Written by Jen Finn
Before technology became a major asset to the shrimp processing industry in 1949, all shrimp peeling, washing, deveining and grading was done manually. In many cases, it was a long day of tedious and exhausting work for entire families. While men were dragging nets along the Gulf waters for fresh catch, women and children were in canning factories peeling shrimp by hand.
All that began to change after 17-year-old J.M. Lapeyre accepted a challenge in 1943 from his father, who owned a shrimp plant in Louisiana, to design an automated shrimp peeler. Lapeyre's imagination and analytical mind set the course when one day he stepped on a shrimp with his rubber boot and noticed the meat had ejected cleanly out of its shell.
So began the process to create an automated shrimp-peeler machine that would eventually revolutionize the industry.
"I got my original idea, believe it or not, in church," Lapeyre said in a 1982 television interview. "When I was supposed to be praying, I was thinking about how to get the shrimp out of the shell because my father had said that, 'if you want to make a lot of money, invent a shrimp-peeling machine,' and I thought, 'why not squeeze them out of the shell?' And so when I got down to the plant the next time, I began to step just to the side of the shrimp with my rubber boots to see if I could not in fact squeeze the shell from the meat. And ... it worked."
Research and innovation took Lapeyre to his mother's washing machine, which operated with rubber rollers. After adding running water and a mechanical pressure feed to the machine, he hit the jackpot when he discovered his invention produced a "pinch and release" effect with no damage to the shrimp.
In 1949, Lapeyre founded Laitram Machinery Inc. in Harahan, La., to manufacture and sell the first automatic shrimp peeling machine, and in 1951, he patented the invention, which is the same design leased around the world today.
Read the full story at the Sun Herald>>
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is partnering with restaurants throughout the region for an Out of the Blue promotion of cape shark, also known as dogfish. Starting Friday, July 3 and running until Sunday, July 12, cape shark will be available at each participating restaurant during the 10-day event. Cape shark is abundant and well deserving of a wider market.
As a joint Gulf of Mexico states seafood marketing effort sails into the sunset, the program’s Marketing Director has left for a job in the private seafood sector. Joanne McNeely Zaritsky, the former Marketing Director of the Gulf State Marketing Coalition, has joined St. Petersburg, FL based domestic seafood processor Captain’s Fine Foods as its new business development director to promote its USA shrimp product line.