Thu, April 02, 2015

Cannery Pioneer Eigil Buschmann

The following article comes from Pacific Fisherman (January 1955), page 44. Thanks to Jim Mackovjak  for contributing this.

Sixty Years of Salmon Canning Ready E. Buschmann for Next Move

With 60 years of personal and continuous activity in the salmon fishing and canning business behind him, Eigil Buschmann retired this winter as general superintendent of Nakat Packing Corporation, a position he has held for 32 years, since the company was formed in 1922.

This doesn’t mean that the man who first fished a power purse seiner in Alaskan waters is going to be idle—not E. Buschmann. He never has been, and doesn’t know how.

Established in a private office at 1014 AmericanBuilding, Seattle (Phone Main 7340), he plans his next move. Will it be in the fish business? Not saying. When will it come? Not certain.

Eigil Buschmann went to Alaska first in 1894, with his father, Peter, and his brother, August. They were running their cannery at the Boca de Quadra that season, and he worked in and for the family properties for years.

In 1907 he took the purse seiner Ruth to Alaska—the first powered purse seiner in the Territory—fishing her for the cannery at HunterBay.

Then in 1911, with Craig Miller and F. C. Johnstone, he built the first cannery at Waterfall, where later he was to make headquarters. He disposed of his interest in 1913 and joined Northwestern Fisheries Co. as superintendent of its Quadra cannery, remaining with this company through 1917.

In 1917 he became superintendent of the Wiese Packing Co. under Einar Beyer, and also handled the Alaska Pacific Herring Co. plant at Port Walter for Mr. Beyer and his Norwegian associates.

In the fall of 1921 he secured an option on the cannery at Hidden Inlet, and the following year the plant was acquired by the Nakat Packing Corporation as a subsidiary of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. entered the canned salmon business (sic). Mr. Buschmann was appointed general superintendent and continued in that position for 32 years until his retirement late last fall.