Collections Catch of the Week – Paramount Sockeye Salmon

Salmon Cans
Paramount Sockeye Salmon –G1988.008.001A-C

Submitted by M.Lenz, Collections Assistant

This week we finally caught some fish! Although not any you’d enjoy for a snack… These 3 cans were the last to come off the line at Paramount Cannery, August 29th 1970. Still completely airtight, the cans’ weights tell of the 46 year-old sockeye steak sealed inside. They’re 3-piece cans, just like the ones used at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, and packed with just sockeye and a pinch of salt. There is no air inside the can so it’s unlikely that there’s any bacteria growing, but this still wouldn’t be a tasty treat. Over time, the taste and texture of the items inside are guaranteed to have faded past edibility.

Built in 1957, Paramount Cannery was the first to be built in Steveston in 50 years, opening with 6 canning lines. It could produce 1,250 cans per minute. Theoretically it could produce 12,500 cases of 48 cans in a single eight hour day, the amount a cannery in 1890 took an entire year to pack. It was one of only 3 canneries to operate in Steveston in the 1950s-60s. Not long after being bought by BC Packers in 1968, it was shut down. Lucky for us Morris Baziuk, a former BC Packers employee, held on to a few of the final cans to come off the line and donated them to the museum in 1988.

Posted by m.horita
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