The incipiency of the menhaden oil business
by E. L. Barker [From a letter to Prof S.F. Baird.]

I passed my youth in daily contact with those who constituted more than one-half of all the "menhaden fishers" of that day.

My grandfather was the originator of the net then and now in use, and was the first to discover, to "try out," to market and to give value to this most valuable product. I have made from this fish, selected and properlyy cooked as the "staff " of the meal, more enjoyable breakfasts while yet a boy than ever since from "A1" mackerel. I have seen my father and nine others realize $440 cash for a few hours' work in seining, and this at a single catch. This was years before the use of steam in the business. I sincerely wish it were in my power to throw a little light on any recent changes, real or alleged, in their habits, in their migrations, as well as upon their relations to what are known as edible fish.

Washington DC December 28, 1882.