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Oysters Shuckers at Work Part 2
Workers shucking and packing oysters for the Varn & Platt Canning Company,  Bluffton, South Carolina, 1913, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Workers shucking and packing oysters for the Varn & Platt Canning Company,  Bluffton, South Carolina, 1913, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

In 1913 seven members of the Sherrica family (father, mother, four girls, and one boy) worked shucking and packing oysters for the Varn & Platt Canning Company located in Bluffton, South Carolina. A 10 year member of the family has been shucking oysters for 3 years producing 6 pots full a day. The family migrated from Pennsylvania where they worked as coalminers for lower wages than they could earn shucking and packing oysters in low country South Carolina.

We've been looking at the culinary traditions of the Lenten season which about now is at the halfway point. Our family practices the tradition of praying before eating. As long as I can remember, one of the most common refrains in a prayer of thanksgiving for a meal is, "Lord we thank you and pray for the hands that have prepared this food for the nourishment of our bodies." The image above is a reminder to pray for the many hands that help produce the food for the nourishment of our bodies. The image is also a reminder to the presidential appointee named to carry out the duties of The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Labor to do their work diligently.  The image shows minors working alongside adults. I have recently heard of reports of employers coercing immigrant children into working full-time in the restaurant industry.

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Oyster Shuckers at Work Part 1

Oyster Shuckers at Work Part 1