Skip to content Skip to Menu KAL Accessibility Statement

The Fulton Fish Market: A History

Write a review
| Ask a question
by Jonathan H. Rees
Regular price $30.00

Shipping calculated at checkout

This item is in stock and will ship promptly.

For nearly 200 years, the Fulton fish market on the East River in Manhattan was one of the most important food distribution centers in New York City. This history of the market from 1822 to 2005 (when it moved to the Bronx), offers a portrait of the city in vivid microcosm.

Jonathan H. Rees, a professor of history whose previous books have explored the history of that fish market staple, ice, has an eye for context-revealing detail that even jaded New Yorkers will find impressive. He describes fish cars, floating tanks into which boats dumped their catch so that they could quickly return to sea, the verbal codes that dealers used to convey prices without letting their competitors know, and details collusion between wholesalers that infuriated the fisherfolk.

The city's voracious appetite for seafood began changing marine ecosystems even before the market was founded. Not only did the oysters for which New York harbor was famous begin to decline, but so did populations of once popular creatures such as terrapin, as well as halibut, shad, and mackerel.

A cast of colorful characters runs through the book, from future New York governor Al Smith, who worked there in his youth, to Eugene A. Blackford, who started at the market as an office boy, became a state commissioner of fisheries, and who lent his name to the scientific term for red snapper, lutantis blackfordi.

Happily, Rees documents his work with endnotes and a bibliography.

Hardcover. Black-and-white illustrations and photographs.

Shopping Cart