Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
A Day in the Canneries
Historic Cannery Row
A chorus of cannery whistles, each with its own unique call, summoned the Cannery Row workforce. Men and women in rubber boots and oilcloth aprons showed up to clean, cut, pack, cook and can sardines that were a major part of Monterey’s economy for more than three decades.
The work was dirty and hard, cold and wet, and the smell was terrible – but it was the smell of prosperity. The stench of sardines, reduced to fertilizer, fish meal and chicken feed, permeated the Row.
At least a half-dozen languages could be heard over the din of canning machinery. The men operated and maintained the equipment and warehoused and shipped the finished product. The women worked the packing lines filling Cannery Row’s trademark one-pound oval cans with sardines and salmon. Until the formation of the Cannery Workers Union in 1936, wages averaged 25 cents per hour.
At the peak of the 1941-42 season, the canneries packed 250,287 tons of fish. However, the industry’s capacity to harvest soon outdistanced the sardines’ ability to reproduce, and the fishery crashed. When asked at the end of the 1947-48 season where all the
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
Location. 36° 37.029′ N, 121° 54.086′ W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from Bruce Ariss Way. This marker, with several others, is located on Bruce Ariss Way, a walking path/stairway, between Cannery Row and the Monterey Recreation Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Monterey CA 93940, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Spanish Community (here, next to this marker); The Real “Docs” (here, next to this marker); One Man, Two Worlds (a few steps from this marker); The Japanese Community (a few steps from this marker); The Filipino Community (a few steps from this marker); Ed Ricketts’s Backyard (within shouting distance of this marker); John Steinbeck (within shouting distance of this marker); Science (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
Also see . . . Looking Back, The canneries - Cannery Row, Monterey California. Experience Cannery Row website homepage (Submitted on May 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 570 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.