Toward an oral history of Cape Ann : Merchant, Robert

  • Toward an oral history of Cape Ann : Merchant, Robert
  • Merchant, Robert, Interviewee
  • Ray, Martin, Interviewer
  • 6 sound files, digital, MPEG3 file
  • The following names and terms were used in this interview: Clarence Birdseye, Frank C. Pearce Co., William T. Gamage,Kellogg Birdseye, General Foods Co., Goldman.Sachs Co.,General Seafoods Co., Redfish, Larry Alphin,Wetmore Hodges, Sylvanus Smith Co., frozen round,filleted, Jack McLaughlin, Reed & Gamage Co.,Davis Brothers Co., D.B. Smith & Co., Ivar Carlson,Redfish . ocean perch, Thomas Carroll, John Wheeler,Maritime Provinces, Gaspe.cured, pickle.cured,slacked.up cured fish, Spoiled by moisture, green codfish,George H. Perkins Co., Lighters, Tom Reed,Parker Fisheries, William Moore & Co., Lignum vitae wood,Galvanizing, L.D. Lothrop & Sons . foghorns, John Chisholm & Sons . fleet and chandlery, Boston.Gloucester Steamship Co., Towboats . the Priscilla, the Emeleth, the Jo Call, Jersey Island firms . Quebec and Carracut, N.B., Gloucester Cold Storage Co., Cunningham & Thompson Co., Capt. Billy Thomas, Catches, Checkers,Slatted back, Market fishing, Shack trip,Get a baiting, Capelin, St. Pierre and Micquelon,Split and salt, Lee rail under, Highliner,Dory handlining, tub of trawl, Double dory fishinggot stick, handlining, trawling,making a set under sail, lighten a dory, fish under a run,ganging line, Gurdy, Redjacks,oilskins, D.O. Frost Co., Nippers,ripping, splitting, leg o mutton sails, dory battens, linseed oil, Southwester,slack.salted fish, jumbo boom, make a berth,thick o fog, in the tides, fo'c's'lelatitude sight, longitude sight, sailing by the compass,sailing by the wind, dead reckoning, Capt. John MacInnis,Wheel box, Breeze o.wind, Plug strapauxiliary engines, boom footrope, Capt. Clayton Morrissey, Capt. Wallace Parsons, Sch. Gorton, Bay of Fundycabin, lay out a course, sharesbeam trawler, Capt. George Peeples, shift the topsail sheet,log line, taffrail log, torpedo log, Dehyde consortium, Empire Fish Co., Progressive Fish Co.,North Atlantic Fish Co., Frank Cefalo, Benny Curcuru,Lipman Marine, Harbor International, Inc. , Everett Jodrey,Ben Smith, Booth Fisheries, Urban renewal,Cunningham & Thompson, F
  • Linda Brayton and David Masters, principal oral historians; Interviewer(s):Martin Ray (5/10/1978).
  • TRACKS:Cd78 1. Clarence Birdseye's experiments in freezing fish --2. General Foods merchandises Birdseye process, Mr. Merchant moves from General Seafoods plant, Boston, to plant manager in Gloucester 1946 -1954 --3. Birdseye's experiments with dehydrating vegetables --4. Birdseye's original freezing idea, Labrador --5. Birdseye purchases Frank C. Pearce Co. as processing outlet of fish not utilized for freezing, Mr. Merchant's connection there --6. Mr. Merchant's experiences with Cunningham & Thompson Co., Gorton.Pew, Frank C. Pearce, Boston & Maine R.R. --7. Birdseye's association with William T. Gamage --8. Processing and merchandising of salt and fresh fish, Birdseye's methods --9. Birdseye's practice of paying tradesmen and rent in stock, its eventual worth upon sale to General Foods --10. Transition from salt curing --11. Incorporation of Gorton.Pew Fisheries, its sizable fleet, diminished competition on waterfront --12. Discovery of redfish potential for frozen fish market --13. Entrance of Gorton Pew into frozen fish business --14. Changes in methods of preserving fish --15. Freezing process curtails supply of fish from the Maritime Provinces for the salt fish industry --16. Mr. Merchant's association with the Cunningham & Thompson Co. 1912.18, his experiences in the Maritime Provinces --17. Salt fish curing methods and markets --18. Salt fish shipments to the Caribbean --19. Early experiences on Gloucester waterfront, 1907-1909 --20. Gloucester towboats --21. Freight shipments by rail and steamship --22. City government and the waterfront --23. The Gloucester fleet and its supporting trades Cd79 1. Early fishing experiences to Grand Banks, fishing seasons, merchandising, consumer preferences --2. Bringing trip home from Banks --3. Dory fishing, Portuguese fleet handlining, double dory fishing trawling --4. Fisherman's clothing --5. Setting and hauling the trawl --6. Daily summer routine on the Banks, provisions on a dory, dressing the fish, maintenance of gear and vessel --7. Little time for hobbies and
  • Originally issued on sound cassettes and transferred to compact discs.
  • Originally issued on sound cassettes and transferred to compact discs.
  • 05-10-1978
  • [Gloucester, Mass] : Sawyer Free Library


Merchant, Robert, Interviewee and Ray, Martin, Interviewer, “Toward an oral history of Cape Ann : Merchant, Robert,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed June 21, 2021,


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