In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Label for “Table Talk Brand Choice Selected Salmon”
Label for “Table Talk Brand Choice Selected Salmon”.
City of Richmond Archives, Series 5, sub-series 4, Box 8136, file 1.
Label for “Table Talk Brand Choice Selected Salmon”


Albacore Tuna – A species of Tuna found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is the major source of canned tuna and packed as "white–meat" tuna. Also known as the "chicken of the sea".

Automatic salmon butchering machine – a cannery machine that cleans salmon by removing fins, tail, guts and scales.

Automatic pilots – Automatic–control mechanisms which keeps fishing boats on an even course.

BC Packers Ltd. – A fishing and fish processing company that operated along the BC coast and elsewhere from 1902 until its assets were sold in 1999.

Brailer – A large dip net used by seine fishermen to scoop fish such as salmon or herring from the seine net into the boat.

British Commonwealth – This term was used after World War I to describe an association of countries including the United Kingdom and many former British colonies that are now independent states with a common loyalty to the British Crown, including Canada, Australia, India, and many countries in the West Indies and Africa. Today the term Commonwealth of Nations is used.

British Empire – The territories around the world colonized by Britain from the seventeenth century until the end of World War I. Most are now independent states. The British Commonwealth consists of much of the former British Empire. At its peak, the British Empire was the largest formal empire that the world had ever known.

British subjects – Any person who owed loyalty to the British Crown, wherever they were born in the British Commonwealth. Today, the term Commonwealth citizen is used to replace British subject

Bunkhouses – large buildings near canneries where many cannery workmen or fishermen would live and sleep.

Buoy – A floating object anchored in the water. It is used to mark the location and ownership of fishing gear.

Butchered – to slaughter or prepare animals for the food market

Canadian Pacific Railway – The first transcontinental railway in Canada, linking the eastern Canadian provinces with British Columbia. Constructed between 1881 and 1885, it took 12 000 men, 5 000 horses, and 300 dog–sled teams to build the railway.

Canneries – A factory where fish are butchered, cleaned, and canned.

Cannery gangs – groups of men who worked in canneries.

Cannery houses – small houses built by canneries for cannery workers or fishermen, their wives and families.

Centrifugal force – When spun or rotated, dense items move to the outside. Centrifugal force is a tendency to make rotating bodies move away from the centre of rotation. A centrifuge is a machine that uses centrifugal force to separate particles of varying density, such as fish oil and water.

Chinese Exclusion Act – A law which stopped Chinese immigration to Canada for nearly 25 years from 1923 to 1947. Chinese were brought in from China to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) but as soon as it was completed, the Federal Government restricted the immigration of Chinese to Canada.

Chinook – One of seven species of ocean going Pacific salmon. It has irregular black spots on its back. Also called king salmon or Spring salmon, it is the largest of the Pacific salmon.

Chum – One of seven species of ocean going Pacific salmon. Chum are the most widely distributed of all Pacific salmon. They are native to more than 880 streams in B.C. and the Mackenzie River. Also known as Dog Salmon

Clincher – A cannery machine that loosely crimps or fixes a lid onto a can.

Coast Salish - The Coast Salish are part of Canada’s First Nations Peoples whose lands include much of the eastern coast of Vancouver Island and southern coastal regions on the mainland of British Columbia and northern Washington. The Coast Salish are part of the Salishan language family.

Cod – This popular saltwater fish can range from 1 1⁄2 to 100 pounds and comes from the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Also called codfish.

Cod end – The narrow, innermost part of a trawl net. The trapped fish are held there.

Coho – One of seven species of ocean going Pacific salmon. They are large with moderate–sized spots on their back.

Collector boats – Large boats that collect fish caught by smaller boats. Collector boats can deliver the catch of several fishing boats to the cannery at one time.

Corkline – The rope along the top of a gillnet. It has floats attached. They keep the net top up in the water

De Laval Separator Company – A company that manufactured centifugal separators for the fishing and other industries. Please visit this link to read about the company: www.alfalaval.com

Direction finders – Also called radio direction finders, these are devices for finding the direction to a radio source. Since radio waves travel very long distances, direction finders made good navigation systems for fishing boats working far from shore.

