They were packed in the large jars of Berry earthenware called oules and sent off to the rest of France.
In 1822 a confectioner of Nantes called Joseph Colin who in the early years of the nineteenth century first saw the possibilities of applying to the local method of preserving sardines the tinning process then being developed by ex-colleague, Francois Appert.
The French canned sardine industry developed from 1824 when Joseph Colin opened the first fish cannery in the rue des Salorges at Nantes.
By 1836 he was producing 100,000 cans, and the industry spread along the coast of Brittany.
By 1880 50 million tons of sardines were packed annually on the west coast of France, three million of which were exported to Britain. There were a number of others in the region who were to copy Colin and set up their own establishments. A restaurateur in Nantes called Millet covered his restaurant which was situated in the center of the town, into a sardine canning factory,
For nearly fifty years sardine canning remained a French monopoly. It was not until the 1880s, that competition from Spanish and inferior grades of fish which were often not even true sardines, began to hit the French producers.
French 1st fish cannery by Joseph Colin