New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
—National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
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
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. • Animals • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.