Whale Oil | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket History & People

Burn Clear & Bright – Whale Oil

Commonly asked questions and misunderstandings about antiques… and the odd or end fascinating bit!

Whale Oil | Nantucket, MA In the dark ages, homes were lit by horribly smoky and evil smelling fat lamps and grease candles. The superior and extremely expensive beeswax candle was reserved for churches and nobility. The success of the whale oil fishery illuminated the world, with Nantucket filling the lamps of common folk around the globe with whale oil.

The finest quality whale oil of all, from the head cavities of sperm whales, was used to make spermaceti candles, prized for burning clear and brightly, without smoke and smell. Their brilliant superior light was in fact used as the basis for the scientific measure of candlepower: the light produced by one spermaceti candle.

Find Nantucket Hotels at Nantucket.net Antiques Snippets are provided by Jack Fritsch, proprietor of the Antiques Depot at 2 S. Beach Street (across from the Nantucket Yacht Club) NantucketAntiquesDepot.com .

Articles by Date from 2012