1987.17.604 | Connors Brothers Sardine Factory at Blacks Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick
Connors Brothers Sardine Factory at Blacks Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick
H. W. Beecher Smith
About 1930, 20th century
12.5 x 17.8 cm
William Francis Ganong Collection
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
Connors Brothers Limited began in the fish canning industry at Blacks Harbour, NB, in 1885. Lewis and Patrick Connors first canned clams, scallops and later sardines, along with local fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Located on the banks of one of the greatest fishing grounds in the world, Connors Brothers expanded rapidly, importing expertise and workers from around the globe. Over the years, the company began to control life in the community by building workers' housing, schools and stores, and providing employment.
Unlike some other industries, Connors Brothers weathered the Depression of the 1930s quite well. Even though the price of a can of sardines fell to five cents a can at the retail level, the market remained strong, allowing the members of the Blacks Harbour community to retain their jobs. Others in the fishery, especially those dependent upon the export market, were not as fortunate since markets for their fish products disappeared.
Sardines, tiny ocean fish related to herring, are netted in large numbers and preserved in cans, packed tightly in oil.
Black's Harbour is located on the Bay of Fundy, 75 kilometres west of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Management conflicts led to the incorporation of a new company in 1923, but it retained the same name, Connors Bros. Limited.
In 1831, the Connors' ancestor Timothy O'Connor moved to Canada from County Clair, Ireland, with his family.