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Whaling camp, Canada, 1864

Whaling camp, Canada, 1864

T725/0148

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Credit

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

Caption

Whaling camp. Whalers moving a boat at a whaling camp in Labrador, Canada, around 1864. In the 19th century, the northern Atlantic coast of Canada and the USA was a major area for whale hunting. New technologies, such as steam power and explosive harpoons, allowed increased hunting of whales in the late 19th century. Whalers used rowing boats to approach whales from the main whaling ship (which was powered by sails and steam), or from shore. 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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