“The Label Unwrapped: The History of Canned Salmon Labels” is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site’s current feature exhibit, which recently opened in May 2019. In this blog series Shannon King, Manager of Audience Engagement, shares some insight into the new exhibit and the colourful stories behind the labels.
Canned fish from Canada was an extremely important food for Allied troops and civilians during the First and Second World Wars. Canned fish provided a high protein food that was easily transported and stored.
Many canned salmon labels used during these times were designed to show support for the war effort by including patriotic themes and images of warships protecting the coast.
I particularly like the Searchlight Brand salmon label that shows a salmon leaping up over top of a fleet of warships that have their bright yellow searchlights shining into the night sky. The salmon is highlighted like a Hollywood star.