Submitted by D’Arcy Schuster, Heritage Interpreter
There are a few older labels made by the Canadian Fishing Company found in the recently donated collection of labels from the family of William Branter.
One of particular interest is the Canadian Seal Brand. This label appears to have been from the period before Canfisco settled upon the iconic Gold Seal label and name that we see today, and also features several elements that were typical of early can labels. When salmon canning started in British Columbia in the late 1800’s the labels often used a lot of red in the designs. Not only was red associated with Canada, but it also evoked the desired red colour of the salmon in the can. There was also a practical reason though, too, as the red colour could best hide the appearance of any rust from the tin can that might bleed through the paper. Customers were also accustomed to the red labels, as it was used on the earliest cans shipped from California, and would often ignore salmon products that did not have a red label.
While this label is not that old, it still contains some of the themes that were common to these early salmon can labels.