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View of the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts

Date: 1876
Dimensions:
Overall: 927 x 1277 mm
Medium: Ink on paper, wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00015530
Place Manufactured:United States

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    Description
    This lithograph depicts a bird's eye view of the port and town of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was drawn and published by Oakey Hoopes Bailey & Co in 1876.
    SignificanceThis lithograph is important in highlighting the transition of New Bedford from a whaling port to a manufacturing city during the 1870s and 1880s.
    HistoryThe north-east Coastal town of New Bedford, Massachusetts was established as a whaling port and by the 18th Century it had become one of the top whaling cities in America. In the early 19th century hundreds of ships regularly departed New Bedford heading out to the Pacific Ocean. In 1848 Lewis Temple, a New Bedford resident, invented the toggling harpoon which revolutionized the whaling industry, helping to cement New Bedford as the most powerful city in the whaling industry. However at the start of the California Gold Rush in 1849 many whalers quit their jobs to find their fortune on the Californian gold fields. In 1859 the discovery of petroleum, a popular alternative to whale oil, led to the beginning of the decline in whaling. The Whaling Disaster of 1871, when 22 whalers from New Bedford were lost in the ice off Alaska, provided another blow to the whaling industry, and whaling in New Bedford eventually came to an end in 1925. However the growth of the textile industry in New Bedford in the 1880s was large enough to sustain its economy. This was spurred on by the creation of the New Bedford Textile School which opened in 1899, which inspired an era of textile prosperity. 32 cotton-manufacturing companies established in New Bedford during this time employed over 30,000 people. This prosperous textile period lasted until the 1940s.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: View of the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts

    Primary title: VIEW OF THE CITY OF NEW BEDFORD

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