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Technological change in the Fraser River salmon canning industry, 1871-1912 Stacey, Duncan A. 1977

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TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN THE FRASER RIVER SALMON CANNING INDUSTRY, B.A., University of Bri t i s h Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY We accept this thesis as conforming THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1977 ^ ) DUNCAN A. STACEY 1871 - 1912 by DUNCAN A. STACEY Lo the required standard In presenting th is thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is for f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of H I S T o <3 y The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date M n y / 9 ~7 *7 ABSTRACT British Columbia's salmon industry is currently one of the province's major sources of income. Its development from a primitive fishery to a highly organized industrial operation has had many phases, one of the most significant occuring in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this period several technological developments freed the industry from expensive and unreliable manual labour and la i d the basis for the modern industry's organization. This study investigates the innovations made in fishing, packing, and canning machinery and shows how intimately related these developments were to each other. A central point in this thesis i s the argument that the industry's development at this time was not due to the introduction of a major invention (the "great man" theory applied to machines) but rather to a series of interlocking, mutually supporting innovations which tended to occur i n clusters. Another point i s that these innovations were called forth by chronic labour shortages which a f f l i c t e d the province in i t s early history. Some space i s also given to the effects of technology on the workers and canners of the period. Whenever possible primary source material has been used, including company records, letters and other papers of the early canners, early newspaper and periodical accounts, government reports and regulations of the time, and interviews with pioneers of the fishing industry. Secondary sources have, as much as possible, been restricted to c l a r i f i c a t i o n or supplementation of the original material. - i i -TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter: 1. THE MANUAL CANNING ERA: 1871-1903 11 2. THE OAR AND SAIL POWERED GILLNET FISHERY 30 3. EARLY TENDERBOATS 46 4. THE TRANSITION FROM MANUAL TO MECHANIZED CANNING 51 5. EARLY MECHANIZATION OF THE SALMON FISHING FLEET 70 CONCLUSION 79 BIBLIOGRAPHY 81 - i i i -LIST OF TABLES TABLE I: Cannery Statistics for the Years 1877, 1883, 1893, and 1898-1905 TABLE II: Capital Invested per Cannery in Operation on the Fraser for the Years 1881, 1890, and 1905 Page 28/29 50 - i v -ACNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Professor Keith Ralston who suffered through five years as my advisor. Other persons in the academic f i e l d who deserve special mention are the staff of The University of British Columbia's Special Collections, specifically Anne Yandel and George Brandak, and the staff of the British Columbia Provincial Archives, especially Francis Gundry. My major acknowledgements, however, must rest with the members of the British Columbia fishing industry, especially those of the Canadian Fishing Company, who taught me the practical end of my studies. These men are so numerous that i t would be impossible to l i s t them a l l , but I would l i k e to mention the crews of the Cape Scott, the Cape Pine, the Cape Flattery, and the Cape Dorset, especially Ronald Robertson, Sam Burich, Charlie Coffin, Jerry Dobrilla, Herb Hockaday, John Klaboe, Harold Tipper, and the shipyard cannery personnel such as George Olsen, Harold Britten, and B i l l Ross. -v-INTRODUCTION This thesis w i l l investigate technological change in the British Columbia salmon canning industry between the years 1871 and 1912 and w i l l use the Fraser River industry as a test case. The object of this study is to contribute to investigations into canned salmon and lumber, the export commodities"'' which were cornerstones of the region's 2 economic development in the late nineteenth century. When such research has been done, the path w i l l be clear for a c r i t i c a l study of the theory of regional economic development. As Professor Careless has observed, there i s much more to the early development of British Columbia than the 3 affairs of provincial governments or the vicissitudes of public men. Studying technological change, one finds two types of industries, the leaders, those which invent technology, and the followers, those 4 which adopt i t . The Fraser River salmon canning industry was a follower """The term "export commodity" is more descriptive of the canning industry than "staple" or "extractive resource" because the. latter terms usually refer to the products of purely extractive industries such as coal. See Douglas North, "Location Theory and Regional Economic Growth," Journal of P o l i t i c a l Economy, LXIII (June 1955), 247. 2 "Economic development" is used rather than "economic growth" as the latter refers to increased output whereas the former term implies both more output and changes in the technical and institutional arrangements, i.e. technological change. 3 J. M. S. Careless, "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria," Canadian Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971, ed. David S. Macmillan (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972), p. 123. U S. B. Saul, ed., Technological Change: The United States and  Britain in the Nineteenth Century (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1970), p. v i i . -1-industry as a l l i t s technology was imported from Europe or eastern North America."* Only one machine, the butchering machine, was invented specifically for the west coast canneries and here again the Fraser River and British Columbia salmon industry was a follower, since the successful model of the butchering machine, the "Iron Chink", was developed by the Columbia River salmon industry.** Given these circumstances, the central issue of this thesis w i l l be innovation, or the adoption of technology rather than i t s invention 7 Salmon canning machinery was adapted from the vegetable and meat canning industries of eastern North America and Europe. The original source of early salmon canning technology was Britain where Crosse and Blackwell established the world's f i r s t salmon canning factory in Cork, Ireland. The technique of f i s h canning was copied by eastern North Americans (E. May, The Canning Clan [New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938], p. 435). The canning of f i s h , especially cod, was pioneered in North America by Ezra Daggett of New York in 1819 (May, p. 7). A Canadian named Tristram Halliday was canning salmon at St. John, New Brunswick, as early as 1839 (May, p. 12). The cradle of the North American canning industry was the f r u i t and vegetable industry of Baltimore, the early process being especially applicable to this class of products as they require a lower degree of heat to preserve them than fis h products do. However, the diffusion of the basic canning techniques to fishery products was aided by the fact that the original industry in the period 1820-1845 was confined largely to c i t i e s where fish and oyster canning was carried on (Arthur Hunt, "Canning and Preserving Fruits, Vegetables, Fish, and Oysters," Manufacturers, Part  III: Special Reports on Selected Industries, United States, Twelfth  Census of the United States, Taken in the Year 1900 [Washington: U.S. Census Office, 1902], Vol. IX, 480, 492). In the case of the Fraser River salmon industry a perfect example of how canning technology was diffused from the eastern vegetable industry to the western salmon industry is evident in the case of the Schaake machine works of New Westminster. Henry Schaake, one of the most progressive canning machinery manufacturers during the early 1900's originally worked in Baltimore on f r u i t and vegetable canning machinery. He came to New Westminster via San Francisco (Pacific Fisherman, annual edition, 1903, p. 52). Other types of butchering machines were used in the Fraser's canning process, but they were soon replaced by the Iron Chink (see pages 56-62). -3-S u s t a i n i n g t e c h n o l o g i c a l change i n a f o l l o w e r i n d u s t r y i s not g simply a matter of importing "new" machines or processes. I f technology i s to be s u c c e s s f u l l y implanted i n new t e r r i t o r y , many aspects of the new s e t t i n g , ranging from market o p p o r t u n i t i e s to the e s s e n t i a l back-up s k i l l s i n a wide arc of support f u n c t i o n s , must be favourable. In b r i e f the c o n d i t i o n s which must be met are as f o l l o w s : there must be a s u r p l u s of some resource, there must be technology to develop the resource to the l e v e l of an exportable s u r p l u s ; there must be a source of c a p i t a l , there must be a market, and the exportable surplus must be c o n v e n i e n t l y l o c a t e d on a trade r o u t e . In the 1860's the Fraser R i v e r met a l l but one of these c o n d i t i o n s . ^ Salmon was embarrassingly abundant. C a p i t a l was a v a i l a b l e from V i c t o r i a and Innovations are the a p p l i c a t i o n of i n v e n t i o n s to the p r o d u c t i v e process. I t i s the a p p l i c a t i o n of i n v e n t i o n s t h a t determines the r a t e of investment and growth (D. Landes, "Factor Cost and Demand: Determinants of Economic Growth," Business H i s t o r y , V I I [1965], 21). I t can be argued that i n v e n t i o n i s a f u n c t i o n of the s t a t e of the a r t and i n n o v a t i o n i s a f u n c t i o n of the s t a t e of the market; the development of the Fraser R i v e r salmon canning i n d u s t r y was a f u n c t i o n of the market demand of the B r i t i s h i n d u s t r i a l worker f o r h i g h p r o t e i n f i s h products (Jonathan Hughes, I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and Economic H i s t o r y [New York: McGraw H i l l Book Company, 1970], p. 44). 8 S a u l , p. v i i , n. 4. "New" i n the sense that these machines had not been a p p l i e d to the Fraser R i v e r but were i n use i n other regions such as eastern North America and Europe. 9 Cf. A. J . Youngson, "The Opening of New T e r r i t o r i e s , " The  Cambridge Economic H i s t o r y of Europe, ed. H. J . Habakkuk and M. Postan, VI (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966). • ^ C a r e l e s s , "The Business Community i n the E a r l y Development of V i c t o r i a , " and "The Lowe Br o t h e r s , 1852-1870: A Study of Business R e l a t i o n s on the North P a c i f i c Coast," B.C. S t u d i e s , Spring 1969; H. K e i t h R a l s t o n , "Patterns of Trade and Investment on the P a c i f i c Coast," B.C. S t u d i e s , Winter 1968-69, and "The 1900 S t r i k e of Fraser R i v e r -4-San Francisco commission agents and banks."""1" The industrial worker of 12 Britain provided a ready market. The Fraser River was linked by steamers and coastal sailing vessels to the Victoria-San Francisco-Liverpool trade route. A l l that was missing was the technology necessary to transform the salmon resource into a base for a canning industry capable of exporting i t s product. Before the introduction of canning, the Fraser River salmon fishery was conducted almost exclusively for the small local fresh f i s h market. Attempts to raise this fishery to an export level by packing 13 salmon in barrels met with only limited success. With the appearance of the necessary technology and permanent canneries in the 1870's, the problem of preserving salmon for transport to distant markets was solved. A l l the conditions described above had been met, and the salmon staple became, by definition, an export commodity. Sockeye Salmon Fishermen," unpublished M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1965; Paul Rodman, "The Wheat Trade Between California and the United Kingdom," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 45 (1958), 391-412; and Victor Ross, A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, I (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1920). "'""'"Prior to 1889 and the advent of limited companies, the Fraser River industry's organization was characterized by low levels of industrial concentration, small firms run by individuals or partners, and by a high incidence of local proprietorship. After the i n i t i a l investment, the canning proprietors gained fixed capital by re-investing the profits made in the industry. Long run operating capital, which was especially important to the industry because the salmon market had an eighteen month cycle from the time the tinplate was ordered from England u n t i l the season's pack was sold, was supplied by commission agents (Ralston, "The 1900 Strike," p. 18). These agents provided canning and fishing supplies and a distribution system to the market as well as capital. The rapid increase of the British labourers' real wages in the era of the so-called "Great Depression" accounted for their consumption of millions of cans of food which a generation earlier would have been -5-The exact date of the establishment of this permanent commercial canning industry is hard to determine. In 1867, James Syme experimented with canning at his saltery on the Fraser. Although he exported a 14 dozen, two-pound cans to Australia, his was not a permanent commercial venture. Between 1871 and 1873"''"' small canneries appeared on the river on a more permanent basis and by 1874 four canneries produced for export purposes.^ There appear to be three reasons for the gap between 1867 and 1871, when no canneries were established despite the fact that the technology was available. One reason i s that i t was a time of economic recession, so l i t t l e capital was available for such ventures. In addition, Britain, the area's major source of capital, was directing i t s money into the Columbia River fishery rather than the Fraser.^ Thirdly, considered a luxury quite beyond their means. Between 1860 and 1877, real wages increased by twenty-five percent; between 1877 and 1891 they increased five percent; arid from 1891 to 1899 they rose another five to ten percent (A. L. Bowley, Wages in the United Kingdom in the 19th  Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), p. 63). See also: S. B. Saul, The Myth of the Great Depression, 1873-1896 (London: Macmillan and Co. Ltd., 1969), p. 31; and John Burnett, Plenty and Want (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1968), pp. 124-125. 13 Ralston, "Patterns of Trade and Investment," p. 38. 14 Columbian, May 9, 186'8, p. 2. ^Although secondary sources claim that a cannery (Annieville) started in 1870, there is no evidence to support this. Annieville was a saltery in 1870 (Mainland Guardian, June 18, 1870, p. 3). In 1871, however, Annieville exported nearly 50,000 pounds of canned salmon (Mainland Guardian, June 20, 1871, p. 3; Colonist, November 2, 1871, p. 3). Most fisheries originally canned in conjunction with salteries prior to the 1880's (Canada, Report of the Inspector of Fisheries for British Columbia, 1876, Canada, S.P., 1877, no. 5, appendix 21, p. 340). For example, in 1876 Ewen and Company produced 300 barrels and 3,125 cases, but by 1882 they turned out 20,000 cases and only 500 barrels -6-18 i t was d i f f i c u l t to obtain labour and appliances in this early period. It is safe to say, therefore, that a permanent canning industry, based 19 on an export market, started between 1871 and 1874. The time period of 1871-1912 and the geographical area of the Fraser River have been chosen as the limits for this study for specific 20 reasons. The years 1871-1912 encompass the "pre-modern" period of the canning line. With the introduction of butchering machines in 1903 and the sanitary can and double seamer, which made manual soldering obsolete, in 1912, the basis for the modern, mechanized high-speed canning line was (Canada, Report of the Inspector of Fisheries for British Columbia, 1882, Canada, S.P., 1883, no. 7, appendix 6, p. 194). 1 6Colonist, A p r i l 28, 1874, p. 2. •^Ralston, "Fatterns of Trade and Investment," p. 41. This assumption is based on the fact that in 1874 there was a desire on the part of Fraser River canners to guide English capital into the Fraser rather than the Columbia. During that year Crosse and Blackwell of England sent 30,000 pounds sterling to be invested in the Columbia (Colonist, A p r i l 28, 1874, p. 2). 18 Labour and appliances were most easily and more cheaply obtained on the Columbia than on the Fraser (Colonist, A p r i l 28, 1874, p. 2). 19 An indication that the economic importance of the Fraser's salmon resource was recognized as early as the 1870's i s that the f i r s t federal fisheries regulations for the river were applied in 1876 (Canada Gazette, IX [May 13, 1876], 1500). 20 A canning line i s modern i f i t s machines actually replace the manual processes rather than supplement them. Between 1870 and 1914 the most striking technological development of industrialization appeared to be in the development of machines to replace a man's hand or implements in undertaking some function such as canning (Habakkuk and Postan, VI, chapter 7; North, p. 694). A -7-complete. Before these innovations, however, the Fraser River salmon 21 industry was characterized by decentralized industrial organization, 22 by u t i l i z a t i o n of only two of the five species of salmon, by extensive hand labour in the canning line, and by limited mobility in the fishing fleet .j^The technology of the fishing fleet centered around s a i l and steam; canning machines were generally aids to the hand process rather than automatic manufacturing devices. In the period between 1901 and 1905, several major changes in the industry started the development toward modern processing. The technology of the gasoline motor began to replace s a i l and steam and allowed the gillnet fleet a greater mobility. It also made possible the establishment of a powered purse seine fishery to catch the lesser species of salmon. The application of the butchering machine and the solderless can system made complete automation of the canning line possible. In addition, the formation of the B. C. Packers Association was an effective step toward centralization in the industry. The period 1871-1912 therefore covers the most important adoptions made in the industry.. The Fraser River was selected for study because innovation in this region was less restricted by government regulations than other major salmon areas which developed later. In addition, the sockeye, the H/ith the exceptions of the B. C. Canning Company in 1889 and the Anglo-British Columbia Company in 1891, both of which failed to centralize the industry due to the large number of new entries in the 1890's (David Reid, "Company Mergers in the Fraser River Salmon Canning Industry 1885-1902," Canadian Historical Review, LVI [1975]). Before the 1900's only the sockeye and coho salmon were exportable as the British market would accept only the red fis h . "The present run is composed of what are known as sockeyes—the true -8-most important commercial species i n the Fraser's industry at the time covered by t h i s t h e s i s , follows a s p e c i f i c migration pattern. The p e c u l i a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s species (Oncorhynchus nerka) are therefore fundamental to the growth pattern of the Fraser's canning industry. