America in Dundee Docks

"America" in Dundee Docks - Ref: WC0766

Originally built as the "Esquimaux" by Stephens of Dundee in 1865 for D. Bruce, manager of the Dundee Seal and Whale Fishing Company, this vessel was sold in 1900 to Evelyn B. Baldwin of the USA and re-fitted at Dundee for his Polar Expedition.

In the 1890s, she was used for whaling and sealing in the Davis Straits and at Newfoundland. In 1891, her first catch included 20, 600 seals, and the second yielded 135 tons of whale oil and two and a half tons of bone.

This photograph also shows a steamer on the fitting out berth astern of the "American", with the famous 9-ton crane (one of the heaviest pieces of lifting equipment anywhere at that time), which was removed (having been deemed dangerous) in 1973.

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.

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