The “Collections Catch of the Week” blogs showcase artifacts from our collection that are not normally seen in our displays. This season’s blogs are submitted by our 2019 summer Collections Assistant Enid. Be sure to check back weekly to see what exciting finds she has chosen from the collections!
This week’s collections catch is from Veeder Root Incorporated, a company well-known for producing counting computing devices in the 1900s.
Manufactured specifically for the Vacuum Closing Machine “K-101545-1”, this counter was used to track the number of cans that passed through the sealer on the canning line. Every passing can would trigger the arm of the counter, incrementing the tally on its display. The design of the counter was patented at the time of its invention, and it prevented common mechanical and miscounting errors.
The artifact was donated by Harry Czepil, an engineer who had worked in several canneries along the West coast, one of which was the Imperial Cannery in Steveston. An expert with machines, he also helped assemble our very own Canning Line exhibit here at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. While this artifact is not currently on display, there is another attached to the vacuum sealer machine in the exhibit, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!