Keeping an Industry Afloat – Thomas Goulding’s Cork Mill

Plastic floats have taken over the market since the 1950s, but before then fishing floats were almost exclusively made of cork or wood. The wooden ones were known as “cedar corks” and the only commercial supplier of them on the West Coast was Thomas Goulding who produced them in his Cork Mill at the Acme Cannery on Sea Island. The Acme Cannery was built in 1899, part of the boom in cannery construction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to take advantage of the seemingly unlimited supply of salmon available in the Fraser River. In 1902 it was absorbed into the British Columbia Packers amalgamation. In 1918 it closed, but the buildings, net racks and moorage were maintained for the community of fishermen, mostly Japanese, who lived around it. In a small building on the west side of the cannery Mr. Goulding set up the cork mill. The building and all the equipment for the mill, the saws, the lathes, the reamer, the stringer and the tar vat were all hand-built by him with help from his Japanese Neighbours. Photos, maps, more, >>click to read<< 13:38

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