Interview with net maker Billy Burbank

Date: July 11, 1980

Source: S1576 , T80-82

Type: Sound

Download: MP3


  • One reel to reel. In the interview, longtime net maker and Fernandina resident Billy Burbank III discusses the history and practices of the net making trade. The interview begins with Burbank describing how his grandfather began the family business, Burbank Trawlmakers Inc., in 1915. Since then, Burbank nets had been used by people in the US from North Carolina down to Florida and up the Gulf Coast through the Texas Panhandle area. In addition, their nets were exported to Central and South America as well as Africa. At the time of the interview, Burbank Trawlmakers was the largest producer of fishing nets in the United States. Stories about the family business include nets made for President Nixon and a fishing boat that accidentally caught a submarine in its trawl nets. In addition, Burbank also describes the different net types and uses – including flat nets, four seam balloon nets, two seam balloon nets, and a modification that Billy Burbank III developed called the Mongoose, which is actually two nets in one. He also describes the net making process, and the various tools and skills involved.

Order by Mail

State Archives of Florida
500 S. Bronough St.
MS #9 D
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

(Please do not send cash in the mail.)

Order by Email
Please call with credit card numbers.

Order by Phone

Archives Photographic and Film Unit

Audio Duplication

Cassette to CD $10.00 per cassette
CD to CD $10.00 per disc
DAT to CD $25.00 per tape
Reel-to-Reel Transfer to CD $25.00 per tape