Discriminatory – A means of treating people negatively because of their group identity. Discrimination may be based on age, ancestry, gender, language, race, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, family status, physical or mental disability, appearance or economic status.

Dogfish – A small species of shark found in the Pacific and Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. The average dogfish is long and thin and weighs about 25 lbs.

Drum – A powered device something like a large spool. Fishing nets are wound around them. Drums can let nets out and reel them back in.

Enemy Aliens – An alien (foreigner) living in a country that is at war with his or her country of ancestry. In Canada, during World War II, it was a term used in government notices and in the media to describe all Japanese Canadians as enemies of the state.

Eulachon – Also known as candlefish. Found in northern Pacific waters, this edible fish is so oily that it can also be dried and used as a candle. It feeds primarily on plankton as well as fish eggs, insect larvae

Fishing licenses – papers giving official permission to fish.

Flagpoles – Tall poles with flags and/or lights on them. They are attached to buoys and used to mark the location and ownership of fishing gear.

Float – A cork or plastic object that rests on the surface of water. Floats are attached to fishing nets to keep the net tops up in the water.

Float–covered headline – A rope covered in floats. They keep trawl nets open underwater. As the heavy net is dragged along the bottom of the ocean, the floats on the headline rise towards the surface of the water forcing open the mouth of the trawl net.

Gaff hooks – A metal hook on the end of a gaff. A gaff is a hand–held pole used for handling individual fish.

Gang knives – Rotating blades that cut salmon to the correct width for canning.

Gangions – Short lines with a hook and bait. They are used by halibut fishermen. Each gangion is attached to the ground line at regular intervals.

Gillnet – A net used to entangle fish by their gills. Gillnets are used by salmon and herring fishermen.

Gillnet drum – A powered device something like a large spool. A gillnets is wound around it. A gillnet drum lets the net out and reels it back in.

Gold Rush – Rapid movement of people into an area where gold has been discovered. In the case of the Fraser River gold rush in British Columbia, the population increased greatly in a very short period.

Great Depression, The – a period from 1929 until 1939 when the economy was so poor that many people were unemployed. The Great Depression was an economic slump in North America, Europe, and other industrialized areas of the world. It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world.

Groundfish – Fishes that live most of their life on or near the sea bottom. Examples of groundfish include flatfish, cods, haddocks, pollocks and eels.

Gurdies – Powered spools used to pull in trolling lines.

Halibut – Large fish with a flattened body adapted for life on the seafloor. Found in northern Pacific and Atlantic waters, they prefer deep, cold water, and have a life span of 40 years or more

Head tax – A tax of $50 forced, with few exceptions, upon every person of Chinese origin entering the country. This tax was passed by the Federal Government in 1885 as soon as the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, in order to restrict the immigration of Chinese to Canada. The Head Tax was increased to $100 in 1900 and to $500 in 1903.

Herring – A herring is a type of small, silvery oily fish found in the mild, shallow waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific.

Herring meal – the clean, cooked down, dried ground tissue of whole herring or herring cuttings.

Highliners – Successful fishermen with the greatest catches of fish. Successful fishing boats are called highline boats.

Hydraulics – Hydraulics is the science of dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids and their application in engineering. Hydraulic devices are operated by the movement and force of liquid.

Interment Camps – a large detention center or prison camp created for enemy aliens, or prisoners of war, usually during a war.

Katzie - The Katzie First Nation derives its name from the Halkomelem word for a type of moss. The Katzie people are part of a larger family of First Nations people, including the Kwantlen, Coquitlam, Musqueam and Tsawwassen people. They are traditional Halkomelem speaking people and have descended from the cultural group known as the Coast Salish Tribe. Traditional Katzie territory includes the entire Pitt watershed, including the Alouette watershed. The Katzie have lived in and around the Pitt watershed for thousands of years. For more information on the Katzie people visit www.katzie.ca

Lacquered – Lacquer was a liquid used to prevent cans from rusting. Lacquered cans are cans that were given a coating of lacquer.

