Factory Processor’s Boots


These non-slip, waterproof boots were worn by Thelma McFarland, a fish processor working aboard the Alaska Ocean factory trawler in the summer of 2007. Manufactured in the USA, these “Xtratuf” boots are made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber.

Processors work 12-hour shifts and, if the factory is busy, they may work an additional 3 hours, called a kicker shift. For most of this time, the workers are on their feet, standing at processing tables or conveyor belts, or walking from one station to another on grated walkways. These walkways, like the areas around the equipment where processors stand to work, are raised above the floor, allowing the water used in factory operations to run beneath the workers’ feet. Despite being elevated above any water flow, it is still essential for workers to wear non-slip, waterproof boots to keep their feet warm and dry.

These boots are identical to those worn by deck hands. Most of the specialized clothing worn by workers and crew aboard the Alaska Ocean is provided by the company. Boots, however, are purchased by individuals, and are available in the on-board store. Felt insoles for the boots are available in the laundry and are washed frequently by laundry staff.

Date Made: 2007Used: 2007

Used: McFarland, ThelmaMaker: Norcross Safety Products, L. L. C.

Place Made: United States: Rhode Island, CranstonAssociated Place: United States: AlaskaNorth PacificBering SeaUnited States: Pacific CoastUnited States: Washington

Subject: FishingRelated Event: Contemporary United States


See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Clothing & Accessories, Work, Industry & Manufacturing, Natural Resources, On the Water exhibit

Exhibition: On the Water

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication: http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

Related Publication: On the Water online exhibition

Credit Line: Alaska Ocean thru Jeff Hendricks

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2007.0178.17Catalog Number: 2007.0178.17Accession Number: 2007.0178

Object Name: boots

Physical Description: neoprene rubber (overall material)Measurements: overall: 15 1/4 in x 4 in x 11 1/4 in; 38.735 cm x 10.16 cm x 28.575 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-4759-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1330198

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