Cape Cod Cold Storage filleting department.
Filleted frozen fish saved money for dealers (stocks lasted much longer, weighed far less, and took up a lot less space) and seemed to answer convenience cooks’ dreams. Filleting was such an important part of the Atlantic Coast Fisheries business that it was given its own building in the West End freezer complex in the 1940s — perhaps around the time the company was rolling out its Nordic™ brand filleted cod and haddock.¹ “My father told me that women filleted the fish and put them on a conveyor belt that took an hour to travel through the freezer room at 0 degrees and then were boxed for shipment,” Gerard Irmer recalled in 2018. Mel Joseph even remembered the names of some of the women who ran the butterfly filleting machines, whom he identified as “Amela” Burr, Mary Jason, and Flo Souza. Like the rest of the plant, the filleting department was demolished in the winter of 1974-1975.
In this panoramic view from the town’s 1962 annual report, the filleting department can be seen at the far right, abutting the freezer. It comes from the Annual Town Report Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5682.
¶ Last updated on 1 December 2018.
125 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 125 Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Photo, 1962, from the Town of Provincetown annual report on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5682.
¹ “News of Food: New Type of Fish Fillets Is Developed; Each One Is of Same Size and Thickness,” by Jane Nickerson, The New York Times, 26 June 1947.