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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Twentieth-Century Whaling

New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park

 

—National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Twentieth-Century Whaling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 30, 2010
1. Twentieth-Century Whaling Marker
Inscription. Twentieth-Century Whaling-As New Bedford’s whaling industry declined in the 19th century, more than a dozen other nations began hunting whales using “modern” Norwegian methods, with fast, steam-powered vessels and heavy-gauge harpoon cannon. More whales were caught in just a few decades than had been captured during the previous 200 years. Concern for the survival of whales lead to an international ban on whaling in 1986.

Before the claw was introduced, whalemen who worked aboard large, 20th century factory ships had to go down into the bottom of the ship’s steep slipway and fasten a steel cable to the whale’s flukes. This was difficult and dangerous work, especially in a rough sea. But a claw, like the one pictured here, could be maneuvered mechanically with cables and winches, without anyone having to risk doing it by hand. Gjelstad Claw (displayed here)-Hauling-up appliance for whales, patented 1931. Manufactured in Norway, circa 1940s. Gift of the South Georgia Whaling Museum and the Royal Governor of the Falklands Islands, 1993. The harpoon-cannon displayed here was developed to fire massive exploding harpoons from the bow of fast, steam powered chaser-boats. This cannon likely began its career in Antarctica, and was last used for shore whaling from Coal Harbour, British Columbia (Canada), until that whaling station

Twentieth-Century Whaling Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 30, 2010
2. Twentieth-Century Whaling Marker
The Claw and the Cannon located in the park.
closed in 1967. Manufactured in Norway, 1936 model, Gift of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1886.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 41° 38.076′ N, 70° 55.392′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on Union Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trial by Fire (here, next to this marker); Captain Paul Cuffe (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Captain Paul Cuffe (a few steps from this marker); Making Room-Johnny Cake Hill (a few steps from this marker); A Tribute of Respect to Enterprising Whalemen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seamen's Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); Viking (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Seamen’s Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
 
Categories. AnimalsIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 394 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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