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s include a short season with sharp peaks of intensive f i s h i n g e f f o r t between the f i r s t week of July and the f i r s t week of August and a wide v a r i a t i o n between one year and the next i n the number of sockeye returning to spawn. The yearly v a r i a t i o n i s based on a four year c y c l e . This cycle comprises one dominant year, which i n the 19th and early 20th centuries came the year a f t e r leap years, ( i . e . , 1873, 1877, 1881, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1897, 1901, 1905, 1909, 1913) followed by a subdominant year and two " o f f " years. The dominant year has many times the return of the smallest, or " o f f " , years and the subdominant year has a l e s s e r return than the dominant year but l a r g e r ones than the o f f years. Thus a f a i r l y p r e d i c t a b l e source of salmon and a r e l a t i v e l y unfettered industry on the Fraser make i t easier to see how and why the canners used t h e i r technological s k i l l s to benefit from the resource. There are at l e a s t two ways to study technological change. The t r a d i t i o n a l approach argues that technological change i n the form of s p e c i f i c machines and processes i s the determining f a c t o r i n economic 23 advance. Such an approach would seem to be the "great man" theory of commercial f i s h " (Mainland Guardian, July 13, 1878, p. 3). This preference was due i n large part to the f a c t that the f i r s t pink salmon shipped to England were badly packed and lacked the firmness and o i l content by which the B r i t i s h consumer learned to judge the q u a l i t y of salmon. 23 Robert Fogel, "The New Economic H i s t o r y , " Economic History Review 24 history applied to things rather than to persons. Recently, however, Robert Fogel has argued that the most important application of his study on railroads and American economic growth i s that "no single innovation was v i t a l for economic development during the nineteenth 25 century". Paul David supports this approach, arguing that "the appearance of isolated 'great innovations' is less consequential for economic progress than the rate at which clusters of interlocking, 26 mutually supporting techniques can be brought into use." Studies of the Fraser's salmon industry have generally followed the traditional approach in the sense that they considered the industry's sectors—fishing, packing, and canning—in relative isolation to each 27 other. They also tend to be preoccupied with the canning sector and see that process and the innovations within i t such as the butchering machine or the steam retort as the sole factors in the industry's technological change. This is misleading. The canning process was a by-product of new industrial methods that permitted the r o l l i n g out of very thin uniform sheets of metal. The steam retort was merely the adaption (hereafter referred to as EcHR), XIX (1966), second series, 647. o / Abbott Usher, A History of Mechanical'Inventions (London: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1929), pp. 4-7. 9 S Robert Fogel, Railroads and American Economic Growth (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1964), p. 234. 2^Paul David, "Transport Innovation and Economic Growth," EcHR, XXII (1969), second series, 510. Only two major works on the B.C. salmon industry are relevant to the study of the Fraser River, the theses of Keith Ralston and Joseph Lawrence. Although Ralston centres his study on labour relations, -10-of ship's boilers, which were in turn the result of new industrial processes in the metal and engineering industries. Only in the case of the butchering machine is the traditional approach more valid. It was the only machine invented specifically for the salmon industry; i t revolutionized the canning sector and resulted in unprecedented mechanization. But even here the traditional approach ignores the limitations on this invention. Because a l l machines in the canning process are designed for the same capacity so that they can work in unison, any machine, including the butchering machine, depends for i t s capacity on the one that procedes or follows i t . Machines on a canning line are also dependent for their capacity on the fishing fleet to provide a steady supply of salmon. In the early 1900's, when the Iron Chink was introduced, the r e l i a b i l i t y of such a supply began to depend on new forms of fishing technology such as mechanized seiners. This study w i l l therefore investigate the development of clusters of technology in the Fraser's salmon industry in an attempt to show the vali d i t y of this approach. It w i l l divide the period under study into two parts and examine the different natures of the technological changes in each. In the 1871-1903 period, technological advance rested on several improvements in manual technology, but the "machines" remained aids to the hand process. The 1903-1912 period saw the development of automatic machines which replaced the hand methods. his f i r s t chapter deals with the early development of the industry. Lawrence's work is of a descriptive nature and essentially follows the traditional approach by developing the industry's sectors separately. Ralston sees canning as part of a wider industrial process, as a by-product of new processes that permitted the r o l l i n g out of very thin uniform sheets of metal (Ralston, "Patterns of Trade and Investment," p. 38). Chapter 1 THE MANUAL CANNING ERA: 1871-1903 1 The Fraser's salmon pack increased from 9,847 cases in 1876 to 837,489 cases in 1905.''' Much of this increase was due to an increase 2 in the number of producers and in the length of seasonal operations ^ rather than to technological innovation. Between 1876 and 1901 the number of canneries increased from three to forty-nine, with most of the 3 newcomers entering the market between 1892 and 1902. Consolidations reduced this number to forty by 1905. Not a l l of the increased production, however, can be credited to the addition of more canning lines and more crews. Although primary evidence of technological innovation i n the cannery i s fragmentary, enough proof can be presented to show that i t was a significant factor in expanding the industry's productive capacity in the period between 1871 and 1903. Between 1871 and 1903 the canning processes were essentially manual. The "machines" in use at the canneries were aids to these hand 4 processes rather than automatic manufacturing devices. Canning equipment at one cannery in this early period consisted of ". . .1 screw press, 1 set cast iron top dies, 1 set of cast iron bottom dies,"* 1 pair """Canada, Parliament, Sessional Papers (hereafter cited as Canada, S.P.), 1890, no. 17, appendix 9, p. 249; Canada, S.P. , 1915, no. 39, appendix 9, p. 252. 2 Canada, S.P., 1889, no. 8, p. 243. It must be remembered that instead of fishing for five or six weeks as they did in former years (before 1888) the fishing extended over nearly as many months. -11--12-squaring shears, 1 pair rotary shears, 1 pair bench shears, 1 pair hand shears or snips . . . 1 forging hammer, 1 tinner's hammer, 1 set punches for making stovepipe . . . . The fis h were manually butchered,^ g manually f i l l e d into cans, and the cans were manually soldered. The cans were then boiled in a kettle and painted with a mixture of red lead, 9 turpentine, and linseed o i l . Canada, Dominion Fisheries Commission for British Columbia, 1905-1907, Report and Recommendations (Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1908, p. 20. 4 This i s the major characteristic of the Fraser River salmon canning industry's technology before 1903. ^Originally these dies were purchased from San Francisco and New York, but after 1892 the New Westminster Foundry produced dies superior to the American ones. Henderson's British Columbia Gazeteer and  Directory for 1892 (Victoria and Vancouver: Henderson Publishing Company, 1892), p. 1037. R^. D. Hume, "The First Salmon Cannery," Pacific Fisherman, January 1904, pp. 19-21. ^"It i s not unusual for a Chinaman to clean as many as a thousand • fish a day" (H. Gowen, "Salmon Fishing and Canning on the Fraser," The  Canadian Magazine, December 1893, p. 163). "An exceptionally fast worker was reported to be able to clean f i s h at the rate of 2,000 fis h in a ten hour s h i f t " (Victoria Colonist [hereafter cited as Colonist], July 26, 1881, p. 3). 8 "The speed of f i l l e r s was estimated at a dozen cans every four minutes" (Alfred Carmichael, "Account of a Season's Work at a Salmon Cannery; Windsor Cannery, Aberdeen, Skeena," Provincial Archives of British Columbia Manuscript, p. 7). Another source estimated the speed from 1,200 to 1,400 cans in a ten hour shift ("Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," The Resources of British Columbia, vol. I [December 1883], p. 42). 9 May, pp. 108-109. See also, R. D. Hume, "The Fi r s t Salmon Cannery," Pacific Fisherman, January 1904, pp. 19-21. For a description of the typical salmon canning process of the late 19th century, see Duncan Stacey, "Sockeye and Tinplate," The Fisherman [Vancouver, B.C.], -13-These hand processes were generally recognized as the major bottleneck of the industry. One of the chief limits on the canning process was the necessity of making cans by a series of operations which involved a large amount of hand labour. The bulk of this labour was supplied by the Chinese on a contract system. "^ Several of the leading Fraser River canners testified to the importance of the Chinese workmen: " . . . i t may safely be affirmed that the industry could not have been prosecuted without the aid of Chinese labour."''""'" In the earliest canneries each can was cut by hand out of sheet tinplate, formed, and soldered. By 1890 a number of machines had been introd^ct^d to punch 12 out body pieces, tops, and bottoms and to apply solder, but these were 13 s t i l l aids to the hand process. Not u n t i l 1897 was an economically viable automatic can making machine introduced by the Automatic Can 14 Factory of New Westminster. Even when such a machine was available many December 19, 1975, pp. 21-23. For some examples of the canning process in specific late 19th century canneries see "Salmon Fishing on the Columbia," The West Shore [Portland], June 1877, pp. 173-180; "A Can of Salmon," The  West Shore, July 1887, pp. 548-552; "A Salmon Cannery," Vancouver Daily  World, August 28, 1889, p. 1; "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," The  Resources of British Columbia, vol. I (December 1883), pp. 42-44; and Alfred Carmichael, "Account of a Season's Work at a Salmon Cannery." "^Indian Labour concentrated on the catching, cleaning, and f i l l i n g processes and white labour was hired to be the foremen, mechanics, bookkeepers, and fishermen. "'""'"Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, "Report and Evidence," 1885, Canada, S ,P., 1885, no. 54a, p. xxvii. 12 H. Keith Ralston, "The 1900 Strike" p. 7. See also, Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, "Chinamen make the cans . . .", Canada, S^P., 1885, p. 365. 13 John Cobb, Pacific Salmon Fisheries (4th ed; Washington: -14-canners s t i l l preferred to make their own cans, believing that i t was no more expensive and knowing that i t gave a longer season's work to the Chinese crews they needed for processing the salmon."'""' In 1902 the Chinese were s t i l l employed in considerable numbers in making the cans because this gave them longer employment and the canner was thus assured of having them ready when the cannery started to put up i t s pack. Before 1902 machine made cans accounted for no more than one-tenth of the cans used on the Fraser."^ With the automatic can maker, however, i t was possible to quickly replenish a cannery's stock of cans. Before i t s introduction, the canneries often ran out of tins during the season because of poor planning or a large run of fi s h . It was, however, also inadvisable to have too many cans on hand as they were liable to rust before they could be used in the next season. Government Printing Office, 1930), pp. 516-517. 14 New Westminster Columbian (hereafter cited as Columbian), July 19, 1897, p. 4. This factory was the largest and best equipped cannery of it s kind north of San Francisco (Columbian, December 30, 1899, p. 3). Although can making machines were used on the Fraser in 1893, they were not adopted as the finished product was double the cost of hand made cans ("Correspondence from Canoe Pass Cannery, 1892-1896," University of British Columbia Special Collections Manuscript, p. 88). "^Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, "Report and Minutes of Evidence," 1902, Canada, S.P., 1902, no. 54a, p. 135. "^Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, "Report and Minutes," 1902, S.P. , 1902, p. 154. "^"Several of the canneries w i l l be shut down on Saturday by which time a l l their cans and a l l they have been able to buy or borrow w i l l be f i l l e d " (Columbian, August 5, 1895, p. 4). "Several canneries -15-Prior to 1877 the appliances for canning were crude and under-18 developed. It was probably in this year that the f i r s t major innovation, the steam retort, was introduced. The retort i s , in essence, a large pressure cooker. This machine fac i l i t a t e d the canning process and materially reduced spoilage due to faulty cooking. With the rapid 19 application of this device a new era began in canning. The product could be heated at temperatures higher than that of boiling water salted with calcium chloride. The higher temperature increased the speed of the cooking process over the old boiling water method. The retort also decreased the bursting of cans, a major problem in the cooking process under the old system, by maintaining a pressure outside as well as inside the can. It also eliminated another problem as calcium chloride caused dangerous rusting. In addition the large horizontal salmon retort was a major labour saving device. It not only took a larger charge but was fed by trucks running on r a i l s directly into the retort so that the trays of 20 cans could be handled without hoists or other power. are compelled to close down un t i l a new supply of cans is made" (New Westminster Mainland Guardian [hereafter cited as Mainland Guardian], August 17, 1889, p. 3). 18 In his graduating essay Professor Lawrence says that the retort f i r s t appeared in 1878 (J. C. Lawrence, "An Historical Account of the Early Salmon Canning Industry in British Columbia 1870-1900," unpublished graduating essay, University of British Columbia, 1951, p. 32), but an 1877 newspaper item seems to describe a retort: " . . . cooking by steam forced through iron pipes placed in a tank" (Mainland Guardian, August 17, 1877, p. 3). In addition, the 1905 B. C. Fisheries Commission states that in 1877 " . . . they started the steam canneries. Before that they had just the ordinary canneries with boilers" (Canada, British Columbia Fishery Commission, "Evidence," 1905-1906, Canada, S.P., 1908, p. 93). 19 By 1881 the Fraser River Company was the only cannery in the region which s t i l l boiled the canned fish in huge tanks (Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 2). -16-Almost every important piece of processing machinery was 21 stimulated by the introduction of the retort. The f i r s t process to 22 be improved was soldering. Soldering machines appeared in the late 23 1870's; five out of the seven canneries had these machines by 1879. Evidence of the i n i t i a l effectiveness of these machines i s , however, contradictory. They did reduce the amount of labour needed in the cannery 25 as each machine could produce 3,000 cans in a ten hour day as compared 26 to 1,000 cans per ten hour day under the old manual system. Further proof of their effectiveness is that the Chinese solderers objected to 27 their introduction because they made work scarce for them. But other evidence shows that soldering machines did not work well u n t i l four or 28 five years after their introduction. In addition, most canners found that manual soldering produced far fewer faulty cans than machine 29 soldering. It can, therefore, be concluded that although soldering machines were introduced in the late 1870's, they were not completely accepted u n t i l the mid-1880's. 20 W. A. Bitting, Appertizing or the Art of Canning; Its History  and Development (San Francisco: The Trade Pressroom, 1937), p. 810. "^Hlay, p. 26. 22 After being f i l l e d , "The cans pass to the crimping and solder machines where they are put into a sort of hopper and pass around a wheel that crimps the l i d in place, then by an ingenious device they pass through acid, then through a solder bath and away from the machine down an incline plane of about 50 feet. This ingenious contrivance was invented by J. Spratt, Esquire, of the Albion Iron Works, Victoria" ("Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42). 2 3Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 3. 24 "The successful use of the new mechanical contrivances soldering 24 -17-During the early 1880's major innovations were introduced in the f i l l i n g , salting, and cutting processes and in the movement of cans 30 through the cannery. Although introduced in 1881, f i l l i n g machines were not generally adopted on the Fraser prior to 1902 because the hand 31 f i l l e d product was far neater and commanded a better market price. A salting machine, for adding the required amount of salt to each can after i t was f i l l e d , was used by 1881 at Finlayson's Cannery by the B. C. 32 Packing Company and probably by other companies. The gang knife was 33 also apparently f i r s t used on the Fraser in 1881. This machine, operated by a hand lever, was a large knife with eight blades arranged so 34 that they cut the fi s h into the exact length of a can. The gang knife and f i l l i n g machines w i l l tend to cheapen production while lessening the dependence upon manual labour during the past season so severely f e l t " (Canada, S.P., 1882, no. 6, pp. 202, 218). 25 Colonist, February 12, 1882, p. 3. 7 ft Colonist, July 30, 1881, p. 3. 2 7Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 3. 28 Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, 1902, S.P., 1902, p. 136. 29 George Browne Goode, "History and Methods of the Fisheries," The Fisheries and Fishing of the United States (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1887), I, Part XIII, 747. 30 See footnote 23. The saving by these machines in the cost of manipulat ion of the cans was estimated at 30%. 31 Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, "Report," 1902, S.P., 1902, p. 142. 