Leaders – Short lines with a lure. They are used in trolling. Each leader is attached to the main line at regular intervals.

Leadline – The rope along the bottom of a gillnet. It has weights attached. They keep the net bottom down in the water.

Level wind – A device which evenly redistributes a gillnet onto a drum as the gillnet is hauled in from the water.

Line hauler – A mechanical winch used by trap fishermen to pull up lines of traps from the ocean floor.

Long liners – Halibut fishermen who use a fishing method called long lining. Long liners are also halibut fishing boats used for long lining.

Lures – Fishing gear or tackle used to attract, tempt and entice fish into biting.

Marine leg – A mechanical elevator that carries fish from the hold of a boat into a cannery.

Musqueam – Meaning "People of the River Grass", the Musqueam people are part of a larger family of First Nations people, including the Kwantlen, Coquitlam, and Katzie. Their traditional territory includes much of what is now Vancouver and the surrounding areas. They are traditional Halkomelem speaking people and have descended from the cultural group known as the Coast Salish Tribe. The Musqueam have lived in and around the Vancouver area for thousands of years. For more information on the Musqueam people visit www.musqueam.bc.ca

Opium – Opium is a narcotic drug which is obtained from the unripe seed pods of the poppy flower.

Patented – Protected by a patent. A patent is a document giving the exclusive right to produce or sell an invention for a specified time.

Perforated - Having a hole or series of holes; pierced with holes

Peughs – Long, hand–held poles with hooks on the end, used to throw or move individual fish. Peughs are longer than gaffs.

Picture brides – Due to an agreement in 1908 that Japan would allow only 400 Japanese men, but unlimited Japanese women and children to go to Canada each year, single Japanese men working in British Columbia were encouraged to send for their wives or find a wife through the ‘picture bride’ system. They would tell their family in Japan that they wished to be married. The family would find a suitable girl in the village and make an agreement with her family. They would then send pictures of her to British Columbia. If the man liked the look of her he would tell his family and they would register the marriage in Japan. The man would then arrange travel to Canada for his new ‘picture bride’.

Pilchards – Any of various small marine fishes related to herrings, especially a commercially important edible species.

Pink – one of seven species of ocean going Pacific salmon. Pinks are the smallest and most abundant Pacific salmon. They are also called humpbacks because of the prominent bony hump that males develop before spawning.

Power block – A hydraulically powered pulley that hauls net and line up to a large boom attached to the boat’s mast, allowing the net to be stacked on the deck below. Mario Puretic, a seine fisherman from southern California, invented the power block in the mid–1950s. Prior to his invention, the hauling in of heavy seine nets was backbreaking work done by hand. Power blocks are also known as Puretic blocks.

Press cake – A term for the solid matter that comes out of a press in a fish reduction plant.

Press liquor – A term for the liquid matter that comes out of a press in a fish reduction plant.

Purse line – The rope used to close the bottom of a purse seine net.

Purse seine – A large fishing net for encircling fish. It has rings and a purse line at the bottom that close the net up like the drawstrings on a purse. It is also called a seine. Purse seine nets are used by salmon and herring fishermen.

Radar – Technique for detecting the location and speed of a distant object by analyzing the high frequency radio waves reflected from its surface. Radar is short form for Radio Detection And Ranging.

Razor clams – A type of fish used to attract crabs. The razor clam is so–named because its shell looks like a folded, old–fashioned straight razor.

Reduction – A process that turns fish and fish waste into fish meal and fish oil.

Rockfish – There are 102 rockfish species in the world, 36 can be found in B.C. and they can live to be over 200 years old. They are found in all seas and especially in the mild waters of the Pacific. Rockfishes are found among rocks and reefs. To learn more about rockfish visit www.vanaqua.org

Sandbars – Ridges of sand formed in rivers. These pose a hazard for fishermen, boats and gear.

