n.d. Circa 1969 · n.p.
Throughout the 19th century, the Azores were a regular stop for American whalers. Native Azoreans learned the trade from their visitors and pursued shore whaling from small boats well into the 20th century. These Azorean whalers have been a source of study for scholars and historians interested in old whaling methods. In 1954 Robert Clark published a monograph entitled "Open Boat Whaling in the Azores," a study of the last survival of whaling and processing methods learned in the 19th century from American whalers. In 1969 William Neufeld made a color film documentary of sperm whaling from the island of Pico in the Azores. This film is viewable as a 19 minute Vimeo clip, but the project also yielded a wealth of still images. I recall color postcards of Azorean whaling in the early 1970s. At some point in his career Neufeld assembled b/w photographic prints made during the documentary project and assembled them into this book, to which he added pertinent quotes from Melville's "Moby Dick." The result is a powerful visual record of a way of life that is gone forever. The last whale was killed in the Azores in 1987. Photographs range in size from 8 x 10 to 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. Three photographs have been removed from the page. Along with whaling operations, the images document a whale upsetting a whale boat, and details of island life. Minor wear, generally very good condition. This is a handmade object, and obviously of limited distribution. Worldcat shows only the San Francisco Maritime Museum holding a copy, though I suppose the New Bedford Whaling Museum must also have a copy. (Inventory #: 40643)