History & Culture

Communities of Whaling exhibit banner

Communities of Whaling Online Exhibit
Stop by the visitor center to see the park's Communities of Whaling exhibit. The exhibit features an interactive map that explores a diverse 1800s New Bedford neighborhood found Behind the Mansions. The exhibit also features a Faces of Whaling flip book that highlights individuals representing New Bedford's many ethnic groups with ties to the whaling industry.

Compass Rose

New Bedford's geographic location influenced its development into the world's foremost whaling port in the nineteenth century. More

A corset advertisement. from the 19th century
Whales provided important and valuable products, and the hunt for them fostered the development of highly specialized technologies and supported the economic base of New Bedford and the nation. More
Men dancing on a whaleship.

Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The nature of a whaling voyage, requiring long separation from home and family, contributed to the development of unique cultures on shipboard and ashore. More
In the critical century following America's independence, when scientific institutions were being founded and U.S. policy was being formed, information and artifacts collected by whalemen greatly expanded America's knowledge of the world. More
Humbpack whales
Whale hunting led to a decline in whale populations worldwide. Some species were endangered as a result of the hunt. More
William Rotch-Rodman House

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Whaling had an impact on the American imagination and influenced American literature, painting, fashion, and folk art. In New Bedford the whaling economy financed homes, businesses, and public buildings, and influenced the local architecture and landscape. More

Last updated: July 9, 2018

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