I have often wondered why crab pots are called "pots." (See our post of two days ago for more information about crab pots.) According to William Warner in his book, Beautiful Swimmers, very early devices for catching English shore crabs were willow and hazel stick baskets with a single funnel that looked much like a flower pot.
The modern crab pot used in America was invented in the 1930s in Virginia. It does not look like a pot at all, but still retains that name. Modern crab pots are light and airy, necessary attributes to attract and catch blue crabs that live in Pamlico Sound and the Chesapeake Bay.
According to North Carolina State University, "Currently, crab pots...are used in harvesting approximately 95% of total hard blue crabs in North Carolina. The huge jump from 30% crab pots used in the 1950s show that crab pots are more efficient and effective, and thus preferred method for the commercial fishery."
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.