32 Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 3. -18-was important because i t was the f i r s t innovation directed at relieving the bottleneck in the cutting stage. The f i n a l innovation of 1881 was 35 the use of conveyor belts to speed up the line. But, although these machines were noted in 1881 they were not in general use. The Inspector of Fisheries predicted, however, that they would be generally 36 adapted in the coming season of 1882. There is contradictory evidence concerning the origins of these -early canning innovations. Local sources credit Joseph Spratt of the 37 Albion Iron Works in Victoria with the invention of a soldering machine, but the Fisheries Report for B.C. claims that they were adapted to the Fraser's canneries from Columbia River models. Apart from the chain solderer, the only other canning invention credited to a British Columbian 38 in the 1880's was a can f i l l i n g protector, so i t seems that the bulk of 33 "Again to cutting tables, where muscular Chinese work the arms of machines that cut two salmon at one f e l l sweep into pieces convenient for tinning" ("Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42). 3 AColonist, July 30, 1881, p. 3. 35 " . . . cans . . . placed, after being f i l l e d , on a travelling platform worked by an endless chain are successfully presented to the soldering tool and pass out complete without the intervention of hand labour" (Canada, S.P., 1882, no. 5, appendix 6, p. 202). 3 6 I b i d . , p. 218. 37 "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42. Confusion over who invented the solderer i s due to the fact that there are several models of this machine. For instance, there was a patent held by a Mr. Johnson for a solderer that processed 3,000 cans per day (Colonist, July 28, 1881, p. 3) and one held by Joseph Spratt for the chain solderer which with six hands processed 35,000 cans (Colonist, July 30, 1881, p. 3). -19-the Fraser's new machines were indeed copied from American models. This evidence is reinforced by the fact of the leadership on the west coast in this period of the Columbia salmon industry. There were three reasons for the cluster of innovations between 1877 and the early 1880's: extensive capital investment, a major innovation, and serious labour shortages. During 1877 there was a major 39 extension of capital investment in the Fraser's salmon industry. The introduction of the retort sped up the cooking process and thereby necessitated increased production by the other canning processes—cutting, soldering, f i l l i n g . Labour shortages, a constant problem in the fishing industry, were especially bad during the early 1880's when the boom in 40 C.P.R. construction absorbed much of the Province's manpower. These 41 labour shortages could only have reinforced the demand for labour-saving innovations. 38 This machine was advertised to produce a vast saving to canners by preventing soiling of the can surface during the f i l l i n g stage, thus making unnecessary the wiping of the can after i t was f i l l e d . It also decreased the number of cans leaking because scales adhered to the can prior to the soldering of the top, a serious cause of spoilage which plagued the early canners (Mainland Guardian, August 11, 1883, p. 2). 39 "Aggregate expenditures for labour and supplies cost over a quarter of a million dollars and probably exceeds the disbursement of the old established canners of any previous years nearly tenfold" (Canada, S.P., 1878, no. 17, p. 287). 40„ The canneries were not worked up to their f u l l capacity owing to the deficiency of labour arising from the increased demand for railway and other purposes" (Canada, S.P., 1882, no. 6, p. 202). 41 Another serious labour shortage in 1889 resulted in the canneries packing less fish than they could have. It was estimated that an additional 15,000,000 one pound cans could have been put up i f enough labour had been available (Canada, S.P., 1890, no. 17, p. 247). -20-Between 1883 and the early 1890's there i s , however, l i t t l e evidence of substantial technological change in the canneries. Poor market conditions, due to a glut of salmon on the British market between 1883 and 1885, severaly dampened innovation as capital sources dried up. Commission houses, the industry's major source of capital in this period, 43 discouraged canners from packing by curtailing their advances. With the end of the market glut in the late 1880's and the appearance of a new and more effective method of mobilizing capital, the 44 limited company, the Fraser River industry entered a period of rapid expansion. Between 1889 and 1901 the number of canneries rose from 16 to 45 46 49 and total production from 303,875 cases to 962,682. By 1902 the """Before the coming of the limited companies in the 1890's the commercial practice on the Pacific coast was for commission merchants to make advances in the form of overdrawn accounts on goods in transit. These merchants also provided cannery supplies and a distribution system to the markets (Ralston, "The 1900 Strike," p. 18). For example, in 1882 the commission house of Stahlschmidt and Ward advertised " l i b e r a l advances made on consignments" (Henderson's B. C. Directory, 1882, [no page numbers]). Even the Bank of British Columbia engaged i n this form of lending (Victor Ross, "The Bank of B.C.," A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, I [Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1920], 309-314). 43 Mainland Guardian, June 27, 1885, p. 3. Although this refers to the San Francisco houses and their dealings with the Columbia River, there is l i t t l e doubt that the Victoria houses followed suit in relation to the Fraser River as both areas responded directly to the British Market. 44 The f i r s t of these companies, British Columbia Canning Company, was formed by the established Fraser River operators, Findlay, Durham, and Brodie in 1889. By 1891 limited companies such as Anglo British Columbia and the Victoria Canning Company controlled over 60% of the Fraser's sockeye pack (David Reid, The Development of the Fraser River Salmon Canning Industry 1882-1913 [Vancouver, B.C.: Department of the Environment, 1973] p. 2). Cobb, p. 579. -21-47 industry was dominated by large corporations which exhibited a high degree of concentration and decreased radically the importance of local capital, especially that of commission merchants. Even though canning innovation was made in the years 1885 to 1902, i t was far less rapid than in the earlier period. It seems to have been mainly concerned with the refinement of the technology introduced in the earlier years. This fact supports the thesis that technology "appears in clusters of interlocking mutually.supporting techniques that are initiated by a major innovation, in this case the steam retort, 48 rather than in a series of isolated major innovations. A lengthy description of the Fraser River canning process in the year 1889 confirms this argument. The only change from the previous technology was the use 49 of a more sophisticated gang knife. 46 In 1902 the B. C. Packers Association was formed. This limited company alone absorbed 29 of the existing canneries and 22 existing firms, including the Victoria Canning Company, and i n i t s f i r s t year of operation controlled over 50% of the Eraser's sockeye pack (Reid, pp. 1-2). 47 By 1902 these corporations were the B. C. Packers, backed by a consortium of eastern Canadian financial interests and ABC, backed in the United Kingdom. 48 It would appear that the "isolated great innovation" theory of technological change has some valid i t y i f one considers the steam retort as a key (or "great") innovation which initiated the cluster of technological change in the canneries between 1877 and 1882. It was not a new principle, however, "isolated" from the general stream of technological development of the day. It was merely an application of marine boilers to a stationary position. 49 "The next lays i t [the salmon] upon a semi-circular machine where i t is cut into three or four pieces, the exact length of the can by means of a set of large revolving knives which are operated by a crank. As the knife turns back an elevator consisting of an iron plate throws -22-In 1891 a new method appeared for packing salmon for the English market. Salmon were put up in half pound tins rather than the traditional one pound can, which was subsequently d i s c a r d e d . T h e economic advantages of the half pound tins were twofold. It involved just as much labour to put up the smaller cans as the pound cans, but in a season when fish were scarce the extra work was offset by the higher price obtained for the smaller cans.^ Also the smaller tins did not need 52 to be boiled or retorted as long as the pound cans so more cases could be processed per day. Some of these refinements of machinery developed in this period 53 were exhibited at the New Westminster Exhibition of 1898— a machine that capped and soldered tins in one motion, a power cutter that cut up 54 55 the fi s h , and others that f i l l e d the cans and sent them to the capping machine. Contemporary advertisements"*^ for the Schaake Machine Works of the pieces on another table, where they are sliced again. . . ." (Vancouver Daily World, August 28, 1889, p. 1). This quote shows again that i t was merely an aid to the hand process rather than an automatic manufacturing device. For further descriptions of the gang knife see Carmichael, "A Season's Work," British Columbia Fishery Commission, "Report and Minutes of Evidence," 1892, Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10c, p. 13. """Laidlaw and Bon Accord were the f i r s t to use this style of t i n which was packed 96 to the case so that the case would equal the old ones with 48 one pound tins (Colonist, July 29, 1891, p. 4). In 1893 T. E. Ladner of the A. B. C. Company noted that only a few canneries were using the half pound tins; thus he intended to control the market on them ("Correspondence from Canoe Pass Cannery, 1892-1896," University of British Columbia Special Collections manuscript, p. 109). "'"'""Correspondence from Canoe Pass Cannery," p. 4. For the year 1901: "Profits on t a i l s less than others in the following order. Pound f l a t s — p r o f i t 1 sh to 1/6, half pound flats 2/6-3/6, ovals 3/6 and upwards" (H. Doyle, "Letter to Jarvis, May 8, 1902," H. Doyle Papers, University of British Columbia Special Collections). -23-New Westminster give further evidence of this evolution: Machines and designers of automatic canning machinery: dies, pressers for cutting out can tops and bottoms, shears, crimping machines,-^ solder machine, power fish cutter, f i l l i n g machines,59 Kellington washers,60 Des Brisay topper,61 Maunula spiral solder machine, Cosen's Exhauster62 a n d Tester, R. D. Hume's can making machine,63 Cosen's Lye washing machine, Swenson Oval Can Topper. 52 "Correspondence from Canoe Pass Cannery," p. 4. Before the early 1890's the cooking process involved double cooking, once in a vat of boiling water for 30 minutes, then in a retort for one hour. 53 Percy Gladstone, "Industrial Disputes in the Commercial Fisheries of British Columbia," unpublished M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1959, p. 31. 54 This machine, I believe, was a steam powered version of the gang knife (Columbian, July 12, 1897, p. 3). "*"*0ne source of this machine was the Astoria Foundry which supplied a f i l l i n g machine to Findlay, Durham and Brodie in 1893 ("Correspondence from Canoe Pass Cannery," p. 89). "^Henderson's B. C. Gazetteer and Directory, 1901, p. 9, and Columbian, October 4, 1899, p. 2. "^Schaake moved his machine shop from San Francisco to New Westminster in 1897-1898 and soon became one of the most progressive manufacturers in British Columbia. His career i s a perfect example of how salmon canning machinery was adapted from the vegetable canning processes of eastern North America as he had originally worked on canning machinery in Baltimore (Pacific Fisherman's Annual, 1903, p. 52). 58 Originally these machines were operated with a foot lever and held the can top in place pending soldering (William Wilcox, "The Fisheries of the Pacific Coast," Report of the Commissioners for the Year  Ending June 30, 1893, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, XIX [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895], 585). Whether the machine advertised by Schaake was manually or steam powered is unknown. 59 These machines were simply improved models of the earlier types. ^ J . Kellington was a machinist who worked for Schaake (Henderson's -24-Information on the extent of the actual application of these machines i s , however, very limited. Both a power cutter and can washing. machine were used in the Cleeve cannery during 1897 and did save a good 64 deal of time and labour. This cannery also used three wooden and three iron retorts arranged in an arc on a "railway roundhouse" scheme which was a new departure in the canning process.^ But one cannery cannot be taken as the norm. A general overall view of the effect of mechanization at the turn of the century is available from several sources. According to the Royal 66 Commission of 1902 on Chinese and Japanese immigration, machinery was in Directory, 1900-1901, p. 471). 61 Des Brisay was an engineer and manager for the Cleeve Canning Company (Henderson's Directory, 1897-1900). 62 Cosen was either a machinist and/or foreman of Ewen and Company's cannery. As models of canning machinery are credited to men such as Kellington, Des Brisay, and Cosen, i t is evident that although the Fraser River canning industry was by no means a technological leader, i t did contribute innovations to canning technology. 63 This machine was patented in 1893 (U.S., Annual Report of the  Commissioner of Patents, 1893 [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1894], p. 180) and introduced into British Columbia in 1896 when R. D. Hume made an arrangement with the major machinery producer in 19th century British Columbia, the Albion Iron Works of Victoria, to manufacture these machines. Tin plate was fed into the machine, cut, flanged, and curved around a cylinder. The can then passed into the soldering apparatus in which a reel held the wire solder and an automatic cutter chopped off the required amount (Colonist, May 2, 1896, p. 5). 64 Columbian, July 12, 1897, p. 3. loc. c i t . Railway tracks leading into retorts but not on a roundhouse system were used on the Fraser at English and Co.'s cannery as early as 1881 (Colonist, July 30, 1881, p. 3). -25-general use and had drastically reduced the cannery labour input.^ One washing or wiping machine with at most three people could process up to two thousand cases every day whereas the old manual system 68 demanded twenty to thirty hand washers. Two hands with a capping machine put up 1,500 to 2,000 cases per day; under the old system this process involved twenty labourers. The fish cutting machine saved the labour of five men on 1,500 cases per day. The labour of fifteen to twenty or more hands was saved by the application of an automatic cooking process, a tester, and an automatic washer. Two men did as much work with a soldering machine as 75 men working by hand would have done 69 some years previously. One f i n a l innovation on the canning line before 1900 was the introduction of the steam box^ to the cooking process. This box eliminated the old system of double cooking, in which cans were boiled in kettles for 45 minutes before being vented and 71 resealed for the second cooking in the retort. Under the steam box process, cans were passed back and forth through a box for only 7 or 8 ^Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, 1902, Canada, S.P., 1902, no. 54a. ^ " A l l the available labour saving machinery known to the trade is in general use by the canner and has reduced the Chinese labour by more than one half, but they state that i t s introduction has not lessened the cost per case for Chinese labour" (ibid., p. 165). As Chinese labourers' wages were relatively constant prior to 1902, the canners 1 claim that mechanization did not lessen the cost per case for Chinese labour is dubious. 6 8 I b i d . , p. 137. Ibid., p. 154. -26-72 minutes to exhaust the air in the can. As i t took less time, to cook 73 the fi s h , the entire cooking process was speeded up. The 190.2 British 74 Columbia Packers Canneries (Northern) Report also gives evidence on mechanization. The presence of steam powered cappers,^ washers (for cans, not f i s h ) , power knives, and steam boxes shows that these items were in general use on the Fraser at that time, since the northern canneries were usually slower in adopting innovations than were the 76 southern canneries. The washing and cleaning of fi s h was, however, one section of the canning line which s t i l l presented a serious bottleneck, and this problem was not resolved un t i l the introduction of butchering machines in 1903-1906.77 The s t a t i s t i c s , though limited, support the above argument that there was substantial technological change during the era of manual canning (before 1902), and that such technology was essentially labour 7 8 saving in nature. In 1877 average production per day ranged from 240 cases with a 130-150 man crew to 300-450 cases with a crew of 150-300. By 1883 average daily production had risen to 1,000 cases with an average crew of 120-140. Thus between 1877 and 1883 average daily production per 7^Steam boxes were not used prior to the early 1890's (Herbert Gowen, "Salmon Fishing and Canning on the Fraser," The Canadian  Magazine, Dec. 1893, p. 163). 7"'"Columbian, August 28, 1889, p. 1. 72 Gladstone, p. 34. Further information was provided in an interview with Harold Britten of the Canadian Fishing Company, Vancouver, B.C. 73 Not un t i l 1913 was a vacuum machine introduced which eventually replaced the steam box. This machine exhausted the cans and sealed them with the sanitary or solderless can (Pacific Fisherman, August 1952, p. 42). -27-cannery had more than doubled with the same or less manpower input. By 1893 average daily production had again risen but i t is uncertain whether this was attributable to labour saving technology. Between this date and the early 1900's there is no doubt as to the effect of technology. Although average daily production remained constant, the average number of cannery crew decreased from 120-150 to 84 (see Table I). ^"B. C. Packers Canneries Report," November 1902, Doyle Papers, box 11, f i l e 12, see M i l l Bay, Lowe Inlet, and Smith Inlet notes. ^The cappers were steam powered because Doyle notes that "the capper wants to be shifted so as to give i t a better draft for the carrying off of steam" (ibid., Lowe Sound notes). ^ " I n equipment the cannery is sadly lacking: no capper, washer or power knife and kettles instead of steam boxes for the f i r s t cooking" (ibid., M i l l Bay report). ^Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, 1902, Canada, S.P., 1902, no. 54a, p. 137. The whole problem of this bottleneck w i l l be discussed in detail in Chapter 4, but the canner's concern with this problem at the turn of the century must be emphasized. 