Submitted by D’Arcy Schuster, Heritage Interpreter
Another exciting find in the donation from the William Branter collection of can labels, is a mint condition comic book featuring Sammy the Salmon, titled The Silver Treasure Hunt. Sammy the Salmon was created by Disney Studios for the Canadian Fishing Company in the 1940’s, when much of the Company’s canned product was being sent overseas during WWII.
The comics not only helped open up new markets by getting children interested in canned salmon (there are slogans on the bottom of each page trying to entice children to ask their parents for canned salmon, for example: “Tell mom to make more of those wonderful fish-cakes with delicious ‘PINK SEAL’ Salmon”) but they also helped keep the brand at the forefront of the consumers mind. The comic features a boy name Freddy who goes on a great adventure with Sammy and some of his friends, including Wally the Walrus and Pete the Panda, who want to outwit the one-eyed “Sneak” Seagull and rescue the treasure. Spoiler alert, they are successful and in the end Freddy becomes “a life time member of the grand order of the GOLD SEAL!”
The final pages of the comic include information on the fishing industry and describe how salmon is caught and canned. There are even a few recipes including ‘Salmon Fondue’ and ‘Scalloped Salmon’. It is very exciting to have our very own copy of a Sammy the Salmon comic here at the Cannery, especially one in such good condition.