The Sardine Industry

Unloading herring at a sardine cannery, Eastport, Maine. A carryaway boat or Quoddy boat is alongside loaded deeply with herring carried in from a weir (fish trap.) Sardine canning started in 1875 in Eastport; by the time of this image there were at least 13 canneries of which many burned in a major fire in 1885. By 1900, however there were about 20 canneries in Eastport, and about 75 in Maine.

This carryaway boat would have taken on a load then sailed it quickly to a cannery. Herring canneries used steam tugs to tow these boats in a calm. When gasoline engines started to became available around 1904, many of the sailing carriers converted and in a few years purely motorized carriers were built.

This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887, Section V, Plate 135. This book can be found online at NOAA.

Database ID: 
Online access: NOAA
Geographic Location: 
Eastport, Maine