78 As B. C. was a newly developing region with a very small population i t is l i t t l e wonder that technological change was essentially labour saving in nature. -28-TABLE I CANNERY STATISTICS FOR THE YEARS 1877, 1883, 1893, and 1898-1905 3 Finlayson English Ewen & Holbrook and Lane b and Co.c & Wise d & Co.d 1877 Capacity per day (cases) Cannery crew No. fishboats No. fishermen Total employees 1883 Capacity per day (cases) Cannery crew No. fishboats No. fishermen Total employees 1893 f 1898-1905;g Capacity per day (cases) Cannery crew No. fishboats No. fishermen Total employees 300-500 150 18-19* 75 225 450 300 22-23* 90 390 240 150 230-240 130 Delta Ewen & Richmond Coquitlam Wadham's Rivers Cannery Co. Cannery Cannery Cannery Inlet 1000* 150 (plus 20 others) 40 (plus contract boats 160 330 1000 140-160* 35-40 140-160* 300 600 1000 360 30 120* 175-250 1000 245 1000 120 40 160 300 Average production of 1200 cases per day (during a large run) . Average for a l l canneries on the Fraser for these eight years. 1200 84 (plus 10 steamboat and camp men) 60 140 234 -29-Starred figures are estimates. For example, the number of fishermen is four times the number of boats. Each boat had a puller and a hauler, or two men on both daily shifts. Although the data is fragmentary, i t is the most-^c'omplete found for the early years. ^Mainland Guardian, August 18, 1877, p. 3. The bigger labour force of this cannery was probably due to the cannery's being on different levels. CIbid., August 11, 1877, p. 3. dColonist, July 29, 1877, p. 3. Statistics for 1883 are found in "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," pp. 42-44. Columbian, July 29, 1893. P Canada, Dominion Fisheries Commission for British Columbia, "Report and Recommendations," 1905-1907 (Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1908), pp. 22-24. After 1897 canneries started to use more than one line; these estimates, however, are based on one canning line per cannery. Chapter 2 THE OAR AND SAIL POWERED GILLNET FISHERY Having dealt with technological change in the canneries, i t i s now essential to study the corresponding change in the two other sectors of the industry, the fishing and tenderboat sectors. Other studies of the Fraser River industry have virtu a l l y ignored this topic, but an examination of the changes in these sectors i s essential for a comprehensive understanding of technological change and i t s interlocking characteristics. It is impossible to study any sector of the industry in isolation; the attempt to do so results in conclusions which misrepresent the historical evidence. Fraser River canneries relied solely on the gil l n e t , or ensnarement, fishery for their supply of salmon."'' It appears that gillnets were not 2 employed aboriginally; the native people used entrapment, weirs, spearing, and dipnetting techniques. These methods were too slow and too unreliable to ensure a sufficient catch for continuous cannery operations. In addition the centre of this fishery was in the lower Fraser canyon, too distant from New Westminster, the original centre of the canning industry, to guarantee the catch being suitable for canning when i t arrived in 3 New Westminster. It has been accepted as fact that Alexander Ewen introduced the "There is but one mode of capture of salmon by whites, that i s by d r i f t nets gillnets . . . Traps and weirs have been tried without any great success and financially proved a failure" (The Inland Sentinal, July 29, 1880). ~ -30--31-4 gillnet to the Fraser in 1864. However, as the Hudson1s Bay Company was experimenting with different types of nets at Fort Langley as early as 5 1829, i t is entirely possible that some long-forgotten Hudson's Bay employee actually initiated the use of this net on the Fraser River. Three things contributed to the dominance of the gillnet in the commercial salmon fishery. The major factor was the physical characteristic of the Fraser during the sockeye season. The river's opaque waters enabled the gillnet to be effectively used either during daylight or at night. The second was the conservation regulations which discouraged and 6 7 in most cases banned encirclement, or seining, and entrapment, or traps. "Homer Barnett, The Coast Salish of British Columbia (Eugene: University of Oregon, 1955), p. 86. 3 Henry Doyle, "Rise and Decline of the Pacific Salmon Fisheries," University of British Columbia Special Collections manuscript, vol. I, p. 10. i 4 F. Howay and E. Scholefield, British Columbia from the Earliest  Times to the Present, III (Vancouver: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914), 584. ~*"Fort Langley Journal," International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission, New Westminster, manuscript, July 20, 1829. Although there is no evidence that the natives aboriginally used the gillnet on the Fraser, gillnets spun from Fraser River hemp were used in the early 1860's in the bays and harbours of southern B. C. Thus the Indians in a l l probability used gillnets on the Fraser before Ewen's arrival (John Lord, The Naturalist in Vancouver Island and British Columbia, I [London: Richard Bentley, 1866], 62-63). Drag seines were never important on the Fraser, but some of the Fraser River canneries used them during the late 1880's in Mud, Semiamho, and Cowichan Bays before they were banned in 1890 (Canada, Statutes of  Canada, 1891, vol I, p. l x x v i i i ; Canada, S.P., 1889, no. 8, p. 244; Canada, S.P., 1888, no. 8, p. 255). A trap was tried on the Fraser in 11878, but as traps were i l l e g a l -32-The third was that the Fraser area has protected waters in which relatively small, low cost vessels (compared to trap and seine vessels) can operate. The inexpensiveness of the original gillnet vessel or sk i f f was especially important in the early years when capital supplies were meager. The need to save on cost led, however, to a concentration on relatively high cost, low production methods in the salmon fishery. Fundamentally gillnets consist of a web netting, loosely suspended between a lead line on the bottom and a cork line on the top. These nets can be fished either by anchoring them as set nets or by allowing them to d r i f t with the tide or current as d r i f t nets. The set net was i l l e g a l in British Columbia, but not in the states of the Pacific coast. The effectiveness of this type of gear depends on sufficient s i l t in the river to obscure the net. In the early spring the Fraser is comparatively clear, so that in daytime the gillnets can be more or less plainly seen by the salmon. Fishing i s therefore carried on during the night. Sediment appears in the river later in the season and is at i t s greatest intensity during the months of June, July and August, after which the river begins to clear again. In opaque waters, the net may be used effectively either day or night and i t is during this season that the great sockeye run, on which the early canneries chiefly depended, takes place. This gear is not only used in the river i t s e l f but beyond i t s mouth where the discoloured water extends for several miles in a l l directions. The area of effective gillnet grounds stretches from Point Roberts to Point Grey'-to a distance of at least five or six miles offshore. before 1894, i t was removed by order of the Department of Fisheries (Canada, British Columbia Fishery Commission, "Report and Minutes of Evidence," 1892, Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10c, p. 739). -33-The total range or maximum mobility of the early Fraser River gillnet fleet extended from this offshore limit to a few miles above New Westminster. The restriction of fishing above New Westminster had nothing to do with the s i l t content of the river. It was rather that this area had few good drift i n g places during the sockeye season. In addition there was less certainty of a sailing breeze upstream than below New Westminster, a fact which was especially important when the gillnet vessel relied solely on oar and s a i l power. The actual practice of gillnetting was conducted in a "reach" or " d r i f t " , a stretch of water f a i r l y uniform in depth and free of snags or sharp ledges which could catch the lower portion of the net, especially the lead line, and tear the mesh or cause the net to be lost. 8 In setting the net, usually an hour before high water slack, the boat 9 puller rowed across the current while the fisherman paid out the net. When two thirds of the net was out the boat was turned downstream at nearly right angles to her former course so that the net, when set, approximated the shape of the letter "L". The boat drifted with the net unt i l an hour after the turn of the tide or unti l the end of the dr i f t was reached. The net was then hauled over a wooden r o l l e r on the stern and the catch was removed. This procedure was repeated i f the tide was not too strong and i f there were not too many boats working the g During this time the salmon head upstream. 9 Prior to gillnetters being mechanized, each boat had a two man crew—the puller rowed the vessel and the fisherman dealt with the net. 1 0Cobb, p. 478. -34-d r i f t . The original Fraser River gi l l n e t , used exclusively u n t i l the introduction of the hard twine net in the 1890's, was loosely l a i d , double knotted,''""'' and made of soft twine. Its twine was made with the 12 very best flax but since i t was loosely laid i t had a very coarse appearance when compared to the eastern North American hard l a i d variety of g i l l n e t . Nets of the Fraser River construction, although not suited for clear waters, were better adapted to the .circumstances of the Fraser, that i s , large catches of heavy fish and the murky waters during the salmon season. Before net knitting machines capable of producing the double knot were introduced in the late 1880's, a l l gillnets were 13 hand knitted, mostly by Indian women. The f i r s t evidence of machine-14 made gillnet mesh on the Fraser i s in 1888. The total cost of a gi l l n e t (mesh, lead line, and corkl ine) was between $120 and $150, or one dollar per fathom. "^ The cork or float line was of hemp and the floats were made "'""'"John H i t t e l l , The Commerce and Industries of the P a c i f i c Coast of  North America (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft and Co., 1882), p. 370. 12 Flax was used instead of cotton because i t i s much stronger and deteriorates l e s s quickly when used i n a r i v e r f i s h e r y . Unlike cotton, the holding strength of f l a x i s greater when i t i s wet than when i t i s dry (Doyle, "Rise and Decline," I, pp. 12-13). The major source of g i l l n e t twine was B r i t a i n (Columbian, July 11, 1896, p. 1). The key to B r i t a i n ' s s u p e r i o r i t y i n the supply of twine was that she possessed machines capable of k n i t t i n g the double knot mesh and was able to keep other nations from becoming competitive i n t h i s f i e l d (Doyle, "Rise and Decline," pp. 81-82). 13 "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 41; Doyle, "Rise and Decline," p. 81. 14 In 1888 Robert Ward and Company of V i c t o r i a advertised J . W. Stuart's patent double knotted mesh f i s h i n g nets (Vancouver Da i l y World, November 29, 1888, p. 1). -35-of cedar, although i t is possible in some cases that t i n cans were used. 16 Although a net float factory was not established un t i l 1899, the local lumber mills on the Fraser produced lathed cedar floats."^ Early gillnet leads were simply attached to the bottom line, not woven into the lay of the rope like modern leadlines. Between 1871 and the early 1900's there was very l i t t l e change in the dimensions of the gillnet except for net depths. In the early 1880's conservation measures limited the mesh size of sockeye nets to 18 4 7/8 inches and the maximum length was fixed at 150 fathoms in 1888. 19 As net depths were not regulated u n t i l 1908, however, nets became deeper and deeper. Prior to this regulation net depths increased from 20 21 27 to 30 meshes in 1883 to 30 to 60 meshes in 1892 and 75 to 100 or 22 more meshes in 1900. Before being regulated by law net depths were set by custom which was in turn governed by the depth of the major dr i f t s 23 "''"'"Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42. "After one month's constant fishing i t i s then thrown aside as useless." ^Columbian, December 30, 1899, p. 3. "^In 1885 the Royal City Planing M i l l s of New Westminster advertised net floats (Columbian, December 30, 1885, p. 1). 18 Canada, Statutes of Canada, 1908, vol. I, p. ccxxxiv. 19 In 1908 conservation measures limited net depth to 60 meshes (ibid.). 20 "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42. 21 Canada, B. C. Fishery Commission, 1892, Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10c, p. 430. On the sandheads depth was 30-40 meshes (ibid., p. 84). Deeper nets (50-60 meshes) were used further up river, however, and even in the channel down at the mouth (ibid., pp. 13, 21, 84). -36-The boats in the f i r s t commercial fisheries on the Fraser were 24 probably flatbottomed s k i f f s . They were used as early as 1870 and they continued to be in general use as long as fishing stayed in the river i t s e l f . Their cost throughout the period dropped, probably as a 25 result of mass production techniques. There were slight variations in skiffs on the upper and lower reaches of the river fishery; boats on the lower river were more heavily built and extensively rigged as protection against open water conditions in the river mouth. These s k i f f s , commonly known as Fraser River s k i f f s , were generally twenty-foot, flat-bottomed, double-enders with big flares to the side and quite a round bottom fore j r. 26 and aft. Since the production of a cannery rose with the number of boats 27 fishing, i t is l i t t l e wonder that the fishing grounds in the Fraser 22 Rounsefell, p. 708. The deep nets were used in the Gulf fishery, outside the river, as such depths were not practical in the river. "There are snags in the river . . . you cannot fish very deep nets" (Canada, B.C. Fishery Commission, 1892, Canada, S.P. , 1893, no. 10c, p. 8). 23 In reference to net depth, "It depends on the depth of the water" (ibid., p. 70). 24 "Ordered the construction of four boats and a large number of net and 2-3 thousand barrels" (Mainland Guardian, June 18, 1870, p. 3). "Great preparations are being made for the fishing season making nets, building and painting s k i f f s " (ibid., June 22, 1872, p. 4). 25 I n i t i a l l y s k i f f s cost $46, but by the 1880's they dropped to as low as $31. Canada, Department of Fisheries Report for B.C., Canada, S.P., various issues 1877-1888. 26 James Stirrat Marshall, Burrard Drydock Company: History (Vancouver, B.C.: J. S. Marshall, 1963). 27 Original report on Canadian salmon stocks, International North Pacific Fisheries Commission Bulletin No. 9 (Vancouver, B.C., 1962), p. 31. -37 experienced overcrowding by the late 1880's. Between 1872 and 1888 the number of canneries increased from three to twelve and there was increased productivity on each canning line as well. As early as 1881 the principal fishing was being done at the river's mouth and the sand-28 29 heads. In 1884 over 400 boats fished on the river and by 1888 serious overcrowding was reported.3^* In response to fishing pressure on the Fraser River the federal government introduced fishing license limitations between 1889 and 1892. During 1889, 1890, and 1891 the number of licenses was limited to 500 31 with an average of 20 licenses per cannery. In early 1892, however, 32 in response to strenuous protest from canners and fishermen alike, a l l limitations on the number of boats were l i f t e d . Licenses were then given 33 to a l l bona fide fishermen who were British subjects. Two long range effects resulted from removal of license limitations: Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 3. By 1882 the number of canneries on the lower river was greater than those on the upper river. This downstream movement was a result of increased fishing activity on the lower river. Canada, Report of the Department of Fisheries, 1883, Canada, S.P., 1885, no. 9, appendix 7, p. 262. 30 "If a l l the canneries are in operation, I do not understand where the room for the increase of nets is to come from. At the regulation distance apart the number of nets fished this year would extend 85 miles, while there is only about 70 miles of fishing ground" (Canada, S.P. , 1889, p. 244). 31 Canada, S.P., 1890, no. 17, p. x i i . 32 Canada, B.C. Fishery Commission, "Report," 1892, Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10c, pp. x i - x i i . See also H. Keith Ralston, "Fraser River Salmon Fishermen and License Limitation, 1888-1892," unpublished manuscript presented to annual meeting, Canadian Historical Association, 1975. -38-the t r a d i t i o n a l f i s h i n g grounds were overcrowded and a change took place i n the type of l i c e n s e ownership. Removal of l i m i t a t i o n s contributed to the overcrowding of the i n s i d e grounds and r e s u l t e d i n many fishermen moving out into the open waters of the Gulf. In 1894, only two years a f t e r the removal of l i c e n s e l i m i t a t i o n , the number of f i s h i n g units 34 numbered 1426, surpassing the p r e - l i m i t a t i o n peak of 1055 by nearly 150%. A l i m i t of 20 boat l i c e n s e s per cannery, which was dropped to ten i n 1898, r e i n f o r c e d t h i s trend toward non-cannery l i c e n s e s which had begun i n the 35 1880's. The change i n the type of l i c e n s e changed the employer-fisherman r e l a t i o n s h i p from one based on a d a i l y wage and company-owned gear to one i n which fishermen owned t h e i r own gear and operated on a contract or share system. The dominant wage r e l a t i o n s h i p i n e f f e c t before 36 the l a t e 1880's r a p i d l y gave way to the contract r e l a t i o n s h i p . Following the l a s t year of l i c e n s e l i m i t a t i o n fishermen held 270 l i c e n s e s 38 and the canners had only 508. By 1894 the t o t a l number of l i c e n s e s was over 200 more than i n 1893 and double the number of four or f i v e years previous. As the greatest increase was i n the number of free fishermen's 39 l i c e n s e s , such l i c e n s e s were dominant by 1894. Lax handling of a p p l i c a t i o n s made evasion of the B r i t i s h c i t i z e n s h i p clause very easy (Ralston, "The 1900 S t r i k e , " p. 79). 34 George Rounsefell and George Kelez, The Salmon F i s h e r i e s of  Swiftshore Bank, Puget Sound and the Fraser River, U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of F i s h e r i e s B u l l e t i n No. 27 (Washington: Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1938), p. 766. Canada, Privy Council, "Order i n Council, August 3, 1893 (Amendment to Fishery Regulations for the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia)," Canada Gazette, v o l . 