Nineteenth century, whale oil and profits fueled the industrial revolution and the economic growth of the young United States.
The whaler Morgan was built in 1841 in New Bedford, Mass. For over 80 years of whaling, the Morgan sailed the world's ocean searching for walrus and whales. Once found the marine animals were towed to the ship for processing of their valuable oil, bone, baleen, and teeth and bones for commercial uses.
The Morgan made 37 profitable voyages. Each voyage lasted over three years. The majority of the crew's time was spent waiting to locate their prey. Today the Charles W Morgan, is the last remaining whaler and the oldest American commercial ship still afloat.
With time to spare, whaler seamen used sail needles soot black to highlight engravings, scroll work, and carvings on small pieces animal and bone and ivory. This American art form is called scrimshaw.
Today the Endangered Species Act and international conventions restrict the harvest and sale of ivory.
This museum replica of a 22 inch walrus tusk of the Charles W Morgan is an excellent example of nineteenth century scrimshaw art. This replica is made of non-toxic resins.
replica scrimshaw of Morgan