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Pacific Egg Company

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Pacific Egg Company

One business that came to life during the Gold Rush was the Pacific Egg Company. They sold eggs from the common murre seabird that lived on the Farallon Islands, 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco. These large eggs tasted like chicken eggs, and were gathered from thousands of nests found on the rocky islands. Special egg shirts were designed with many little pockets in them. This allowed the collectors to safely carry the eggs back to San Francisco. Once there, they sold the eggs for a price that today equals $4.50 per egg!

From 1851 to the 1880's, the Pacific Egg Company sold about 14 million murre eggs. They took so many eggs that the seabird population almost disappeared from the islands! That's because with all the eggs taken away, there weren't enough eggs left to hatch into new baby birds.