32 (August 13, 1898), pp. 280-281. -39-This situation of overcrowded fishing within the river resulted in the fishery being pushed into the unprotected waters of the Gulf of Georgia, which required a change in boat and net design. By 1891 the fishery extended to the edge of the clear Gulf waters, which was as far 40 into the Gulf as possible with i t s existing net technology. A new type of gi l l n e t , less v i s i b l e in clear water and thus better suited to the 41 Gulf was therefore introduced in 1892. This was the hard-laid design, 42 constructed of oiled, hard l a i d sturgeon twine. Although by no means new to North America, i t was f i r s t introduced on the Fraser by Gilbert Robertson of the Alliance Cannery. Not only did the hard twine net • increase the range of the fishery, i t also allowed for more fishing time. Hard twine did not bunch up and become entangled as easily as a soft twine net; i t kept i t s shape and being oiled could be handled without the 43 danger of tangles. Less time was therefore spent in untangling and repairing the net, permitting more fishing time. 36 In 1887 only 109 of 467 licenses were non-cannery (Canada, S,P., 1889, no. 8, p. 243). 37 Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10a, p. 158. 38 Canada, S.P., 1894, no. 11, p. 283 (numbered p. 383 in S.P.). 39 Columbian, July 11, 1894, p. 4. By far the majority of free fishermen were whites or Japanese as the Indians preferred the old wage relationship (Columbian, July 9, 1897, p. 4). 40 Rounsefell, p. 708. 41 W. Greenwood, "The Salmon Fishermen," Canadian Fisherman, July 1917, p. 292. Ibxd. -40-The ever increasing i n t e n s i t y of the Gulf f i s h e r y i n the early 1890's showed the u n s u i t a b i l i t y to open waters of the o r i g i n a l Fraser River g i l l n e t s k i f f , which was reported to s p l i t i n two i n the heavy seas 44 of the Gulf. Between 1889 and 1892 a new v e s s e l , the Columbia River boat, was therefore introduced into the f i s h e r y . This v e s s e l was an open, c a r v e l b u i l t , centerboard c r a f t , sharp forward and a f t . The ends were shaped a l i k e , i t was moderately concave below the water l i n e , and i t had a rather f u l l convex l i n e above the water. I t had a shallow keel with l i t t l e or no rake to the stern and stern post, both of which were s t r a i g h t , with the exception of a rounded fo r e f o o t . The f l o o r was long and low with a round b i l g e and was f l a r e d s l i g h t l y at the top. I t was decked f o r two or three feet at each end and had a washboard extending along both sides. A coaming of two or three inches high ran around the inner edge of the washboards and the decked spaces of the bow and stern, making the open part of the boat an oval. It had four thwarts with three rowlocks on each side, each with a s i n g l e tholepin. A s i n g l e mast, upon which was set a s p r i t s a i l , was stepped w e l l forward. Oars were c a r r i e d and used when there was no wind 45 or when working the net. The Canadian Fisherman described the g i l l n e t I b i d . 44 "While f i s h i n g on the Gulf i n pretty rough water t h e i r boat, an ordinary f l a t bottomed a f f a i r , was struck by a wave and s p l i t i n twain" (Columbian, August 8, 1896, p. 39). 45 J . W. C o l l i n s , The Fi s h i n g Vessels and Boats of the P a c i f i c Coast, B u l l e t i n of the U. S. F i s h Commission (Washington: Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1892), p. 39. The dimensions of t h i s boat, which are a t r i f l e l arger than the average, are as follows: length over a l l , 25 3/4 feet; beam 6 3/4 feet; depth, 2 feet; height amidships, gunwhale to bottom of keel , 2 1/2 feet; height at ends, 3 feet; mast length, 16 1/4 feet; oar -41-boat of the early 1900's thus: "The boat i s a strongly b u i l t round bottom s a i l i n g boat, 30 feet long, 6 1/2 foot beam with a 6 foot centre board. On e i t h e r side of the centre board are the f i s h tanks capable of holding two and a h a l f tons of f i s h l i n e weight. The s a i l s are a j i b and an ordinary sloop rigged main s a i l . " ^ * 3 Although such boats were commonly r e f e r r e d to as Columbia River boats the name i s misleading because another boat b u i l t f o r the Fraser River salmon f i s h e r y , the Collingwood boat, had a s i m i l a r , i f not 47 i d e n t i c a l , design. In a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , the Columbia River boat was i n 48 fac t the l o c a l West Coast name for the Collingwood boat, which had been evolved on the Great Lakes by a William Watts. I t was transplanted to the Fraser by Watts' son, Capt. William Watts, who established a boatyard i n 49 Vancouver i n 1888 to construct g i l l n e t boats for the Fraser River c a n n e r i e s . T h r e e years l a t e r another shipwright, Andy Wallace, who had also worked for William Watts i n eastern Canada, moved to Vancouver and length, 12 feet; cost ready to use, $400; number of men i n crew, 2. 46 Canadian Fisherman, July 1917, p. 292. 47 Yachting, November 1940, pp. 35-37, 74-77. 48 J . W. C o l l i n s claimed that the f i r s t Columbia River boat for use on the Columbia was b u i l t i n 1869 at San Francisco ( C o l l i n s , p. 38). However, as William Watts b u i l t Collingwood boats as early as the 1850's (Yachting, Nov. 1940, p. 36) t h i s design may have d i f f u s e d to San Francisco where i t became known as the Columbia River boat or i t may have had a p a r a l l e l development i n the United States. Since the Columbia River boat was used e a r l i e r on the Columbia than on the Fraser and p r i o r to 1899 migratory fishermen annually came north from the Sacramento and Columbia to f i s h the Fraser, the name "Columbia River boat" probably came from these migrants. 49 Yachting, Nov. 1940, p. 37. - 4 2 -shared g i l l n e t boat b u i l d i n g contracts with Capt. Watts before e s t a b l i s h i n g h i s own yard i n 1 8 9 4 . " ^ I n i t i a l l y Columbia River boats were constructed by white ship-wrights; between 1895 and 1897 the Wallace Shipyards of Vancouver alone 52 b u i l t from 600 to 800 of them. Between 1896 and 1901, however, about 50% of the manufacture of f i s h i n g boats passed into the hands of l o c a l 53 Japanese boatbuilders. There were two basic reasons f o r the rapid inroads made by the Japanese i n t h i s trade. .The f i r s t was that non-Japanese boatbuilders who did not mechanize t h e i r yards could not compete 54 with the low cost labour provided by the Japanese. In Wallace's shipyard the wage rates ranged from $1 .25 to $4 for a nine hour day, whereas Japanese off e r e d to work for Wallace at 10C and ll£ per hour or 90c to 99c per day."*"* Wallace s u c c e s s f u l l y competed with the Japanese by applying labour saving devices such as a s o l i d boat frame"^ and wood-working machinery. The second reason for Japanese inroads was t h e i r 58 entering b u i l d i n g contracts with the canneries. They not only 50 T, ., I b i d . 5 1 M a r s h a l l , I, 17. 52 D. Wallace, interview, June 1973. 53 Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, 1902, "Report," Canada, S.P. , 1902, p. 358. 54 I b i d . , p. 357. 5 5 I b i d . , p. 358. "^The boats were b u i l t bottom up over t h i s frame (Yachting, p. 37) -43-contracted to b u i l d boats but also guaranteed to fu r n i s h the canners with men to f i s h these boats while white shipwrights refused to engage 59 i n f i s h i n g . This guarantee became i n c r e a s i n g l y important i n the 1890's with the rapid increase i n the demand for fishermen. Between 1891 and 1899 the numbers of fishermen rose from 1,000 to 5,444. In 1902 Alexander Ewen, a leading canner, stated that "the trouble i s to get the 60 f i s h and the people to work. That i s the great d i f f i c u l t y . " 61 The Columbia River g i l l n e t boat was w e l l established by 1892. By 1896 the combination of t h i s boat and the hard twine g i l l n e t had 62 enabled the Gulf f i s h e r y to extend i n an arc into the c l e a r waters from Garry Point to Point Roberts to a distance of f i v e or s i x miles out. 63 By 1905 the dominance of the Columbia River boat was indisputable. S t a t i s t i c s i n the Doyle papers would suggest that t h i s design was i n f a c t 64 dominant by 1901, but i n fa c t s k i f f s s t i l l played a major r o l e on the Fraser i n that year. Rounsefell maintains that the adoption of the Wallace claimed that h i s yard could do work about 15% cheaper by machinery and that no one b u i l d i n g by hand could compete with machinery (Canada, Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, Canada, S.P., 1902, p. 358). 58 Only 3% of the g i l l n e t boats were not b u i l t on the contract system ( i b i d . ) . 5 9 I b i d . , p. 359. ^ I b i d . , p. 136. ^"Many boats of a larger and more seaworthy cl a s s than formerly used are being employed i n the salmon f i s h e r y . The boats f i s h f a r outside the r i v e r and i n a l l weather" (Canada, S.P., 1893, no. 10a, p. 158). 62 Speaking of the sockeye i n the Gulf, the Columbian reports: -44-Columbia River boat was a l l but complete by 1903.^ He bases t h i s observation on the f a c t that Japanese and white fishermen, the majority of fishermen by the l a t e 1890's, r a p i d l y adopted the new design whereas Indians did not, and to prove t h i s point he shows that only 477 of the 3,096 l i c e n s e s i n 1903 belonged to I n d i a n s . ^ Other s t a t i s t i c s for 1901 show that there were approximately 1,257 s k i f f s and 1,891 Columbia River boats which makes i t doubtful that the adoption of t h i s design was " a l l but complete" only two years l a t e r . ^ The Fraser River s k i f f was therefore s t i l l important i n the r i v e r f i s h e r y u n t i l at l e a s t 1903. P r i o r to 1903 the only other innovation i n the f i s h i n g boat was the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a wooden net r o l l e r , commonly c a l l e d a dead r o l l e r because i t was not mechanized, i n the stern. On the Columbia River boat the rudder was removable so that the r o l l e r could be put i n i t s place to ease the s t r a i n of hauling i n the net. Because of the s i m p l i c i t y of t h i s device i t s i n t r o d u c t i o n was probably very e a r l y , but no date can be 68 given. "There they are reported i n great number and though i t i s d i f f i c u l t to net them i n c l e a r water, some of the canneries averaged 70 to the boat yesterday" (Columbian, August 4, 1896, p. 4). 63 "This a l t e r a t i o n i n the length of g i l l n e t i n the Gulf was necessitated by the general use outside the r i v e r of the large Columbia River boat which w i l l hold twice the quantity of f i s h " ( P a c i f i c  Fisherman, June 1905, p. 21). 64 The Star Cannery (Steveston) had 59 boats and 11 s k i f f s ; the Fraser River and Vancouver canneries, no s k i f f s (Doyle, "Papers," box 3, I I I c ) . Although only three canneries are given, they are an e x c e l l e n t gauge as they represent the English Bay, and the lower and upper Fraser f i s h i n g areas. Rounsefell, p. 708. -45-Even with these innovations the f i s h e r y began to display a pattern which has characterized the salmon f i s h e r y over the years: a continuous decrease i n p r o d u c t i v i t y per f i s h i n g v e s s e l i n the face of technological advance. A f t e r 1893 the catch per unit of e f f o r t decreased on a four year average. Coupled with t h i s decrease was an increase i n the cost per u n i t . The o r i g i n a l Fraser River s k i f f cost between $25 and $35, whereas the Columbia River boat cost $75 to $150; the outside nets were bigger, 69 and thus more expensive, than the i n s i d e nets-. Unlike cannery innovation, technological changes i n the f i s h i n g f l e e t i n t h i s period were not p r i m a r i l y labour s a v i n g ^ because two men were s t i l l needed to operate the Columbia River boats. Only the l a t e r a p p l i c a t i o n of gasoline motors to the g i l l n e t f l e e t made i t p o s s i b l e to reduce a g i l l n e t t e r ' s crew to one man. With the i n f l u x of Japanese fishermen i n the e a r l y 1890's the native fishermen were r a p i d l y pushed out of the f i s h i n g sector. This was a major cause of r a c i a l tension and accounts for the Indians supporting the whites during f i s h i n g s t r i k e s (Ralston, "The 1900 S t r i k e , " pp. vii-176) Let t e r to J . P. Babcock, September 30, 1901, B. C. Dept. of F i s h e r i e s manuscript, B. C. P r o v i n c i a l Archives, box 17. 68 Cobb, p. 478. Interview with Donald Watson and d r a f t f o r an a r t i c l e on marine development of Richmond, at Richmond Arts Center. 69 Canada, Royal Commission, 1902, Canada, S.P., 1902, pp. 356, 344, 358. "Letter to A. J a r v i s , May 8, 1902," Doyle Papers, box -1, f i l e 12, p. 4. ^Two aspects of t h i s technology were, however, labour saving. The hard twine g i l l n e t tangled le s s than i t s predecessor which meant le s s time was spent untangling nets. The design of the Columbia River boat allowed more time spent on the grounds. Chapter 3 EARLY TENDERBOATS \ Another aspect of technological change i n the salmon f i s h e r y was the in t r o d u c t i o n of the steam powered tenderboat to transport f i s h from the f i s h i n g grounds to the cannery. Such vessels were not employed i n the f i r s t years of the fishery;^" the e a r l i e s t evidence of t h e i r use i s 2 i n 1877. I n i t i a l l y these vessels were of two t y p e s — f r e i g h t e r s or tugs. The f r e i g h t e r c a r r i e d f i s h i n boxes on the deck or i n the hold and the 3 tugs towed the f i s h i n scows. Both these types of tenders c o l l e c t e d salmon d i r e c t l y from the f i s h i n g boats on the grounds. By 1878 the 4 importance of tenders i s indisputable. A basic change i n the method of c o l l e c t i n g salmon occurred between 1877 and 1881. At f i r s t tenders had c o l l e c t e d salmon d i r e c t l y from the f i s h i n g boats, but by 1881^ f i s h camps were used as bases. Each camp was composed of fishermen's l i v i n g accomodations and net racks for r e p a i r i n g nets. They were eit h e r b u i l t on f l o a t s or on shore. "'"This i s because there was no need for t e n d e r s — t h e f i s h i n g f l e e t worked d r i f t s located very near i f not at the cannery. 2 The Leonora and the Leviathan c o l l e c t e d f i s h from English and Company boats on the Fraser and brought them to the cannery. Both these vessels used screw propulsion (Colonist, July 29, 1877, p. 3). 3 The Leonora was f r e i g h t e r and the Leviathan a tug (Canada, Department of Marine and F i s h e r i e s , "Annual Report of Steamboat Inspections for B r i t i s h Columbia," 1877, Canada, S .P., 1878, no. 1, p. 55). 4 "A multitude of large and small steamers are employed by various canneries to bring up t h e i r f i s h " (Mainland Guardian, July 10, 1878, p. 3). -46--47-At the commencement of a season these camps were established at favour-able fishing points along the river, each camp having native fishermen and net men under the charge of a white man. Four men were needed to man each boat as fishing was conducted in two twelve hour shifts. At the camp^ the catch was unloaded into scows which were picked up twice g a day by tenders and towed to the canneries for canning. The fish camp and scow system was far superior to the original freighter and system of collecting f i s h , especially in turnabout time. The freighter had to wait to load and unload, whereas the tug simply exchanged an empty scow for a loaded one. Thus steam tugs could service a greater fishing area in less time per unit as compared to the freighter. Tenders also increased the mobility of the gillnet fleet before i t s 9 mechanization by towing fishing boats to and from the fishing grounds. This was necessary when one area of the river proved to have poor fishing """Every cannery had a steamboat connected with i t , and twice a day these steamboats visited the camps to collect f i s h " (Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 2). ^ I n i t i a l l y camps were either a shore station or were built on floats. The floating variety were far superior and soon superceded the shore station because the shore station could only service one section of the river while the floating variety could be towed to where the best fishing was throughout the season. ^Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 2. "Our Salmon and Salmon Canneries," p. 42. g Colonist, July 26, 1881, p. 2. 9 Mechanized gillnet boats appeared in the early 1900's. Pioneers set the date between 1902 and 1905 (interviews with D. Watson, J. Easthope, and N. Stevens). The Department of Fisheries does not even mention them until 1909, but as the Pacific Fisherman states: "For the f i r s t time gasoline engines [inboards] in fishing boats w i l l be tried, -48-and the boats needed to move quickly to a better l o c a t i o n . " ^ Although the f r e i g h t e r tender could provide the same service i t was at a greater cost than the steam tug."'"''" The tug's advantage over the f r e i g h t e r was not only economic; they were far better suited to towing scows and boats. Steam tugs replaced the f r e i g h t e r tender because they could transport salmon at the lowest cost consistent with the state of l a t e 19th century technology. Between the early 1880's and the 1900's the tenderboat sector of the industry gained s t e a d i l y i n importance. In 1881, t h i s sector 12 accounted for 4 to 8% of the Fraser salmon f i s h e r y ' s f i x e d c a p i t a l , 13 and by 1890 i t was 10%. Although by 1905 the percentage was down to 14 9.2%, t h i s does not mean that tenders decreased i n importance; by 1905 they serviced 75% more f i s h i n g boats than i n 1890. The importance of ten-ders i s emphasized by the Columbian i n 1896:"'""' "Few people are aware of the magnitude of the business done i n connection with our f i s h e r i e s . Here i s a l i s t of steamers [26 tenders] employed to carry salmon from f i s h i n g camps and other points along the r i v e r to the p a r t i c u l a r cannery to which they are attached . . .7 [ a d d i t i o n a l American] steamers are used over 30 boats on the River" ( P a c i f i c Fisherman, V [July 1907], 27), one can date t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n by 1907. "^"Because of a poor run i n 1880, the f i s h e r y near the mouth of the Fraser was a f a i l u r e , and f i s h tugs towed the f i s h i n g boats to other points near New Westminster" (Colonist, August 11, 1880, p. 3). "'""'"Steam tugs c a r r i e d a smaller crew than the f r e i g h t e r s and so labour costs were also l e s s . See Table I I , p. 50. -49-to carry salmon from the traps at Point Roberts and other points i n the Gulf to various canneries on the r i v e r . " 1 3 S e e Table I I , p. 50. 