Crab picking is detailed work and has historically been done by women, both Black and white women from local communities, and since the 1980s, Latina jaiberas working seasonally on H-2B visas. Once located in Crisfield, the town that called itself the Seafood Capital, the Maryland Crab Meat Company was one of the state’s largest packing houses. All the essential elements of the plant are housed in this exhibition—and are interpreted in the words of the women who worked there.
The Maryland Crab Meat Company exhibition is located within the Small Boad Shed building. Three Smith Island crabbing skiffs appear as if tied to the dock at Crisfield’s Maryland Crabmeat Company, once one of the largest seafood packing houses in the town that called itself the Seafood Capital. From the lockers where women left their belongings to the table where they picked crabmeat into graded containers, the essential contents of a crabmeat plant are all here. The equipment, from a Quik Pik machine that sought to replace the workers to the big cooker – are interpreted in the words of these workers from the museum’s oral history collection.
Learn about the history of the building where the Maryland Crab Meat Company exhibition is located here.