Oyster Tin, Pride of the Chesapeake Brand

Description
This gallon tin once contained fresh oyster meats packed by the J. D. Groves & Co., located at 117 S. Calvert St. and 116 Cheapside, in Baltimore, Maryland. J. D. Groves also packed fish, fruits, and produce at this address, and was a delegate at the first annual meeting of the Oyster Growers and Dealers Association of North America, held in Baltimore May 18-19, 1909.
In 1906 the U.S. Congress passed several pure food laws in response to outbreaks of typhoid fever and gastrointestinal ailments linked to poor sanitation. Several new regulations were imposed on the oyster industry after contaminated oysters were blamed for serious illnesses. The laws required inspections of oyster beds and packing houses, as well as the identification of shellfish sources and standardized labeling.
This tin probably dates to the period 1920-30, when colorful lithographed tins became popular. The distinctive orange tin features a porthole design with a sailing schooner inside. Like many Baltimore oyster packers, the J. D. Groves Company included a message to consumers concerning the sanitary conditions under which the oysters were packed. The reverse of the can reads:
“WE GUARANTEE THIS CAN TO CONTAIN STRICTLY FRESH SHUCKED OYSTERS / FREE FROM PRESERVATIVES OF ANY KIND / QUALITY AND QUANTITY GUARANTEED.”
Object Name
oyster can
date made
1920s
1920-1930
maker
J. D. Groves & Co.
Physical Description
ferrous tinned (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 7 1/4 in x 6 9/16 in; 18.415 cm x 16.66875 cm
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
ID Number
2007.0054.01
catalog number
2007.0054.01
accession number
2007.0054
subject
Advertising
Food
Health & Medicine
Industry & Manufacturing
Work
Fishing
event
The Emergence of Modern America
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Exhibition
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater
Additional Media

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