South Georgia Island

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Whaling from South Georgia commenced in 1904, the station at Grytviken being the first to open, followed by several others. The name Grytviken (Norwegian) means 'Pot Cove' from the sealers tri-pots which were used for rendering the fats from the blubber. Whilst whaling had been going on elsewhere for a number of years, albeit it on a limited scale, it was the advent of the exploding harpoon, invented by Norwegian Svend Foyn in 1868, that allowed the industry to become much more prolific. The picture on the right, taken in about 1934, shows a harpoon about to be fired.


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Capatain William Williams of the Southern King

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Captain William Williams from Tyn Parc Rhiw in Wales was typical of the whaling ship captains. He was master of the Southern King pictured below. For more about Captain Williams, please visit the Rhiw site.

Whaling ship Southern King

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