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Cape Cod How Much Was Whale Oil Worth?

When ships were outfitted, crews engaged, and long voyages undertaken in pursuit of whales for their oil, it would seem that the oil must have been quite valuable.

In 1855, a century and a half ago, we learn that a thousand barrels of whale oil were sold locally at 64 cents a gallon, and another lot of seven hundred barrels of whale oil at slightly more than 64 cents. However, there were several grades of oil, not all being of the same value.

At the same time, the entire cargo of whale oil of the ship Almira was sold to a Nantucket house. It comprised 2,250 barrels of oil, each barrel holding about 31½ gallons. Thus the cargo was worth about $20.16 a barrel, or a total value of $45,360.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/08/06
Categories: History
Keywords: whaling, history, whale oil, barrels


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