For over 130 years, ‘Arctic cowboys’ sailed uncharted seas and risked their lives to hunt whales and seals.
Whalers travelled to places barely on the map in the Arctic and brought back huge catches which oiled the wheels of industry.
Whale oil for a period of time was indispensable and was used for lighting and heating, soap, and also for softening the raw jute fibres that Dundee made into sacking in the city’s mills.
The whale bone could change hands for up to £3,000 a ton and had scores of uses, from whips to chair backs to the bristles of brushes, but its main use was corsets in the female fashion industry.
In the whaling heyday, almost 20 whaling...