New Bedford – The 19th Century American Whaling Capital

Last week we mentioned that Nantucket didn’t dominate the market for the entire era of American Whaling. In fact, during the “Golden Age” of American Whaling, the port city of New Bedford got the place of prominence in money making and records. And there was a reason for it’s nickname “whaling capital of the world.”

Today, we’ll learn a little more about this town and its influence┬áin the whaling world. Continue reading

The Earliest American Whaling

The earliest American whaling on the east coast. Let’s be sure to clarify the location!

This month Gazette665’s Wednesday blog posts will continue to explore whaling in 19th Century maritime, and we’ll be tracing some of the developments and communities surrounding the industry. To start understanding the complex picture, today we’ll journey back to the foundations of American whaling – back to the 1600 and 1700’s and delve into the early attempts which laid the ground work for the late 18th and early 19th Century’s activities. Continue reading

Whaling: Oil & “Bone” – Making A Profit

In the last few weeks, I’ve vaguely referred to whale oil and the profits made through a successful 19th Century whaling voyage. Now it’s time to get a little more specific. After-all, a two year voyage, all that hard work of whale hunting, and the trip home should have been worth something.

It was. In fact, the industry was so profitable that the hunting continued endlessly, in an attempt to supply the market with the raw materials.

Today, we’re going to talk a little about the numbers and monetary value of the whaling industry. It’s not an attempt to justify over-hunting or glorify the pain and suffering; rather, it’s an attempt to understand why this was acceptable in the past. Continue reading