Provincetown History Snippet: Lobster
The lobster industry in North America started here, and Provincetown was the first lobster center of New England. In 1740, large Provincetown lobsters were selling in Boston for three half-pence a piece! But the industry really got going around 1800 when techniques were perfected and people everywhere had developed a taste for the crustaceans. Provincetown retained a monopoly on the Boston and New Work markets for over a century.
The technique for catching lobsters was available to everyone: at low tide they were littered about on the beaches and one had only to avoid their claws to bring in a good haul. Anything they didn’t sell, or eat, went to the pigs, and according to Howard Mitcham, Ptown hams had a delightful lobster tang about them!