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Main Title You Wouldn't Want to be a Roman Gladiator!
The year is 1819. You are a 14-year-old boy named Thomas Nickerson. You were born on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA, but grew up on the nearby island of Nantucket. This is one of the most important centres of the American whaling industry.
You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy!
You Wouldn't Want to be a Polar Explorer
In your day, whales supply two important resources: whale oil and baleen.

Whale oil is used as lamp fuel and for making candles (in the early 19th century there is no electricity, gas, or kerosene for lighting). It is also an ingredient of margarine, shoe polish and soap.
Introduction
Main Title Nantucket: Whaling Capital of the World
Nantucket: Whaling Capital of the World
The Whaling Ship Essex
About this Title
Life Aboard Ship
Whaling Links on the Web
Baleen is a tough, flexible substance which comes from the mouths of some whale species. They use them to trap krill, their main food source. Baleen plates (right), also known as whalebone, can grow up to 4 yards (4 m) in length. They are used to make corset stays, umbrella and parasol ribs, skirt hoops and carriage springs.
There She Blows!
Salariya Book Company
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Flensing the Whale
Trying Out the Whale
Where Does Baleen Come From?
Stove by a Whale
Alone in the Pacific
Starvation, Madness, and Cannibalism
These resources come from the giant species of whale and the only way to harvest their oil and baleen is to hunt them at sea. As you will learn, it is a bloody and dangerous business. You want to fulfill your boyhood ambition of becoming a whaler, joining your friends aboard the whaling ship Essex, bound for the Pacific – and a place in history. But you have no idea of the horrors that lie ahead.
The Homecoming
Based on the book, You Wouldn't Want to Sail on a 19th-Century Whaling Ship!
Copyright 2004 - the Salariya Book Company
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