AHS Blog

Canned Salmon Exports to Britain

Date Posted: December 5, 2014       Categories: Alaska's Historic Canneries

by Ross Coen

From the very start of the salmon packing industry in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in the nineteenth century, Great Britain was by far the largest importer of canned salmon, in some years accounting for up to 95% of the total export market. The packers accordingly designed their labels to appeal to British customers. Some labels featured portraits of Queen Victoria, while others played upon Anglo-American loyalties. The label shown below, Electric (circa 1880s), is an example of the latter. Note the American and British women each holding one end of a trans-Atlantic cable. (click on the image to see a larger version)


And yes, I’m aware the above label is from a Columbia River cannery, not one in Alaska. I’ll continue to feature historic labels in future posts, and I encourage label collectors and enthusiasts to contact me at: rcoen (at) uw.edu