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The Products and Markets of American Commercial Whaling, 1750-1920

April 27, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (US Central)

—  Registration for this event has been closed.

With Michael Dyer, Curator of Maritime History, New Bedford Whaling Museum

Delve further into the fascinating history behind the objects featured in the exhibition Flicker and Flame: Whale Oil and Kerosene Lamps at the Farm House Museum. Join special guest Michael Dyer, Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford, MA) as he explores the rise and fall of whale oil in America from the early advent of Atlantic Ocean sperm whaling toward the global expansion of the industry, and on to the eventual obsolescence of these products. Dyer will discuss the early candle market, the diversity of whale oil products, their uses and applications with a particular emphasis on sperm oil lamps circa 1825-1860, including lighthouses as well as evolving lamp types adapted for other burning fluids as the nation and demand grew.

This program will be held as a webinar and participants are asked to register in advance. To access the Zoom program click here:

A recording of the program will be available after the event on the University Museums’ YouTube channel.

Speaker Bio: Michael P. Dyer is the Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in American History from Your College of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts in American Studies from Penn State Harrisburg. He has studied at Mystic Seaport, and was the inaugural U.S.A. Gallery Fellow at the Australia National Maritime Museum in 2008. From 1993 to 2001 he was Curator of Maritime History and Librarian at the Kendall Whaling Museum in Sharon, Massachusetts. His interest in whalemen's original art began at the KWM, but has contributed many scholarly articles to periodical publications, is a frequent public speaker, and over the years has crafted several exhibitions on American and world whaling history, maritime decorative arts, and cartography. "O'er the Wide and Tractless Sea": Original Art of the Yankee Whale Hunt, is his first book.

This program is generously sponsored by the Kathy and John Howell Art Enrichment Program.

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