1 4 S e e Table I I , p. 50, "^Columbian, August 4, 1896, p. 1. -50-TABLE II CAPITAL INVESTED 3 PER CANNERY IN OPERATION ON THE FRASER FOR THE YEARS 1881 b, 1890 c, and 1905 d 1881 Shore I n s t a l l a t i o n s $ 17,102 Fis h i n g boats and nets 5,263 Steamboats and f l a t b o a t s 1,146 1890 Shore i n s t a l l a t i o n s $ 25,000 Forty boats 2,000 Sixty nets 9,000 Steamboats and scows 4,000 1905 Shore i n s t a l l a t i o n s $ 30,000 Sixty boats and seventy nets 15,922 Steamboats and scows 5,000 The percentage increases i n the primary sector of the industry compared to the secondary can only enforce the importance of the primary sector i n the development of the industry. ^Canada, Department of Marine and F i s h e r i e s , "Annual Report of the Inspector of F i s h e r i e s for B r i t i s h Columbia," Canada, S.P. , 1882, no. 5, appendix 6 , p. 218. Canada, B r i t i s h Columbia Fishery Commission, "Minutes," Canada, S.P. , 1893, no. 10c, p. 367. ^Canada, Dominion F i s h e r i e s Commission for B r i t i s h Columbia, "Report and Recommendations," 1905-1907 (Ottawa: Government P r i n t i n g Bureau, 1908), pp. 22-24. Chapter 4 THE TRANSITION FROM MANUAL TO MECHANIZED CANNING Between 1903 and 1913 the technology of Fraser River salmon canning changed from p r i m a r i l y manual processes to p r i m a r i l y mechanized ones. In the canneries hand butchering gangs gave way to butchering machines, manually soldered cans began to be replaced by the mechanized s o l d e r l e s s , or sanitary, can, and a l l other sections of the canning l i n e experienced varying forms of mechanization. Technological change became no longer e s s e n t i a l l y an aid to the hand processes; i t mechanized these processes. In the f i s h i n g f l e e t engines replaced oars and s a i l s and mechanized seiners supplemented the g i l l n e t t e r s . The steam engine of the tenderboat tug was replaced by gasoline-powered c o l l e c t o r s . During the 1903-1913 period the c a p i t a l and organization of the industry became dominated by large corporations having a high degree of concentration."'" Between the peak cycle sockeye years of 1901 and 1905 there was a rapid c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of plant. In 1901, 49 canneries operated on the Fraser River, but by 1905 t h i s number had decreased to 38, four of 2 which were new entrants. Most of t h i s c e n t r a l i z a t i o n was a r e s u l t of the formation of the B r i t i s h Columbia Packers' A s s o c i a t i o n (hereafter r e f e r r e d to as BCP) which absorbed 29 of the e x i s t i n g canneries i n May of 1902. "'"Reid, p. 2. 2 Only one of these new entrants survived to can i n the next cycle -51--52-Consolidation of plant appears to have been a major obj e c t i v e 3 of the B.C.P. As s o c i a t i o n . "When the Company i s formed the canneries on the Fraser w i l l not be operated every season, the idea being to cut the canneries down to about one-third and double the plants. The machinery and equipment of those closed down w i l l be taken to others . . . the work w i l l be l e s s c o s t l y and the output w i l l be regulated by the p r i c e 4 maintained." As seen by i t s a r c h i t e c t s i n 1902, t h i s c o n s o l i d a t i o n was to have four advantages. I t would decrease cannery labour, the p r i c e of f i s h , insurance costs, and the operating costs of canneries."* To an industry s u f f e r i n g from o v e r c a p i t a l i z a t i o n , from labour s c a r c i t y , e s p e c i a l l y among cannery employees, from high insurance rates due to the problems of f i r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Steveston area where the canneries were c l o s e l y crowded together, and from increasing f i s h p r i c e s , such objectives were e s s e n t i a l . By the f i r s t peak year a f t e r the formation of the BCP A s s o c i a t i o n , t h i s company had decreased i t s operating canneries on the Fraser from twenty-nine to f i f t e e n . ^ Four of these canneries operated more than one canning l i n e : Imperial had four l i n e s , and Currie McWilliams, Brunswick No. 2, and Terra Nova each had two l i n e s . ^ Equipment for these a d d i t i o n a l l i n e s was obtained mainly from canneries which were closed down between 1903 and 1905. "By c l o s i n g down a c e r t a i n proportion and removing t h e i r machinery to the year of 1909. This poor s u r v i v a l rate of new entrants a f t e r 1901 could only have strengthened the power of the major company, B.C. Packers, i n r e l a t i o n to the Anglo B r i t i s h Columbia Packing Company which was formed i n 1891. Between 1893 and 1896, 22 new canneries were established on the Fraser, none of which were owned by ABC. 3 L e t t e r to A. J a r v i s , May 8, 1902, Doyle Papers, box 11, f i l e 12. -53-plants operated, the packing capacity can thus be increased with only g the expense of i n s t a l l a t i o n of machinery already on hand." For example, i n 1903 the machinery from London and Brunswick No. 1 at 9 Steveston was transferred to Imperial Cannery and at Currie McWilliams, the machinery and plant was taken from the Delta and Fisherman's Canneries."^ The advantages of more than one l i n e per cannery were many. By c e n t r a l i z i n g plant "the tension upon the labour market during the height of a season's run should be considerably r e l i e v e d by adoption of more machinery and equipment i n enlarged plants and with much l e s s labour for the same p r o d u c t i o n . P l a n t s with two or more l i n e s did not have to stop and change cappers when a change was made i n the s t y l e of the can. This gave these canneries an advantage because salmon could be canned without loss of production time as happened with a one l i n e cannery. 4 Colonist , March 26, 1902, p. 3. ^Letter to A. J a r v i s , p. 7. 6"BCP Ass o c i a t i o n General Manager Report, July 17, 1905," Doyle Papers. 7 I b i d . g L e t t e r by H. Doyle, "Report on B.C. Salmon Industry, December 1901," Doyle Papers, box 5, f i l e 7, p. 4. 9 Province, February 26, 1903, p. 1. "^"Additions to Canneries," 1903, Doyle Papers, box 6, f i l e 12. ''""'"Letter to A. J a r v i s , Doyle Papers, p. 7. -54-The savings incurred from each cannery that was closed down were estimated as follows:"'" 2 White labour exclusive of managers $3,500 Tug for season (tenderboat) 750 Savings of 5% on purchasing supplies 690 Savings of 5% on commissions, f r e i g h t , insurance, etc. on s e l l i n g p r i c e of $4.00 per case 2,000 Incidentals 900 $7,840 By c l o s i n g down plants the e f f i c i e n c y of the remaining plants could also be increased. In a number of cases, production i n e x i s t i n g plants was not hindered by a lack of capacity but by a lack of equipment and by slowness 13 i n moving the pack to obtain room. Machinery from abandoned plants was removed to operating plants and surplus b u i l d i n g s were e i t h e r sold or 14 used as storage warehouses for operating plants, thus a l l e v i a t i n g a major problem p r i o r to c e n t r a l i z a t i o n — s t o r a g e space for processed cans awaiting shipment. Reduction of the p r i c e of f i s h was the second stated o b j e c t i v e . Between the b i g years of 1897 and 1901, the p r i c e of salmon per case rose from an average cost of 90 cents to $1.50."''"' As David Reid suggests, monopsony power—a market s i t u a t i o n where one buyer controls the demand from a large number of s e l l e r s — o f f i s h p r i c e s and cannery labour was an objective of BCP, but i t i s questionable to maintain that i t was the major ob j e c t i v e . The desire f o r greater e f f i c i e n c y and reduced costs i n the canning process could have been equally compelling. Keith Ralston 12 T,., Ibid. 13 Doyle, "Report on B.C. Salmon Industry," p. 4. -55-argues that, "company merger was the instrument clo s e s t at hand of the cannerymen, and i t promised good r e s u l t s i n the increased e f f i c i e n c y of a u n i f i e d management, i n saving through l a r g e - s c a l e purchases, and i n economics i n production, a l l of which would make the industry more p r o f i t a b l e by reducing the cost per case of canned salmon."''"^ S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Henry Doyle, i n promoting the formation of the BCP Ass o c i a t i o n argued not for monopsony power but for c e n t r a l i z a t i o n i n the canning process. He stated that a major objective should be "to cut down the canneries i n operation from t h e i r present number to a 17 s u f f i c i e n t number to handle the same pack p r o f i t a b l y and economically." There was no change i n the p r i c e of f i s h between the peak seasons of 1901 and 1905. If the o b j e c t i v e of the BCP A s s o c i a t i o n was gaining monopsony i n the f i s h market and the power to cut f i s h p r i c e s i t had f a i l e d . The c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of plant, however, was very s u c c e s s f u l — b y 1905 f i f t e e n plants nearly equalled the productive capacity of the twenty-nine purchased by BCP i n 1902, even with the labour shortage that 18 year. 14 For example, Imperial and Brunswick No. I were united into a s i n g l e cannery plant and Haigh Cannery became t h i s plant's storage area (Doyle, "Rise and Decline of the P a c i f i c Salmon F i s h e r i e s , " p. 217). "^Doyle, "Report on B. C. Salmon Industry," p. 6. See also Reid, p. 12. 1 6 R a l s t o n , "The 1900 S t r i k e , " p. 172. "^Doyle, "Report on B. C. Salmon Industry," p. 3. 18 Canada, Dominion F i s h e r i e s Commission for B r i t i s h Columbia, 1905-1907, p. 23. -56-Between 1903 and 1913 there was rapid and unprecedented mechanization i n the canning sector, e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r 1905. The basic instruments i n t h i s r a pid mechanization were mechanized butchering machines and the sanitary can, both of which helped to break down the t r a d i t i o n a l bottlenecks on the canning l i n e and to a l l e v i a t e serious labour shortages. "The shortage of cannery labour has been conducive to the invention and adaption of the most u s e f u l labour saving device, 19 v i z The Iron Chink." The e f f e c t of labour shortages p r i o r to the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Iron Chink i s emphasized i n the F i s h e r i e s Report of 1905: "Though had the necessary labour i n the canneries been obtainable, the 1901 pack [the record year] might have been not only equaled but 20 exceeded." The machines were steam or e l e c t r i c a l l y powered and were not 21 mere aids to the hand process. "Recently, indeed, each successive year has seen some important improvements, but the i n s t a l l a t i o n of machinery t h i s year [1907] i s i n advance of that of any other season. I t may now be claimed that a f t e r the f i s h leaves the boat from which i t i s captured, 22 a l l handling of i t ends then and there." The labour shortages i n the peak years of the early 1900's— 1905, 1906, 1909—were due to the f a c t that O r i e n t a l labourers were fewer 23 than during former years and that they were demanding better wages. Afte r 1901 cannery labour, which was almost e x c l u s i v e l y Chinese contract labour, became i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t to obtain. To a large degree 19 "Review of the Salmon Industry, Season of 1906, the Year i n B.C.," P a c i f i c Fisherman, V (February 1907), 15. 20 Canada, S.P., 1906-07, no. 22, appendix 2, p. 29 -57-these labour shortages were traceable to the exclusion of Chinese 24 immigrants. In 1905, the f i r s t peak year a f t e r the increase i n the head tax to $500, the P a c i f i c Fisherman reported that "Chinese labour for the canneries i s constantly growing more scarce. I [a Chinese labour contractor] have found i t necessary to h i r e Japanese and other labour along with the Chinese i n order to make up our gang for the 25 d i f f e r e n t cannerymen." In 1901, Chinese cannery labourers had 26 received from $35 to $50 per month for an average of 10 hours per day. 21 "Canning machines: steam b o i l e r , r e t o r t , weighing machine, wiping machine, capping machine, a steam engine to drive the same. Also soldering machine and crimper plus can making machinery" (A l e r t Bay Cannery notes, Doyle Papers, box 6, f i l e 11). See also f n . 17 and 18. 22 Canada, Dominion F i s h e r i e s Commission for B.C., 1905-7, p. 13. 24 P a c i f i c Fisherman, V (February, 1907), 5. Exclusion of the Chinese i n B.C. was accomplished by pl a c i n g an immigration head tax of $500 on a l l Chinamen during 1903. O r i g i n a l l y ( i n 1885) t h i s tax was set at $50 and was increased to $100 i n 1900, but these amounts proved too low to be an e f f e c t i v e b a r r i e r . B r i t i s h Columbia t r i e d to pass t o t a l exclusion acts, but these were disallowed by the Federal Government which did, however, pass head taxes as a r e s u l t of continued pressure from the province. The success of the $500 head tax was questionable. I t did keep Chinese immigration to a nominal f i g u r e for several years. The t o t a l number paying the tax from January 1, 1904 (when i t came into e f f e c t ) u n t i l June 30, 1907 was 121. During the following year, however, the fi g u r e rose to 1,482 (Canada, Department of Labour Report, Canada, S.P., 1909, no. 17, p. 95). 25 P a c i f i c Fisherman, Annual e d i t i o n , 1905, p. 9. As early as 1903 the p u b l i c a t i o n noted that "Chinamen are ge t t i n g scarcer every year, e s p e c i a l l y expert Chinamen and as a r e s u l t Chinese contractors have to pay more for these every season" ( P a c i f i c Fisherman, I [August 1903], 7). Canada Labour Gazette, I (1900-1901), 353. -58-By 1906, Chinese working in the canneries who had previously been paid 27 from $40 to $48 asked for as high as $65 per month. Cannerymen reported during that season that the cost of packing fi s h would be greater than for some years past because of high prices for fi s h , higher wages 28 for cannery workers, and general increases in the cost of material. In the peak years of 1905 and 1909, the Fraser River canneries were unable to pack to capacity because of the scarcity of Chinese. During these years i t was reported that not only was there a shortage of cannery labour, but that the Chinese held out for larger advances than the contract bosses 29 were willing to give. These labour shortages and the resulting increased costs were conducive to innovation; as labour costs increased the relative cost of mechanization decreased. It was no mere coincidence that the Iron Chink was installed in the Fraser River canneries immediately after the f i r s t major cannery labour shortage of the period in 1905. Just as important to innovation was the type of labour scarcity, that of sk i l l e d cannery labour: " . . . not only was the supply short in quantity but distinctly 30 inferior in quality." When the Iron Chink and sanitary can replaced the hand processes in butchering and soldering, they alleviated not merely labour shortage but the most important shortage, that of skilled labour in the butchering and can-sealing stages of the canning line. Thus innovation after 1903 can be viewed as a response to the shortage of Ibid., p. 51. By 1908 Chinese contract cannery labour received no less than $65 per month according to a Victoria contractor (Canada, Department of Labour Report, 1909, Canada, S.P., 1909, no. 17, p. 105). Ibid., p. 151. -59-cannery labour, a shortage viewed by contemporaries as one of the most 31 serious d i f f i c u l t i e s facing the salmon industry. P r i o r to the in t r o d u c t i o n of butchering machines, the speed of the l i n e depended on the capacity of the gangs to produce butchered f i s h , and there was l i t t l e point i n mechanizing other stages of the canning 32 l i n e , even where the technology was already developed. The Smith Butchering Machine, which came to be known as the "Iron Chink" because i t replaced O r i e n t a l butchering gangs, thus re v o l u t i o n i z e d salmon canning. Even when f i r s t introduced i n 1906, the Iron Chink could process 60 to 75 f i s h per minute with the a i d of three men. The butchering gangs i t replaced were composed of about t h i r t y men, 33 each of whom processed about 1,500 to 2,000 f i s h i n a ten hour day. Unlike other machines i n the cannery, i t was not a modification of equipment used i n the vegetable and meat processing i n d u s t r i e s of eastern North America and Europe but was the only machine designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for the salmon cannery. Invented by.E. A. Smith of Seattle i n 1903, i t 34 was patented on August 8, 1905. Although Smith's butchering machine became the most widely used, i t was not the f i r s t of i t s kind. In the United States alone 21 patents were granted between 1856 and 1905 for s i m i l a r devices. The f i r s t patent 29 Province, September 18, 1909, p. 1. 30 P a c i f i c Fisherman, IV (September 1906), 18. 31 Canada, Dominion F i s h e r i e s Commission for B.C., 1905-07, p. 17. 32 Columbian, October 4, 1899, p. 2. -60-on the West Coast was granted to the Vancouver fi r m of Letson and Burpee 35 in 1900. In 1903, a " K e l l i n g t o n " machine, made by the Schaake Machine Works of New Westminster, was used by BCP at t h e i r Cleeve Cannery on the 36 37 Fraser; i n 1905 BCP purchased three more for other plants. Another B.C. firm, Letson and Burpee, produced the "Farmer" machine used by the 38 P a c i f i c American F i s h e r i e s at Fairhaven i n Bellingham, Washington. Although the P a c i f i c Fisherman claimed that f i s h cleaning machines other than the Iron Chink were utter f a i l u r e s , to the cost of the cannerymen who had reduced t h e i r force of Chinese butchers t r u s t i n g these machines to do 33 Province, July 25, 1906, p. 7. 3 4 B i t t i n g , p. 810. 35 "Fis h Cleaning Machines, References for Smith Investigation, Nov. 25, 1905," Shiels Papers, Western Washington State College Geography Archives manuscript, box 2. Prototypes of the Smith and Letson and Burpee machines were both developed at the Fairhaven Cannery of the P a c i f i c American F i s h e r i e s near Bellingham and so i t i s doubtful that t h e i r development was i s o l a t e d from one another, e s p e c i a l l y as Smith hired a lawyer i n 1905 to investigate patents covering parts of h i s machine i n other butchering machines such as Letson and Burpee's, K e l l i n g t o n ' s , and Hughlett's. The development of butchering machines lends support to the theory that the process of innovation i s not heroic; the invention credited to an indivudual such as Mr. Smith i s rather systematic, or the culmination of successive increments such as the developments of butchering machines by K e l l i n g t o n , Letson, Burpee, and Hughlett (Robert Baldwin and Gerald Meier, Economic Development [New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1959], p. 159). 36 P a c i f i c Fisherman, Annual E d i t i o n , 1903, p. 52. It should be noted that the f i r s t butchering machines were used s o l e l y i n BCP plants which r e i n f o r c e s the propos i t i o n that the company's objective was to c e n t r a l i z e plant with the a i d of technology. Two Fraser canners, James Munn and A. Ewen were involved with t h i s machine's development (Shiels Papers, l o c . c i t . ) . 