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Balaena in Dundee Docks

"Balaena" in Dundee Docks - Ref: WC0774

The "Balaena" (which takes its name from the Latin name for the baleen, a bone which grows from the palate of some whales) sailed its last voyage in 1892 under Captain Alexander Fairweather. The fleet belonged to Robert Kinnes.

The trip to the Antarctic yielded two whales and 2500 seals, which produced half a ton of whalebone and 50 tons of oil. Whalebone was used, among other things, for making ladies' corsets, while the oil was burned in lamps, etc.

Other ships in the whaling expedition were "Active", "Polar Star" and "Diana". They were captained by Thomas Robertson, James Davidson and Robert Davidson respectively, their portraits and short biographies appearing in The Piper O' Dundee.


Alexander Wilson who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.