Artifact Archive

Salmon Leather


August 27, 2020

Clausen Memorial Museum

Salmon Leather

In the 1940s Pacific American Fisheries (PAF) was the world's largest Pacific salmon processor and sought to use fish by-product. Galen Biery--a photographer and mechanic--became involved in PAF's research department. His work led to patenting a machine that removed fish scales from skin. Eventually, his expertise led to a foreman position at the PAF cannery in Petersburg.

Fish skin has been used by indigenous peoples for clothing, bags and footwear. During the Art Deco period, salmon leather was popular for handbags, cigarette boxes and furniture. As few harsh chemicals are...

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