New Bedford - Massachusetts
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 41° 38.129 W 070° 55.404
19T E 339799 N 4611092
Quick Description: New Bedford, the Whaling City, was at one time one of the most important ports in the world.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 12/14/2014 10:40:57 AM
Waymark Code: WMN2NF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

Long Description:
Coordinates for this Waymark are set at th eNew Bedford Whaling Museum. Mush of the area is part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the area is a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

As for the book, Good Reads (visit link) informs us:

"A Picture History of New Bedford Volume One 1602~1925
by Joseph D Thomas (Contributor)
...
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2013 by Spinner Publications (first published June 1st 2013)
ISBN 0932027210 (ISBN13: 9780932027214)
edition languageEnglish"

As for the town, Wikipedia (visit link) adds:

"New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts. New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important, if not the most important, whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts. The Greater Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area is home to the largest Portuguese-American community in the United States...

Economic history


The economy of the Pilgrim settlement in the New Bedford area was initially based around a few farming and fishing villages. The early Bedford Village quickly became a commercial zone and from there became a major whaling and foreign trade port. In the early 18th century, the Russell family purchased this area and developed it into a larger village (Joseph Russell III having made the most significant contributions). Age of Sail ships built in New Bedford include the schooner Caroline and whaleship Charles W. Morgan. By the 18th century, entrepreneurs in the area, such as whaling merchants from Nantucket, were attracted to the village and helped make it into one of the top whaling cities in the country. The most significant of these merchants was Joseph Rotch, who bought 10 acres (four hectares) of land in 1765 from Joseph Russell III on which he and his sons ran the family business. Rotch moved his business to New Bedford since it would be better for refining whale oil and manufacturing candles made from whales. As these parts of the whaling industry had been monopolized by a merchant cartel in Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, and Providence, Rhode Island, Rotch felt that it would be better for business to handle these himself by moving to the mainland.

The relationship between New Bedford and Nantucket allowed the two cities to dominate the whaling industry. In 1848 New Bedford resident Lewis Temple invented the toggling harpoon, an invention that would revolutionize the whaling industry. This helped make New Bedford more powerful than Nantucket, thus making it the most powerful city in the whaling industry. Another factor was the increased draft of whaling ships, in part the result of greater use of steel in their construction, which made them too deep for Nantucket harbor. Syren, the longest lived of the clipper ships, spent over a decade transporting whale oil and whaling products to New Bedford, principally from Honolulu, and was owned for several years by William H. Besse of New Bedford. As a result of its control over whaling products that were used widely throughout the world (most importantly whale oil), New Bedford became one of the richest per capita cities in the world.

Many whalers would quit their jobs in 1849, though, as the Gold Rush attracted many of them to leave New Bedford for California. During this time Herman Melville, who worked in New Bedford as a whaler, wrote the novel Moby-Dick and published it in 1851; the city would be the initial setting of the book, including a scene set in the Seaman's Bethel, which still stands today. Despite the power it gave to New Bedford, the whaling industry began to decline starting in 1859 when petroleum, which would become a popular alternative to whale oil, was discovered. Another blow came with the Whaling Disaster of 1871, in which twenty-two New Bedford whalers were lost in the ice off the coast of Alaska. The New Bedford firm J. & W. R. Wing Company, the largest whaling company in the United States, sent out its last whaleship in 1914,[63] and whaling in New Bedford came to its final end in 1925, with the last whaling expedition being made by the schooner John R. Manta."
ISBN Number: 0932027210

Author(s): Joseph D Thomas

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Metro2 visited New Bedford  -  Massachusetts 7/10/2010 Metro2 visited it