Trap fishing started in Maine around 1850. Before that, lobster were mostly harvested by hand along the shores. As demand grew for the lobster in the New York and Boston markets, Smackmen were used to carry the lobsters from Maine to these ports. The term Smackmen was derived from the type of boat they used. A smack is a small sailing vessel with a tank inside that has holes cut to allow seawater to circulate.
The first lobster pound was founded in Vinalhaven in 1875. It was located in a deep tidal creek. The lobster pound made it easier to store lobster for longer periods of time.