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Whale hunting, USA, 1885

Whale hunting, USA, 1885

T725/0147

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Credit

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Whale hunting. People standing by dead pilot whales (Globicephala sp.) following a whale hunt in 1885. This beach is in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. In the 19th century, the Massachusetts Atlantic coast was home to many of the world's major whaling ports. New technologies, such as steam power and explosive harpoons, allowed increased hunting of whales in the late 19th century. The whales were hunted for their oil and blubber (fat layer), which was used to make soaps, cosmetics and other commercial products. The hunting reached a peak in the early 20th century, with up to 40,000 whales killed per year.

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