Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 20 > Page 2 - Lobster Factories around Cape Breton

Page 2 - Lobster Factories around Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1 (400 reads)

Oh, it was wonderful for that. Lime. Peo? ple would be taking them all for plowing season. It was mostly for oats they wanted them. Oh my, you talk about a crop of oats. Annie Margaret: We often think of when we were school kids, we'd hurry back from dinner and down to the factory. They used to throw them out in one big pile, the bodies. And we kids used to pick the big bodies and take them down to a hill and eat that till we'd hear the bell at one o'clock • the school bell. And flies around. And we often thought about it since. When would kids today do the like of that? There would be meat in the bodies. And the bodies were big then. The lobsters weren't separated like they are today • they were all mixed • the little and the big ones. But we made for the big ones. There was more meat in the big ones. Of course today it's the smaller lobsters we get and there isn't that much in the body. But then they were big and all the pupils used to make for the pile down at the factory. (After you've taken the lobsters apart and thrown the claws in one box and the tails in another, and the bodies out to the scholars and the farmers • what happened next?) D. J.: They they'd take the box of claws to a fellow there called the cracker. Everyone in the factory had their job. That fellow, the cracker, he had a block on a counter and struck that claw with a cleaver, to get the meat from the claw. Then there was a sheller, and he was there to take the meat out of the claw shell. Then the other part that you break from the claw • what we call the little arms • went to the pickers. They'd break a piece off and pick out the meat and put it in a bowl. Then they'd break another piece off and do the same. They picked with pick-r ers • that was the tool. (Gussy Carmichael of Judique told us that picking the arms was about the lowest job you could do in the factory. We found that in many factor? ies children would often do this work. But the cracker, Gussy said, "When you got that job, you were getting up in socie? ty.") Annie Margaret: They used to call the meat in those little arms "fine meat." D. J.: Then farther down the line, there were those who were taking the meat out of the shell of the tails. First they broke off the (fan-like) part at the end. Then they'd put a fork in and pull the tail out. And there'd be another man with the job of splitting the tail down the back and put? ting it into a tub of water. Then it all went into the packing room. Annie Margaret: They were women's jobs in the packing room. That's where they used to pack the lobsters in the cans. There'd be two sinks at the packing table, and we'd have to wash all the claw meat and all the tail meat. And we'd have to take this black vein out, the vein that is in the tail. We used to take little shifts, little spells at the different jobs. And for the fine meat they had a strainer, and would run water on that • and the water would go down the chute to the pond and the eels would come in the drain chute and get all the little bits that went out through the strainer. One woman at the packing table had the job of filling the can. She'd have to start with the tails, put the tails first around inside the can. And the fine meat was go? ing in the centre. And the claws were go? ing on top. And the claws weren't thrown in at all. You'd have to fancy thera up. Put a claw facing this way ahd the next claw was facing that way and so on until the top was filled. Then it had to be CAPE BRETON'S MUSIC FESTIVAL AMTKOIilMI? Sam Moon . Shore Folk . Bob Shulman . Lee Cremo . Dennis & Lori Cox Charlie MacKinnon . Jarvis Benoit . Ron MacEachern . Kenzie MacNeil Road . Marcel Doucet . Buddy and the Boys . the Minglewood Band This Year's "Tarbot Festival" Is August 19,1978, in Tarbot, Cape Breton
Cape Breton's Magazine
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