37 P a c i f i c Fisherman, III (June 1905), 23. -61-39 the work, i t i s u n l i k e l y that BCP would have added three more to t h e i r plants i f t h e i r o r i g i n a l one had been completely unsuccessful. Smith's Iron Chink was introduced to the Fraser i n 1906 by B.C. Canning Company 40 Limited. The BCP f i r s t used i t i n 1907, i n a d d i t i o n to t h e i r 41 K e l l i n g t o n machines. Like the other machines, the f i r s t Iron Chink processed the f i s h only a f t e r the heads and t a i l s had been removed, and i n f a c t required more labour than some of the other machines to do t h i s — t h e K e l l i n g t o n machine used only one t h i r d the labour needed by the Iron Chink. By 1907 (model #1908), however, the Iron Chink was modified so that i t cleaned the e n t i r e f i s h automatically; a f t e r t h i s innovation there was no question as to i t s s u p e r i o r i t y to other butchering machines. Apart from being a f a s t e r and cheaper way to butcher f i s h , the Iron Chink eased the pressure of labour shortages for the canners. I t also increased the p r o f i t per f i s h by decreasing the waste and g i v i n g a consistent q u a l i t y of butchering, "Under the old method of hand cleaning much of the f i s h which was good was s l i c e d o f f when the f i n s were removed. When hundreds of thousands of salmon are being cleaned even the smallest 42 amount of waste i s quite an item of l o s s . " Henry Doyle estimated that the saving of f i s h by the use of the Iron Chink was "about h a l f a f i s h to the case over hand l a b o u r . " 4 3 38 P a c i f i c Fisherman, I (May 1903), 20. 39 P a c i f i c Fisherman, V (February 1907), 53. 40 P a c i f i c Fisherman, IV (May 1906), 13. 41 P a c i f i c Fisherman, V (February 1907), 54. -62-The Iron Chink also provides a key to the c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of plant. Even the early model of Iron Chink could provide enough butchered 44 f i s h to supply two, and i n some cases, three canning l i n e s . This meant that each cannery could have at l e a s t two l i n e s instead of the t r a d i t i o n a l one. The mechanized butchering process also used f a r l e s s cannery f l o o r space than the manual system and the freed space was used to increase the number of canning l i n e s and/or to provide sorely needed storage space i n e x i s t i n g canneries. **^"Province, July 25, 1906, p. 7. "Iron Chink Machine," Doyle Papers, box 5, f o l d e r 7. For every 24 cases mechanically cleaned an extra case was produced as compared to manual cleaning. " I t i s also well known that the capacity of the packing plant of a cannery i s always that of the butchering and because the packing part i s almost perfect, being nearly a l l operated mechanically, and i t only means running a few more hours i n order to increase the pack and as the operators of the various machines have no manual labour to perform to any great extent, they can stand up to the press of work no matter i f they are worked s i x or seven hours overtime. And also i n working these men overtime, while they may get t i r e d , the hundred and twenty cans a minute co n t i n u a l l y pass over the l i n e and the q u a l i t y of work does not s u f f e r . Whereas, the butcher, as soon as you press him into long hours, f a i l s both as to speed and q u a l i t y of work performed and the waste of the necessary o i l immediately commences, the r e s u l t being dry, t a s t e l e s s , salmon" (Province, August 15, 1906, p. 5). 44 Interview with Buster Mackenzie and B i l l Ross. Today the Canfisco plant at Prince Rupert has 7 canning l i n e s fed by 4 Iron Chinks and on some occasions not a l l the Chinks work. To evaluate the productive capacity of the Iron Chink or any butchering machine i n r e l a t i o n to a canning l i n e one must know which species of salmon i s being butchered when discussing the number of f i s h a machine can clean. On an average i t takes 19 cleaned pink salmon or 12 cleaned sockeye to produce one case of the f i n i s h e d product. This d i f f e r e n c e i s a r e s u l t of the weight of these species i n the round, i . e . uncleaned. Pinks weight 4 to 5 pounds whereas sockeye weigh 6 to 7 pounds. Unless otherwise stated a case of salmon w i l l r e f er to sockeye as t h i s was the major specie canned before 1913. If s i x t y sockeye are cleaned per minute the Iron Chink can produce enough f i s h to f i l l f i v e cases; i f an equal number of pinks are cleaned only 3.15 cases are produced per minute. It took three men to operate an Iron Chink and the -63-Another innovation on the Fraser in this period was the application of e l e c t r i c i t y as a source of power and light. "The Company [B.C. Electric Railway Company] has already [1905] received applications for the supply of current to motors in seven of the largest canneries. Motors are not intended to supply the entire power for the canning machinery. They w i l l be used to run the more important and delicately 4 adjusted parts of the canning machinery where uniform speed is necessary." .. The adoption of non-steam sources of power was in fact very slow and piecemeal. Steam was needed for the cooking and for steam blowers which cleaned the cans. Any kind of engine would be used in addition to a steam boiler. Consequently i t was cheaper and more practical to use a steam engine. A small one of from 20 to 50 horsepower was a l l that was required. Cannerymen used various makes of engines and seemed to have had no special 46 favorite. The exact date of the adoption of electric power is unknown, productivity per man hour of these Iron Chink attendants was 100 cases of sockeye; a manual butcher could produce only 14.8 cases of sockeye per hour. A man using an Iron Chink increased butchering productivity by over 700%. Thus the canners' preference for sockeye was not only market derived; cannery labour costs per case of sockeye were less than those of pink salmon. Since more pinks than sockeye had to be caught to f i l l a case, fishing costs could also be reduced i f sockeye were the chief canning species (interviews with Mr. B i l l Ross of S t i r l i n g Shipyard and Mr. Buster MacKenzie of Phoenix Plant. Both men are ex-cannery managers of the Canadian Fishing Company. January 1977). Following this reasoning the natural resource economists' idea that lesser grades of a product are developed due to market demand should be challenged by looking at the state of technology available at any given period. For example, pink salmon are considered the least desirable specie of salmon from a technological point of view, not because of their quality or colour, but because their size makes them the least economic to process. 45 Province, July 4 , 1905, p. 1. Electric power supplied by steam powered generators was used prior to 1905 by a number of Fraser River canneries. Pacific Fisherman, IV (August 1906), 13. -64-but in 1902-1903 BCP installed General Elec t r i c Company electric plants in three major canneries, Imperial, Currie McWilliams, and Brunswick No. 47 2 at Canoe Pass. The modern canning line was i n sight, but was not in place u n t i l 1912 with the use of the sanitary can and the double seamer which 48 eliminated soldering of can l i d s . Here again is an example of inter-locking technological change, the successful development of the sanitary can rested on the innovation of a double seaming machine. Neither machine was invented for salmon canning, but for the canning process i n general. In the sanitary can a flexible cement or a washer of flexible material i s placed automatically within the flanged rim of the top when the can i s manufactured. After the can is f i l l e d , i t i s passed through an exhauster—a f l a t , steam-tight box. This partially cooks the fish and the fish and the air in the can expand. The cover is placed on as i t emerges from the exhauster, the ends of the can draw inward as the contents cool, 49 and the can seals. Although the sanitary, or solderless, can had long been used in Europe and to some small extent in the East, the f i r s t evidence of interest in i t on the West Coast was in an editorial in the Pacific  Fisherman in 1905 about an advertisement of the Maxs Ams Machine Co. of New York: ". . . a new can making machine which turns out what they term 47 "Rough Notes, 1902-1903," Doyle Papers, box 11, f i l e 12. 48 Pacific Fisherman, August 1952, p. 6. " . . . sanitary can f i r s t appeared in salmon canning i n 1905 but was not widely used u n t i l 1912 with the introduction of the 'double seamer"'. 49 Pacific Fisherman, X (February 1912), 36. -65-the sanitary s o l d e r l e s s sealed c a n s . " ^ The f i r s t experiments with the sanitary salmon cans were t r i e d on the Columbia around 1908 and i n Bellingham i n 1908 when 547 cases were put up."'"'" These early attempts were abandoned because of the i n a b i l i t y to get machines which were s u f f i c i e n t l y f a s t to "make a pack". The combination lock and lap seam, which ensured the success of the sanitary can, was p r a c t i c a l l y the same as the lock seam formerly employed on the automatic body machines for soldered cans, but each end was lapped and soldered f or a short distance to f a c i l i t a t e the double seaming of the ends onto the can bodies. This double seaming could not be done without danger of breaking the t i n i f the lock seam extended the whole length of the can body. This lock and lap seaming machine, developed by the American Can Company, resulted i n t h i s company obtaining a v i r t u a l monopoly of sanitary can making machines. The only other major sanitary 52 can producer was the E. W. B l i s s Co. of the United States and France. While the development of the "lock and l a p " seam body machine and f l a n g e r — t h e flanger was also b u i l t by the American Can Company to turn the edge or flange of the can over to f a c i l i t a t e the double seaming of the ends to the b o d i e s — o c c u r r e d i n the East, Axel Johnson of San Francisco invented and patented a double seamer, or c l o s i n g machine, for the sanitary can which was automatic and of s u f f i c i e n t speed to i n t e r e s t the packers i n s e a l i n g f i l l e d cans. The combination of these various machines into one l i n e solved the problem of manufacturing and se a l i n g the sanitary can. P a c i f i c Fisherman, III (September 1905), 33. P a c i f i c Fisherman, X (February 1912), 34, 36. -66-The r e s u l t s of using t h i s can were phenomenal both i n the volume of output and i n the q u a l i t y . The percentage of "leaks" and "do-overs" was reduced to a minimum. The Chinese experts who formerly operated solder machines, mended leaks, and did the venting and stopping were no longer 53 necessary i n the canning process. A minimum of "leakers" were produced at a cost of 30-35% l e s s labour i n the s e a l i n g process as compared to soldered cans. The f i r s t cooking, with i t s subsequent venting and stopping, was no longer required to prevent the cans from bursting i n the r e t o r t s . Although the s o l d e r l e s s canning l i n e appeared s u c c e s s f u l l y i n the western States during 1910, i t did not make i t s debut on the Fraser u n t i l 1913 when the ABC, BC Canning Co. and M. Des Brisay employed such l i n e s 54 along with t h e i r soldering l i n e s . The reasons for the i n t r o d u c t i o n of sanitary canning l i n e s were s i m i l a r to those behind the Iron Chink. The canners, plagued by labour shortages and r e l a t e d increases i n labour costs, sought ways to decrease the labour input. Apart from the leading or "major" innovations such as the butchering machine and the sanitary can, other processes of the canning l i n e experienced varying degrees of mechanization. A f t e r the a p p l i c a t i o n of the Iron Chink the major bottlenecks occurred i n the stages which followed 55 the butchering machine: f i l l i n g , s a l t i n g , weighing, and s e a l i n g . The bottleneck i n the s e a l i n g sector was resolved as we have seen by the sanitary can system, but p r i o r to t h i s there were innovations to further P a c i f i c Fisherman, XI (December 1913), 30-31. 53 T, ., Ibid. -67-m e c h a n i z e the s o l d e r e d can p r o c e s s . S o l d e r i n g m a c h i n e s were r e f i n e d and c a n topping"**' and s t o p p i n g o f f machines"* 7 were d e v e l o p e d . V a r i o u s m a c h i n e s were d e v e l o p e d f o r f i l l i n g . The F u l t o n f i l l e r , b r o u g h t o u t i n 1902 by L e t s o n and Burpee and f u r t h e r r e f i n e d i n 1911, 58 p r o c e s s e d a r o u n d 60 cans p e r m i n u t e . O t h e r s were the A s t o r i a I r o n W o r k s ' F i l l e r , b u i l t unde r c o n t r a c t by t h e V i c t o r i a M a c h i n e r y d e p o t , 59 w h i c h p r o c e s s e d 65 cans p e r m i n u t e and an unknown make w h i c h f i l l e d 120 • - 6 0 c a n s p e r m i n u t e . W e i g h i n g and s a l t i n g were m e c h a n i z e d f o r the f i r s t t i m e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . A can s a l t i n g m a c h i n e i n v e n t e d by W. Demont o f B l a i n e was a g r e a t improvement o v e r t h e o l d method o f hand sal t ing .* ' ' '" I n t h e o l d m e t h o d , empty cans were p l a c e d on a t r a y under a b o a r d w h i c h had s m a l l h o l e s d i r e c t l y o v e r t h e c a n s . A t h i n b o a r d was i n s e r t e d , f o r m i n g t h e b o t t o m 54 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , XI ( J a n u a r y 1913), 37. "*"*The f i n a l s t a g e o f t h e c a n n i n g l i n e , t h e c o o k i n g s e c t o r , e x p e r i e n c e d no b o t t l e n e c k a f t e r t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e s team r e t o r t i n t h e l a t e 1870's. 5 6 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , I I I ( J u l y 1905), 38; I I I ( F e b r u a r y 1905), 16. " * 7 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , I I ( F e b r u a r y 1904), 4. The mach ine a u t o m a t i c a l l y s o l d e r e d v e n t h o l d s . 58 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , I X ( A u g u s t 1911), 12; I ( J a n u a r y 1903), 12. I t was c l a i m e d t h a t t h i s m a c h i n e r e p l a c e d 15-20 hand f i l l e r s . 59 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , XI ( J a n u a r y 1913), 31. 6 ° P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , V (May 1907), 29. 6 1 P a c i f i c F i s h e r m a n , I (May 1903), 9. -68-of the holes. Salt was then scraped over the top u n t i l the holes were f i l l e d , the t h i n inserted board was drawn out, and the s a l t f e l l into the can. With the s a l t i n g machine a measured quantity of s a l t was deposited into each can by a hopper system. This machine was driven by the can f i l l e r and was presumably timed to s a l t each can as i t was 62 processed by the f i l l e r . Weighing was also mechanized a f t e r 1903. The machines used were the Perkins, the Smith, and the Herzog, produced by Schaake. The most successful of these appears to have been the Smith 63 weigher, which, when perfected, weighed 48 cans per minute. Although the butchering machine r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the canning sector and res u l t e d i n unprecedented mechanization, t h i s does not automatically lead to the conclusion that t h i s s i n g l e invention r e s u l t e d i n the great advances i n the Fraser River canneries. Butchering was one of many processes to be mechanized to approximately the same capacity and designed to work i n unison. Without the proceeding and subsequent innovations i n other stages of the canning l i n e , the invention of the Iron Chink would have had only a l i m i t e d e f f e c t . The mechanization and c e n t r a l i z a t i o n l e d to economies of scale at the canneries. " S i m p l i c i t y of plant and machine design and the narrow range of commodity types manufactured i n the f i s h canning industry" r e s u l t s i n canners being "susceptible to large scale methods and to concentration of con t r o l i f other conditions are favourable"^ 4 but these P a c i f i c Fisherman, II (February 1904), 4. P a c i f i c Fisherman, VIII (September 1910), 17. Gregory and Barnes, p. 118. -69-other conditions tend to set l i m i t s to large scale organization i n t h i s industry.' 3"' Experience i n d i c a t e s that the optimum technological unit i s r e l a t i v e l y small and increased output usually r e s u l t s merely i n the 66 d u p l i c a t i o n of l i k e - s i z e d plants. Given these conditions, economies of scale do r e s u l t i n an optimum technological unit of four to f i v e l i n e s per plant. Though BCP Association's c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of plant i n the early 1900's was below the present optimum technological u n i t — C u r r i e McWilliams, Brunswick No. 2, and Terra Nova each added one l i n e and Imperial added only two to three lines—economies of scale were a major, i f not the major, objective of such c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . "Up to a c e r t a i n point (which was not reached on an average i f at a l l p r i o r to 1913) a larger scale of operations and c l o s i n g of marginal plants c l e a r l y brought improvements i n the early years."*' 7 ""'Ibid., p. 113. 1. Size of f i s h runs i n any one area; 2. the effectiveness of competition i n f i s h i n g ; 3. the need for immediate processing near the point where f i s h are caught. Brine r e f r i g e r a t i o n or r e f r i g e r a t e d s a l t water r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the salmon and herring f i s h e r y of the 1960's by removing the necessity of immediate processing. For example, Canfisco's brine v e s s e l Cape Scott transported f i s h from Alaska to Vancouver p r i o r to processing. Harold B r i t t e n , the cannery manager f or Canfisco's home plant, sees brine r e f r i g e r a t i o n as the major tec h n o l o g i c a l innovation since the early 1900's. ^ I b i d . , p. 113. Many managers beli e v e that a four to f i v e l i n e plant i s most e f f e c t i v e for maximum per man output over a time. Ib i d . , p. 118. Chapter 5 EARLY MECHANIZATION OF THE SALMON FISHING FLEET The gasoline motor was to the salmon f l e e t what the Iron Chink was to the canneries. It"'" r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the g i l l n e t f i s h e r y , made the purse seine f i s h e r y economic, and c a l l e d f o r t h a new type of tenderboat. The gasoline engine was f i r s t applied to the g i l l n e t boat i n the 2 early 1900's. Pioneers on the Fraser River set the date of the f i r s t 3 gasoline powered salmon vessels between 1902 and 1905, but as the Department of F i s h e r i e s reports do not mention t h i s type of v e s s e l u n t i l 4 1907, they could have been of l i t t l e economic importance before that-year. The only design change needed i n the oar and sail-powered Columbia River g i l l n e t boat f o r gasoline engined operation was to adapt the stern to take a p r o p e l l e r . The other type of i n t e r n a l combustion engine, the d i e s e l , was of l i t t l e importance u n t i l a f t e r 1913 ("Diesel Revolution, 1913-1922," P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 9). 