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Deck and section plan of whaling bark ALICE KNOWLES

Date: 1887
Dimensions:
Overall: 290 x 234 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00008038

User Terms

    Description
    This engraving depicts the deck and section plan of the whaling bark ALICE KNOWLES of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It shows the ship's whaling boats on cranes ready for active service, storage barrels to hold whale oil, gear to haul the flensed whale aboard, and the try-pots and try-works.

    It is taken from George Brown Goode's 'Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, Volume II' published in 1887.
    SignificanceThis engraving is an excellent representation of late 19th century barks used by American whalers. Large vessels such as the ALICE KNOWLES were able to make the long voyage to the Pacific ocean, calling into Australian ports.
    HistoryDuring the 1800s whaling was a large scale commercial enterprise that was conducted across the globe. The main industry centred on the American north-east coastal town of New Bedford which saw hundreds of ships heading out to the Pacific Ocean on a weekly basis. Industry and households depended on whale products for which there was no substitute. Whale oil was used for lighting and lubrication until 1860 when kerosene and petroleum started to gain popularity. The pure clean oil from sperm whales was a superior source of lighting and the finest candles were made from the whale's wax-like spermaceti. Light and flexible, baleen - the bristle-fringed plates found in the jaws of baleen whales - had many uses in objects which today would be made out of plastic.

    In the 19th century American whalers sailed south to the rich Pacific whaling grounds in search of sperm whales. During the 1840s several hundred ships pursued whales off the coast of Australia. Many called into Australian ports for repairs or supplies after a voyage half-way around the world. Meeting a whaler was the first contact many colonists had with an American. Most of the lightweight American whaling vessels were employed in the Atlantic Ocean, while the larger and better equipped vessels were sent to the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Deck and section plan of whaling bark ALICE KNOWLES

    Primary title: THE WHALE FISHERY, DECK PLAN AND SECTION PLAN OF WHALING BARK "ALICE KNOWLES" OF NEW BEDFORD MASSACHUSETTS

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