Drying skins/barreling, Fur Seal Processing Plant

Recorded on October 2, 2003

Transcript

Once the skins have brined in the tank long enough, we lower the level of the brine water and a couple guys would go in with their hip boots on and start throwing skins out.

Then they would go through this ringer once again to ring all the excess moisture out of them, and then they would proceed on to a drying rack.

You notice the shape of it, to make sure the skin was draining as it sat here.

The skins were all segregated from each kill, and they were tagged so you knew exactly what rookeries these animals, these skins came from.

After so many days on the drying rack, they would proceed over to the barreling shop, and borax powder was put down onto the flesh side of the skin, then rolled up and packed into a barrel, and stomped into the barrel until it was packed.

The heavier the stomper, the guy packing, the more skins he could put in, thus more weight.

On average, each barrel weighed 450 pounds when full.

And then they're stenciled for shipment, and this is the last process before the leave the building.

They used stencils for Japan, or for Canada, and we'd have a brush, we'd just brush right across here and that's where the barrel went.