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Whale Oil
Whale Oil Versus the Others
Whale Oil Uses
The Size of the Sperm Whale
Sperm Whale Head Anatomy
Sperm Whale Oil
Whale Oil Barrel
Historic Prices
Whalemen in the Oilfields
Whaling Control
Cia. Ballenera del Norte S.A.

Whalemen in the Oilfields

There was a sort of correlation between the whale oil industry and the oil industry in the 1860's and on.  Both industries had booms and busts.   Depletion of whales and of petroleum in the wells was a factor in both cases.  Price swings affected both enterprises.  The whaleman had to go on ever lengthening expeditions.  Three years at sea was not out of the ordinary to fill the hold of a whaling ship in the late 1800's.  Then there was the Civil War which took its toll of ships.  The oilfields, especially Oil Creek, experienced terrible fires and floods and much oil was lost at the wells and in transportation.  There were a lot of discouraging times in both industries.

Whaling people must have had a high sense of adventure.  Quite a few New Bedford, Nantucket and Mystic whalemen and those from other ports, idled by the Confederate menace to their ships, went to Oil Creek Valley and plunged into the oil excitement.  Eaton (1866) commented, "Many of the old whalemen have thrown aside the tarpaulin and harpoon and entered upon the business of selecting sites and locating wells."


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