This book provides a comprehensive economic history of the British Whaling Trade, divided into two eras of significant technological difference. The first part concerns the traditional whaling trades that structured the industry for three centuries, from 1604-1914. The second part concerns the modern whaling trade between the years 1904-1963, characterised by technological advance and tremendous international competition. Gordon Jackson approaches the enormous subject of British Whaling from the perspectives of both the national economy of Britain, and the international whaling industry as a whole. The book consults official statistical material to determine the size and performance of various whaling fleets; eye-witness accounts and state papers for the early history of the trade; log books, and trade and customs records for the eighteenth century; and the documents of the Southern Whaling Company, Salvesen, and Unilever for insights into the modern whaling period. The book concludes with appendices containing statistical data concerning whale oil, whale stocks, and the price of goods, two bibliographies of further reading, and a conclusion that free competition and market demand simply exhausted whale stocks beyond any possibility of restoration.
October 18, 2017
Research in Maritime History 29