The Cannery Store carries an exclusive line of merchandise decorated with historic salmon can labels. These labels tell the story of their time. The salmon can labels are featured on mugs, coasters, cards, magnets, and bookmarks, all available in the Cannery Store.
Trademarks and Salmon Art: A Brand New Perspective, A Collective Study on British Columbian Salmon Can Labels, ca. 1890-1950 ($18.99 + GST) provides a close examination of the historical context of salmon can labels.
“As the content of one can of salmon was basically the same as another, the brand name and label design were often all that swayed the shopper to maker her selection. Therefore, it was important that label imagery be able to engage consumers and encourage brand loyalty. Label design facilitated a change in eating habits by using images that suggested the traditional food contents, that were preserved by modern technology, were both safe and of high quality” (Trademarks and Salmon Art: A Brand New Perspective, 31).
“Three important themes identified in the salmon can label collection of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society would have strongly appealed to the consumer of the time; these themes include Canadian imagery, the British Empire, and the war effort” (Trademarks and Salmon Art: A Brand New Perspective, 33)
Here’s some information about the meanings behind the labels.
Royal Navy searchlights help protect a convoy from enemy bombers on this World War II label. Convoys shipped war supplies and food, including canned salmon, to Britain.
Allied solidarity was a popular theme on World War I salmon can labels.
This 1930s label targeted both men and women. It appealed to the successful fisherman in him, and the discerning shopper in her.
Visit the Cannery to learn more!