2 " F i f t e e n years ago the gasoline powered boat was a c u r i o s i t y " ( P a c i f i c Fisherman Yearbook, 1915, p. 19). 3 Interviews with D. Watson, J . Easthope, and N. Stevens, 1973. 4 Canada, Department of F i s h e r i e s Report, 1907-08, Canada, S.P., 1909, no. 22, appendix 11, p. 223. Another source also states that i n 1907 " f o r the f i r s t time gasoline engines i n the f i s h i n g boats w i l l be t r i e d , over 30 boats on the River," P a c i f i c Fisherman, V (July 1907), 27. According to the Dail y C o l o n i s t , however, "Engines i n Fishi n g Boats: A great number of the f i s h i n g boats are being f i t t e d with gasoline engines for motive power. I t i s thought that the opening of the sockeye season w i l l see over ha l f of the boats on the r i v e r equipped with power," (Colonist, May 21, 1907). This proved to be an exaggeration. "*Hayward, "The Mosquito F l e e t of the P a c i f i c , " Canadian Fisherman, I (June 1914), 185. -70--71-Engine-driven Fraser River g i l l n e t t e r s were commonly r e f e r r e d to as the "mosquito f l e e t " . They were small "double enders", adapted from Columbia River boats, and ranged from twenty-five to thirty-two feet i n length. A small house i n the bow replaced the pup tent made from the s a i l as the crew shelter on the grounds.^ The gasoline engine was only slowly adapted. Fishermen were s k e p t i c a l of i t s u t i l i t y and staying q u a l i t y — e a r l y engines were l i g h t l y b u i l t and frequently broke down. I n i t i a l l y most engine parts were a v a i l a b l e only from the East, which meant long delays for r e p a i r s . 7 With the establishment of l o c a l r e pair shops such as Schaake Machine Company, Easthope and Sons, Canadian Fairbanks, Letson and Burpee Ltd., and Henry g Darling, a l l present by 1907, and the development of stronger engines, 9 the use of the gasoline motor r a p i d l y increased. By 1910 gasoline powered g i l l n e t t e r s comprised f i f t y percent of the Fraser's f l e e t and by 1913 over eighty percent were mechanized. "^ Early engines were of the 6 I b i d . ^ P a c i f i c Fisherman Yearbook, 1915, p. 19. " . . . many of them were condemned and thrown out when the f a u l t lay not with the engine but with the engineer" ( P a c i f i c Fisherman, January 1919, p. 55). g Henderson's Vancouver Directory, 1907, various advertisements. 9 P a c i f i c Fisherman Yearbook, 1915, p. 19, "^Canada, S.P., 1912, no. 12; 1914, no. 11. Mechanization was retarded i n northern B.C. (north of Cape Caution) where a f t e r 1911 powered g i l l n e t t e r s were i l l e g a l . This p r o h i b i t i o n was a r e s u l t of the companies not wanting to invest c a p i t a l i n powered g i l l n e t t e r s as i n the northern area the majority of boats were company owned, not independently owned as on the Fraser (Vancouver Province, July 12, 1917, p. 14). three to f i v e horsepower v a r i e t y and made s i x to seven knots.''"'''. According to l o c a l pioneers most of these engines were two cycle and were produced by Easthope and Sons, Cowie, and V i v i a n i n B r i t i s h Columbia or 12 by Frisby and Hyannis i n the United States or by Toronto Junction 13 Engines i n eastern Canada. The rapid adoption of engines a f t e r 1907 was a r e s u l t of competition for the resource. When one g i l l n e t t e r s u c c e s s f u l l y used an engine, competition forced other fishermen to follow s u i t i f they intended 14 to stay i n business. Mechanized g i l l n e t t e r s had a d i s t i n c t advantage over oar and s a i l powered vessels i n the r i v e r f i s h e r y . The mechanized g i l l n e t t e r could make more sets since i t could move more quickly upriver to s t a r t a new d r i f t . The gasoline engine also enabled the f i s h e r y to increase the f i s h i n g area by working fur t h e r offshore. I t increased f i s h i n g time since i t took l e s s time to t r a v e l to and from the grounds and vessels could f i s h i n rougher weather.''""' Engines also eliminated the 16 backbreaking labour of manning the oars. "'""'"H. C. Hanson, " P a c i f i c G i l l n e t t e r s , " F i s h i n g Boats of the World, ed. Jan-Olof Traung (London: F i s h i n g News Ltd., 1969), p. 14. 12 Joe Easthope, Tape 31, side 2, Richmond Arts Centre, Richmond, B.C. These engines cost between $150 and $175. 13 Interview with Donald Watson, 1973. 1 4 P a c i f i c Fisherman, IV (June 1906), 9; V (May 1907), 23. 15 "Tide, wind and sea which would i n t e r f e r e with the old s t y l e of f i s h i n g seldom troubles the modern motor boat fisherman" (Canadian  Fisherman, February 1914, pp. 44-45). "^"With the motor doing the hard work for him, he can t w i r l the -73-The gasoline motor was probably the most important f a c t o r i n the development of the purse seine fishery.''' 7 The purse seine used the p r i n c i p l e of encirclement and was used mainly for the "schooling" species of salmon, chums and pinks. Unlike sockeye, red springs, and cohoes which t r a v e l at various depths, chums and pink salmon school at or near the surface and so encirclement, or seining, was used instead of ensnarement, or g i l l n e t t i n g , as for the other species. The beginning of the seine f i s h e r y marked a new concentration on the previously ignored " l e s s e r " species by the Fraser River canners. A feature of the 1911 season was that a l l f i v e v a r i e t i e s of salmon were u t i l i z e d for canning to 18 a greater extent than ever before. P r i o r to 1911 sockeye was the main 19 species exploited. Red Spring and Coho were also i n demand i n the e a r l y 20 years, but e s s e n t i a l l y to supplement the sockeye pack. Between 1902 and wheel or keep a hand on the t i l l e r and r e s t up a f t e r the labour of f i s h i n g " ( i b i d . , p. 45). ^ 7The purse seine should not be confused with the e a r l i e r beach seines used i n the l a t e 1880's and again i n the e a r l y 1900's. Such seines were set only from the shore and t h e i r design d i f f e r e d r a d i c a l l y from the purse seine. Although beach seines were banned i n B.C. p r i o r to 1906, s p e c i a l l i c e n s e s were issued i n 1900 for f i v e beach seines to be used on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. These s p e c i a l l i c e n s e s were issued with the hope that such seines would intercept the salmon before t h e i r a r r i v a l at the American traps. This experiment f a i l e d because the f i s h i n some years passed too f a r offshore to be caught by beach seines (Canada, S.P. , 1902, no. 9, p. 173). See a l s o , "The History of Western Seining," National Fisherman, September 1971, p. 3-c. 18 "Owing to the increased demand for the product the cheaper v a r i e t i e s of f i s h which only l a t t e r l y have been used even sparingly were canned i n a l l d i s t r i c t s " ( B r i t i s h Columbia, S.P., 1912, p. N 49). 19 "Sockeye salmon have always been the chief object of the f i s h e r y and have commanded the best p r i c e " Canada, Report of Special Fishery  Commission, 1917 (Ottawa: King's P r i n t e r , 1918), p. 7. -74-1910 seventy-eight percent of the pack was sockeye, but between 1911 and 21 1917, sockeye accounted for only forty-two percent of the pack. Increases i n the pack a f t e r 1911 were due c h i e f l y to the use of pink and 22 chum salmon. The early purse seines were e s s e n t i a l l y a webbing of tarred cotton with a lead l i n e and cork, or f l o a t l i n e , measuring 175 to 225 fathoms i n length. Brass rings were hung at regular i n t e r v a l s along the lead l i n e by means of " b r i d l e s " . A purse l i n e was then passed through these rings. Salmon purse seining was introduced to Puget Sound i n the 23 1880's. I t was c a r r i e d out from two large f l a t bottomed scows equipped with l i t t l e more than a hand-powered purse l i n e winch. At the beginning of each season a steam tender towed the scows to the grounds where a large s k i f f manned by eight oarsmen p u l l e d the scows from place to place to set the net. The tenderboat was a v i t a l part of t h i s early purse seining technology. I t towed the gear to and from the grounds and transported the haul to the canneries. This early method of propulsion l i m i t e d purse se i n i n g to a few miles around each f i s h camp, but i t was an improvement i n terms of m o b i l i t y over the beach seine system. The purse seine was also 20 "Only since 1911 have the canners been prepared to take pinks and chums i n any quantity" ( i b i d . ) . 21 Canada, Report of the Special F i s h e r i e s Commission, 1917, p. 7. 22 Ibid . 23 The purse seine had been used extensively on the East Coast since the 1860's ("History of Western Seining," pp. 1-c, 3-c). Purse seining was and i s the major technique used i n the herring f i s h e r y . - 7 5 -24 , far more efficient at trapping fish than the beach seine. As in the case of the gillnet fleet, the introduction of the gasoline engine rapidly increased the mobility of the seine fleet. Unlike the gillnet fishery, however, before 1913 the engine not only propelled the seiner but also ran a winch with a horizontal niggerhead to 25 haul in the purse line. These dual functions resulted in savings in both time and labour. The time of a set dropped by f i f t y percent; half an hour was a l l that was needed as compared to an hour under the manual 26 system and mechanization cut the seine crew from ten men to six. 27 Powered seiners used a different fishing technique: "The scows were discarded and the net moved from the skiff to the powered vessel, The end of the net was now made fast to the skiff which acted as a buoy and the seiner ran a c i r c l e setting the net and returning to the s k i f f . Both ends of the net were then brought aboard, the net pursed and f i n a l l y 28 hauled or 'dried up' so the fi s h could be removed." The typical early seiner was a small open boat decked foreward with a small house over the engine. It had no crew quarters. Hulls were very beamy to take heavy cargoes and the strain of pulling in the n e t s — the beam was twenty-five percent of the length. Engines could only be 29 five to twelve horsepower because they took up the same space as a 24T... Ibid. 25 Pacific Fisherman, IV (August 1906), 10. Pacific Fisherman, III (August 1905), 12. 27 The f i r s t gasoline seine boat used in the northwest was the Pioneer, built in 1902 ('The History of Western Seining," p. 3-c). modern 100 horsepower engine. The net was stored a f t on a " t a b l e " or platform. Although the e a r l i e s t seiners had only handpowered purse winches, these were soon mechanized to eliminate the heavy work of pursing by 30 hand. The purse winch was connected to the main engine with a l i n e shaft. Seiners mechanized i n t h i s way could make twice the number of sets i n a day. The B r i t i s h Columbia seine f l e e t began to develop r a p i d l y a f t e r 31 1911 to e x p l o i t the Swiftsure Bank i n the S t r a i t s of Juan de Fuca. Between the salmon seasons of 1911 and 1912, the number of seiners i n t h i s 32 f i s h e r y rose from 22 to 100. These seiners were open water boats known as deep sea seineboats. They d i f f e r e d from the early seiners i n that they were l a r g e r , heavier, had more power, crew quarters, and were f u l l y 33 decked. The Swiftsure Bank seine f i s h e r y was another attempt by the Fraser River canning industry to intercept the salmon runs before they got 34 to the Americans. Ib i d . , pp. 3-c, 4-c. 29 P a c i f i c Fisherman, VI (November 1908), 19. 30 These powered purse winches were i n use by 1907 ( P a c i f i c Fisherman, V [May 1907], 24). "Fishing did not begin on a large scale u n t i l 1911 when extensive power boats enabled t r o l l e r and purse seiners to operate i n comparative safety on the o f f shore banks" ( B r i t i s h Columbia, Sessional Papers, 1913, p. I 14). T r o l l f i s h were caught s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r the fresh f i s h market, and were thus of l i t t l e importance to the canning industry. The t o t a l was probably over 125. Ibi d . - 7 7 -Although there i s i n s u f f i c i e n t data to measure increases i n e f f i c i e n c y brought about by the adaption of engines, such an increase existed and should be noted. The B. C. Sessional Papers emphasize t h i s 35 i n i t i a l increase: "decreasing catch, not withstanding increased 36 e f f i c i e n c y i n f i s h i n g methods." This quote applies s t r i c t l y to the g i l l n e t f i s h e r y , as the seine f i s h e r y d i d not i n i t i a l l y experience a decreasing catch because i t fis h e d for pink and chum salmon which had h i t h e r t o been unexploited i n any r e a l measure. The i n t e r n a l combustion engine had a two-fold e f f e c t on the steam tenderboat f l e e t . Mechanization of the g i l l n e t t e r decreased the steam tender's importance i n that f i s h e r y since steam tenders no longer transported the bulk of the g i l l n e t f l e e t ' s catch to the canneries. On the r i v e r , small gasoline powered g i l l n e t c o l l e c t o r s , a c t u a l l y g i l l n e t boats with an open or closed hold f i l l i n g the whole stern a f t of the house began to replace the tug and scow method of transporting f i s h . With the move of salmon seining out i n t o the S t r a i t of Juan de . Fuca, tenders provided an e s s e n t i a l transportation l i n k to the Fraser 37 River canneries. Transportation of salmon from these new grounds by 33 Rounsefell and Keleg, p. 729; Canadian Fisherman, February 1915, p. 6 1 . 34 See above, p. 69 , fn. 17 . 35 I use the word " i n i t i a l " because the free entry c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the salmon f i s h e r y r e s u l t s i n economic rent, due to increased e f f i c i e n c y , eventually being removed as a d d i t i o n a l fishermen enter the new geographic or technological area of e x p l o i t a t i o n . In the case of Swiftsure Bank e x p l o i t a t i o n was both geographic and t e c h n o l o g i c a l . 36 B r i t i s h Columbia, Sessional Papers, 1907, p. C 7. -78-the tug and scow system, however, was exceedingly expensive. As the distance increased, p e r i s h a b i l i t y of the catch became a matter of 38 concern to the canners and a new type of tender, the d i e s e l powered packer, was introduced. This v e s s e l had i t s own holds with pen and shelf boards to prevent the crushing of the salmon that took place i n an open scow. As i t s hold was covered, i c e could be used economically, which was not possible i n an open scow. Packers were rare before d i e s e l motors because e x i s t i n g gasoline engines were uneconomical for such large vessels. The reason for the eventual replacement of steam tenders was b a s i c a l l y economic. The i n t e r n a l combustion engine was smaller than the steam engine, occupying l e s s cargo space and r e q u i r i n g l e s s labour than the equivalent steam engine. It i s also quicker and easier to s t a r t than the steam engine and quick s t a r t i n g i s e s p e c i a l l y necessary i n tenders 39 which make a number of s t a r t s and stops i n t h e i r d a i l y work. "When the seiners are f u l l they head for the nearest cannery tender. These tenders, some of them motor boats and some of them steam, are usually waiting o f f the f i s h i n g bank with scows alongside" (Canadian  Fisherman, February 1915, p. 60). 38 Canada, S.P., 1906, no. 22, p. 33. Pioneer tendermen emphasize the amount of time wasted while an engine room crew worked up steam so that a tender could get underway (.interviews with George M a r t i n o l i c h and N. Stevens). CONCLUSION This study shows that technological change i n the 1871-1912 era i n the canning, f i s h i n g , and tender sectors of the Fraser River salmon industry took the form of a leading innovation r e i n f o r c e d by a c l u s t e r of supporting techniques. I t supports the theory that the key factor i n innovation i s the rate at which c l u s t e r s of i n t e r l o c k i n g , mutually supporting techniques can be brought into the production process. A l l "major" innovations i n the salmon industry were i n essence by-products of new i n d u s t r i a l methods and techniques of the metal and engineering i n d u s t r i e s of the i n d u s t r i a l i z e d world. The study shows that on a canning l i n e where each part of the l i n e r e l i e s f o r i t s productive capacity on the process which precedes or follows i t , the economic e f f e c t of a great innovation such as the r e t o r t can only be measured by the a b i l i t y of the r e s t of the l i n e to keep pace. The e f f e c t of an i s o l a t e d innovation i s very l i m i t e d unless further innovation f a c i l i t a t e s increased production. The "great" innovation i s therefore r e a l l y a "leading" innovation f o r c i n g changes to take advantage of i t s higher p o t e n t i a l output. This study also shows that improved technology on the canning l i n e was i n turn supported by innovations i n the f i s h i n g sector and the tender sector. If technological change had been r e s t r i c t e d to the canneries alone the industry would have had shortages of raw m a t e r i a l . The p r o d u c t i v i t y of the canneries was therefore d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the a b i l i t y of the f i s h i n g and tender sectors to increase t h e i r p r o d u c t i v i t y . Yet even without technological change i n the canneries such increased p r o d u c t i v i t y would have been e s s e n t i a l to supply the increase between 1871 -79--80-and 1901 i n the number of canneries. Technological changes of the l a t e 1870's and early 1880's serve as an example of a pattern which occurs throughout the growth of the industry. The introduction of a leading innovation such as the steam r e t o r t i s followed by a c l u s t e r of supporting innovations such as the gang k n i f e , the soldering machine, and the conveyor b e l t . These cannery innovations increased the capacity of each cannery. This increase, combined with an increase i n the number of canneries, requires greater production i n the f i s h i n g sector. In response to t h i s l a t e s t demand tenders and f i s h camps provide the f l e e t with greater m o b i l i t y . The new system makes pos s i b l e the t o t a l use of the i n s i d e f i s h i n g grounds. Then f i s h i n g pressure i n these t r a d i t i o n a l waters spurs further innovation i n the f i s h i n g s e c t o r — t h e Columbia River boat and the hard twine g i l l n e t — t o extend the f i s h e r y into outside or Gulf waters. There are two d i s t i n c t periods of technological change, 1878-1902 and 1903-1913. In the former, technological change re s t s e s s e n t i a l l y on innovations, leading and supporting, which supplement manual processes. A f t e r 1903, however, technological change a c t u a l l y replaces hand processes. Leading innovations i n both periods are i n i t i a t e d on the canning l i n e . 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