On this day in 1906, Slade Gorton and Company of Gloucester stunned the fishing industry by announcing that it would merge with three other local fishing companies. With a fleet of 55 vessels, mostly sleek and speedy schooners, the new business occupied 15 wharves and employed thousands of workers in Gloucester. Nearly bankrupted when the Italian government failed to pay for a million dollar shipment of salt cod in 1923, Gorton's rebounded by entering the growing market for frozen fish. Today it is one of the largest seafood suppliers in the world. Although the company maintains its ties to Gloucester, none of the fish that it sells is now landed or processed in the historic fishing port.