Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eastport, Maine - Sardine Canning & Child Labor

A blog reader recently sent me a link pertaining to the history of the sardine canning industry at Eastport, Maine. Eastport was once a bustling port and many New Brunswick roots connect via Maine towns such as Eastport, Lubec and Calais. In addition, Eastport was always a "rival" town for the sardine industry when compared to my home town of Blacks Harbour, which is now the only sardine cannery in North America (for how much longer, I am not sure). But the website offers more than a glimpse on the town's bygone industry, it always shines some light on a society norm for the earlier part of the last century: child labor. Joe Manning, the creator of the website, has used the photography collection of Lewis Hine (1874-1940), a famed photography from Maine, to help tell the story of the children in Hine's photos. Mr. Manning takes on the task to learn more on those children and brings back an intriguing stories and wonderful piece of history. Mr. Manning's work not only gives us insight into the history of child labor in our own community but also help provide snippets of family history for the descendants of those subjects that were in front of Mr. Hine's lens all those years ago. I particularly enjoyed the story on Minnie Thomas. Be sure to take a stroll over to

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