Filling the Cans
Automatic filling machines stuffed cans with salmon at more than 100 cans a minute. Women fed the cut salmon pieces down a chute into the filling machine. The machine compacted the fish then forced it through a can-sized pocket and into, the can. By the 1960s, the ‘Big Bertha' filling machine was introduced. It was even more efficient. Whole cleaned salmon were fed directly into this filling machine. It had internal gang knives built right in. This machine cut salmon to size and filled cans at the same time.
Most of the time these big complex machines ran smoothly. Every once in a while though a can would get stuck. The Fillerman had to act fast to clear the problem. He was the operator who tended the machine and kept it in perfect working order.