|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
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
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 styles.
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 1859.
|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