|My wife & I make early eighteenth and nineteenth century
whaling harpoons for sale. Our prices are
wholesale! These are real harpoons, made new, but aged
to look historically old. Ours are the finest
representations found anywhere and are ordered by
museums and even used in a whale fishery today! These
"irons" make an excellent display of nautical history for
your home, office or museum.
|Our representations are based on the Catalogue of the
Whaling Museum Whalecraft Collection of the Old
Dartmouth Historical Society in New Bedford.
We rely on the bible of all harpoon books, Harpoons and
Other Whalecraft, by Thomas G. Lytle for our traditional
knowledge of the irons used in the whaling fishery.
|Museum Quality Harpoons
|S & P www.harpoons.us
|The harpoon consists of the "iron", usually about 36
inches long. One end was the "head" which penetrated the
blubber. It did not kill the whale but was designed to
"hold fast". The shaft or "shank" was about 3/8 inch in
diameter and ended at the "socket". The socket was
conical in shape of around six inches and in the American
Whale Fishery was split to allow a little springiness with
which to hold to the pole better. It was served with
marline to prevent chafe.
A short "whale line" or "iron strap"of hemp, and later
manila, was bent around the shank at the socket with a
double hitch and splice. The other end was an eye splice.
The pole was 5-6 feet long, about 2 inches or better in
diameter and was cut from saplings. They were mostly
crooked. The iron was attached to the pole by fitting the
socket to the tapered end. The iron strap was lightly tied
to the pole with marline.
|The hand-darted harpoon of the eighteenth century
was the two-flue iron. This preceded the single flue.
Ships records show basically whalemen carried both
The inventive urge during the whaling era was mostly in
the makers' design of the "iron". We make several of the
types created by the shipsmiths of the era.
|Luther Cole was born May 20, 1822. He made harpoons in New
Bedford and later opened his own shop in Fairhaven, MA circa
|Josiah Macy was born on Nantucket in 1805. He moved to New
Bedford and made harpoons there with his three sons.
|The single & two-flue irons
were the original
"common" harpoons of the
whaling industry. When
the Toggle iron was
invented, it also was added
to this status.
|The single - flue harpoon was first used in
the whaling fishery about circa 1825. It was
thought to hold in the whale better than the
two-flue type and not cut its way out due to
the flat underside of the head.
Single flue Harpoon
|Whaling ship KATE CORY