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Weighing and Patching

Three female workers are working at a table beside a machine where cans are weighed on a circular mechanism.

Women correcting the amount of salmon in cans that have been ejected by the weighing machine. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives courtesy of the Canadian Fishing Company CFC 3-21-15

Once packed, the cans were weighed to ensure that they were properly filled. Initially each can was weighed using a hand scale. Underweight cans were sent to the patching tables where workers would top them up, or patch them, with smaller pieces of salmon. Overweight tins were also corrected to avoid faulty sealing or exploding during the cooking process.

By the 1920s a mechanical weighing machine had replaced the hand scales. It was faster and more consistent than the manual method. The machine would detect underweight cans and eject them to the patching area. Once patched, the cans were put on a conveyor and returned to the main line.

Women weighing and correcting the weight of canned salmon.

Patching the cans was a job done almost exclusively by women. Image I-26243 courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives