A Day in the Canneries

A Day in the Canneries (HM11A1)

Location: Monterey, CA 93940 Monterey County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 37.029', W 121° 54.086'

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Historic Cannery Row

A chorus of cannery whistles, each with its own unique call, summoned the Cannery Row workforce. Men and women in rubber boots and oilcloth aprons showed up to clean, cut, pack, cook and can sardines that were a major part of Monterey's economy for more than three decades.

The work was dirty and hard, cold and wet, and the smell was terrible - but it was the smell of prosperity. The stench of sardines, reduced to fertilizer, fish meal and chicken feed, permeated the Row.

At least a half-dozen languages could be heard over the din of canning machinery. The men operated and maintained the equipment and warehoused and shipped the finished product. The women worked the packing lines filling Cannery Row's trademark one-pound oval cans with sardines and salmon. Until the formation of the Cannery Workers Union in 1936, wages averaged 25 cents per hour.

At the peak of the 1941-42 season, the canneries packed 250,287 tons of fish. However, the industry's capacity to harvest soon outdistanced the sardines' ability to reproduce, and the fishery crashed. When asked at the end of the 1947-48 season where all the sardines had gone, Ed Ricketts replied, "They're in cans."
HM NumberHM11A1
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 6:23am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 598235 N 4052964
Decimal Degrees36.61715000, -121.90143333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 37.029', W 121° 54.086'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 37' 1.74" N, 121° 54' 5.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408, 831
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-50 Irving Ave, Monterey CA 93940, US
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