This book of postcards treats fish as food for mankind – I like the sentence in the 1911 Britannica: ‘From time immemorial fish have been captured by various forms of spears, nets, hooks and more elaborate apparatus, and a historical description of the methods and appliances that have been used would comprise a considerable portion of a treatise on the history of man.’

The images that follow show some of the capturings and also illustrate the acts of handling and selling to the general public the marine creatures most of us enjoy eating. We may hear no longer the cries of fishwives and rarely see hawkers and carts offering the shining, slippery bodies in our streets, but only a minority of eaters maintain diets that exclude the lovely flesh that for long ages has fed us and pleased us.

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