The mystery, excitement, and romance of whaling have fired the human imagination since ancient times. And although many books have been written about whales and whaling, few have presented as comprehensive a pictorial survey of the whale ships of all periods as the present — and now rare — volume. Over 200 vintage engravings, drawings, and photographs depict a magnificent fleet of barks, brigs, cutters, and other whaling vessels, including interior views and interesting details. You'll also find photographs and prints of actual whaling implements (blubber forks, harpoons, lances, cutting spades, etc.), whaling guns, boating implements, and other tools and equipment of the whalers of yesteryear. Additional pictorial highlights include a 1621 engraving of Mass being celebrated on the back of a whale; a wood engraving of the ship "Maria" of New Bedford built in 1782 (oldest whaler in the U.S. in 1853); a Currier and Ives lithograph of a sperm whale, "In A Flurry;" and a revealing series of prints documenting the whaler "Charles W. Morgan" of New Bedford. Most of the prints have been culled from private sources, especially the celebrated Macpherson and Forbes collections, and are generally inaccessible. They have been painstakingly reproduced here, making them widely available to anyone interested in this fascinating chapter of maritime history. George Francis Dow, one of this century's foremost authorities on sailing vessels, selected the illustrations and contributed an expert, well-researched text outlining the history of whaling over three centuries, with special attention to the whaling industry of colonial New England.