Submitted by M.Lenz and Y.Rancourt, Collections Assistants
You don’t want to can a spoiled fish, and in the early days of canneries, that meant using a powerful nose to sniff out bad fish. Unfortunately, noses can be fooled, especially by previously frozen fish. That’s why, in 1975, the GR Torrymeter was invented. You could press it into a fish and a reading from 0-19 would appear to inform you of the freshness of the fish. The higher the number, the fresher the fish. This instrument was great for quality control in the BC Packers Imperial Plant where this artifact was used.
It measures the dielectric loss angle of the fish, which very basically means how well the signal carries through the fish flesh between the two diodes on the device. The more degraded the fish is, the lower the signal, and therefore, the lower the freshness rating.