In 1851, when Herman Melville finished writing Moby Dick, the golden age of U. S. whaling (1820-50) was on its way out. It probably hit its peak around 1846 when lusty Yankee whalers out of New Bedford and other New England ports came home with some $8,000,000 worth of crude whale oil. But by 1900 the U. S. industry had passed into history due to the exploitation of cheap petroleum products and a scarcity of whales. Since then it has revived, but last week it appeared that it might be doomed once more.

Seven years ago descendants of the owners of...

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