The Greenland Trade and Social Mobility

In late eighteenth century England there were few opportunities for rising up through the social ranks, or even improving on one’s financial situation. Most people lived a life of hand to mouth, dependent on the harvest, and the availability of work. Labourers tended to remain labourers, and ordinary sailors remained, on the whole, ordinary sailors. … Continue reading The Greenland Trade and Social Mobility

Ribbons and Garters: New Whaling Technology in the 1820s

Most people are familiar with the industrial method of catching whales in the twenty-first century. In news items and protest video footage we see the giant warship-like vessels, armed with powerful harpoon cannons, dragging in the massive carcasses on chains, and the mechanised butchery that takes place on their decks. But in the 1820s, whaling was … Continue reading Ribbons and Garters: New Whaling Technology in the 1820s