Nebraska in 1958. That year he was employed as a butcher at Kingan’s. Omaha was the home of many large meat-packing plants. I wanted to know what Kingan’s was in 1958, and thanks to this article I believe I know–the company had indeed opened a place in Omaha.

  5. Linda Lou Knotts Harris says:

    I am trying to find out the history of why the personal shopper at Wm H Block was known as Miss Mattler. My husband had distant family Florence Mattler Dinnen that worked for Strauss and Blocks – 1918-early 1920s. She was later in advertising at may and Co. in NYC. Thank you

  6. Rebecca Davis says:

    My Aunt Mary Cesnik,, her husband Joseph, mother-in-law Agnes Cesnik, my Grandma AnnaParker and several others were employed at Kingan’s back in the day. The Cesnik’s were from Slovenia as were many more people from overseas.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Karen says:

    My grandfather Duncan worked for kingans was very good at what he did.

  9. Karen says:

    Anyone want ing
    To talk about kingans I would love to. My grandfather worked like crazy at this place and was darn proud of it.

  10. John Dowd says:

    My grandmother, Mamie Feltz nee Larner worked at Kingan’s before marrying. She would never use anything but Kingan’s Lard for shortening. Her apple pie was legendary.

  11. John Barber says:

    My Father was a grocer and the building he was in had always been a grocery store. One day my Brothers and me went into a crawl space that was the store’s attic. We found a wood framed sign with the Kingan’s Reliable Hams displayed. The frame measures 20-1/2″ x 25-1/2″.
    I curious as to the historical value of this advertising piece. I would be happy to send pictures should they be requested.

  12. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    You might check eBay? Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to appraise anything for you.

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