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Washing and Cooling

Cannery dock with rows of trays full of canned salmon.

Racks of cans from the retorts sit cooling off on the docks at the Nootka Cannery. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2001.009.216B

After exiting the retorts, cans were washed in a lye bath to clean off any excess grease and rinsed before being sent to a storage area for cooling for 24 hours.

In later years the steaming hot cans from the retort were submerged in a cold water bath in a mechanized washing machine and then sent on for testing and packaging.

Interior view of a cannery with can loft and machinery visible.

Interior of Ewen & Co. Salmon Cannery, near New Westminster, BC, 1887. Image VIEW1783 courtesy of the McCord Museum.