Story: Whaling

Sperm-oil candles

Sperm-oil candles

Whales were hunted primarily for their oil. Sperm whales were an especially valuable catch because their head cavities held a white spermaceti oil that could be used to make high-quality candles. These burned with a bright light and gave off no odour. Price’s, who made these candles, now held in the Whanganui Museum, were a leading manufacturer of candles in Victorian England.

Using this item

Whanganui Regional Museum

Permission of the Whanganui Regional Museum must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Whaling - Ship-based whaling', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006