In the late 19th century, the Chesapeake produced more oysters than any other region in the world. The oyster-packing industry was centered in Baltimore, and Roy E. Roberts was just one among scores of oyster packers in the city. To individualize their brands among such stiff competition, packers used distinctive names and imagery for their products to make them memorable to the consumer. Although Robert would later market most of his oysters under the “Maryland Beauty” brand, he briefly used the “Wild Duck” brand- making it among the rarest, most valuable, and most collectible oyster cans in the world.
R.E. Roberts, Inc., “Wild Duck Brand Raw Oysters,” R.E. Roberts, Inc., c. 1920. Lithograph on tinplate, 18.4 x 17.1 cm. Museum purchase, 2002.40.69. Digital image by David W. Harp © Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.