Whaling Museum Visit By Scott Vogel
US government and Whaling • The Government Regulated several aspects of the whaling industry through customs offices located at the docks in New Bedford. • However despite the regulation the US government did not tax the Whaling industry at all, in fact the whaling industry charged the US government for the oil required for all the light houses. • Part of the reason whaling was not taxed was because the oil was considered a “Product of the Sea”.
Precision • The Whaling industry required extreme precision and standards to be in place to regulate and measure exact amounts of oil retrieved to ensure minimal waste and precise payments. • As seen in the picture to the left giant calipers were used to measure barrels because no two barrels had the exact same dimensions.
Precision • As shown to the left are some of the various sized casks used for holding oil. • Once a barrel was used for one type of whale oil it could not be used to store any other type of oil.
Quality Control • Oil had to be kept in separate containers pertaining specifically to one type of whale, if even a small quantity was to make its way into another barrel it would ruin the quality and the barrel would be useless. Some of the tools used to process oil and measure oil quality.
Book Keeping • Meticulous records were kept of each and every voyage. Typical voyages lasted up to 2 years and were financed by people all over the country, often times investors were not from the port areas. But from cities such as Philadelphia and New York
Typical Ship • Pictured to the Right is a ½ replica of the mast of a whaling ship that would have sailed from the New Bedford port. • Each ship was run independently as its own contained business unit, a central management would be impossible due to the fact that voyages often lasted up to 2 years away from port.