Scrap Fish – Discarded pieces of fish, such as heads, fins, intestines, used as bait in prawn traps.

Screw conveyors – A screw conveyor is a screw contained within a tube and turned by a motor so as to continuously deliver material from one end of the conveyor to the other. As the screw is turned, it scoops up material at the bottom end of the tube. The material will slide up the spiral screw as it is turned, until it comes out at the top of the tube and enters the machines.

Segregation – Segregation is the separation of people based on race, religion, ethnic group, sex, or social class

Seine – A large fishing net for encircling fish. They are also called purse seines. Seine nets are used by salmon and herring fishermen.

Seine fisheries – The catching of fish with seines, large nets for encircling fish.

Set – A term used for putting a seine net out in the water, as in to set out or make a set.

Sikh – A follower of Sikhism which is a religious faith originating in the Punjab – a region straddling the border between India and Pakistan.

Skiff – A small, open boat propelled by oars or motor. In seine fishing, the skiff holds one end of the seine net in a steady position. The seine boat then lets the seine net out in a large circle. This is called making a set.

Slimers – A term for women employed to wash fish in canneries.

Snags – These are underwater hazards such as logs or trees stuck on the riverbed. Fishing gear such as gillnets can become caught on snags

Sockeye – One of seven species of Pacific salmon. They have small specs on their back.

Sole – A flatfish that lives most of its life on or near the sea bottom.

Sole line – This is the weighted line at the mouth of a trawl net. It drags along the ocean floor. A float–covered headline forces the net mouth open. The sole line is also called the sole rope.

Sonar – Technique for detecting and determining the distance and direction of underwater objects by tracking sound echoes. The term sonar is short form for Sound Navigation Ranging

Spinning spoons – These are lures used for trolling. Spoons spin in the water as they are pulled along by the troller.

Spooler – A device onto which ropes or lines are wound or spooled.

Stern – The rear part of a ship or boat

Stickwater – A term for the liquid waste water produced in a fish reduction plant.

Sturgeon – North America’s largest and longest–lived freshwater fish. Reaching a maximum size of six meters (19 feet) and 800 kilograms (1,800 pounds), the white sturgeon can live for more than a hundred years! They are bottom–feeders and have no teeth.

Tackle – Equipment or gear.

Tidal waters – Waters affected by the tide. The tide is the alternate rise and fall of the surface of oceans caused by the attraction of the moon and the sun. For gillnet fishermen, tidal waters are especially evident at river mouths.

Traps – Mesh boxes used for catching various species of fish and crustaceans. They are also known as pots.

Trawl winches – cylindrical devices onto which trawl net lines are wound as the net is pulled in.

Trawlers – Fishermen who use a fishing method called trawling. Trawlers are also fishing boats used for trawling. Trawlers drag large nets in the water. If the net is dragged along the ocean floor they are called bottom trawlers. If the net is dragged higher up in the water they are called pelagic trawlers. Each method targets different kinds of fish.

Troller – Fishermen who use a fishing method called trolling. Trollers are also fishing boats used for trolling.

Two–way radiotelephones – Devices that allowed fishermen to communicate from boat to boat. These are telephones that operate by means of radio waves and can communicate in two directions.

Unionized – Made member of a union, belonging to a union. A union is a group of workers who have joined together to try and make their working lives better.

West Coast Reduction – A Vancouver–based fish and meat waste rendering company. Please visit this link to read more about the company: www.wcrl.com

Winch - A powered drum used to reel in or pay out rope or cable for hauling or hoisting.

World War I – also known as the First World War, the Great War, the War of the Nations, and the War to End All Wars, was a world conflict that happened from 1914 to 1918. A war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the central powers (Germany, Austria–Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria).

World War II – or the Second World War was a global conflict that began on 7 July 1937, in Asia and 1 September 1939, in Europe and lasted until 1945, involving the majority of the world's countries and every inhabited continent. Virtually all countries that participated in World War I were involved in World War II. It was a war between the Allies (Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, USSR, Yugoslavia) and the Axis (Albania, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Rumania, Slovakia).

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