Vatcher - Choice Codfish

L.W. VATCHER - CHOICE CODFISH

REPRODUCTION OF VATCHER’S ORIGINAL BARRELHEAD LABEL. CANADIAN FISH BEING PRIZED, THE MAPLE LEAF WAS DOMINANT IN THEIR LOGO. PRODUCT WAS SHIPPED AROUND THE WORLD FROM THE HALIFAX WATERFRONT.

L.W. VATCHER WAS ENGAGED IN THE FISHERIES AND FISH EXPORTING IN THE EARLY 1900’S IN NOVA SCOTIA. THE COMPANY WAS ACQUIRED BY THE MUCH LARGER A.M. SMITH & COMPANY IN 1936 AND OPERATED AS A SEPARATE BRAND UNDER A.M. SMITH FOR SOME TIME.

THE SMITH’S WERE THE LARGEST EXPORTERS OF DRY AND SALTED FISH PRODUCTS IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES, AND WERE THE LARGEST IMPORTERS OF SALT IN EASTERN CANADA, BRINGING IN CARGO LOTS FROM WORLD PRODUCTION CENTERS.

BY 1970, A.M. SMITH & CO. WAS ALMOST WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON NEWFOUNDLAND FOR SUPPLIES OF SALTED COD. WHEN THE FEDERAL SALT FISH ACT (BILL C175) WAS PASSED, RESULTING IN THE CREATION OF A STATE×OWNED COMPANY WITH A MONOPOLY OVER ALL PHASES OF THE CURED FISH BUSINESS, A.M. SMITH & CO BECAME REDUNDANT.

THE GOVERNMENT REFUSED TO COMPENSATE REDUNDANT FIRMS, AND THUS A.M. SMITH AND COMPANY LIMITED WERE OBLIGED TO DISCONTINUE THEIR WATERFRONT BUSINESS, AND THEIR PROPERTY WAS SOLD ON NOVEMBER 15, 1973. FLETCHER S. SMITH DIED IN 1987.

THE AREA FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY A.M. SMITH AND COMPANY IS NOW PART OF THE MARITIME MUSEUM OF THE ATLANTIC ON LOWER WATER STREET, HALIFAX, NS.

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