Inventory of the Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Jalien Hollister; machine-readable finding aid created by: Mark ProcknikInventory of the Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Administrative Information

Description

Inventory of the Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library



Title:
Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock Papers
Date Span:
Bulk Dates: 1924-1953
Creator:
Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock, 1885-1964
Mss Number:
Mss 139
Extent:
5.5 linear feet
Abstract:
Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock's papers describe the technical and analytical aspect of the whaling industry during the second quarter of the 20th Century.
Repository:
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Biographical Note

Bertram Ravenscroft Bostock (1885-1964) was born in Northwich, Cheshire, England. The 1911 census lists him as a clerk in an alkali works at the age of 24. He earned a Master’s of Science at the Institute of Chemists in Manchester in 1917. He served in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve in WWI.

During the first part of the twentieth century, factory ships were being designed and built specifically for the processing whales on a massive scale while other ships were being retrofitted to meet the demands of a new technology. These ships were meant to go into the southern oceans for entire seasons in order to catch a large number of whales every day. In some cases it required at least 300 men working at managing a floating factory ship and for processing whales on a large scale continuously around the clock. Smaller catcher boats and spotter planes were part of the process.

The papers in this collection seem to indicate that he was employed by Harris Whaling and Fishing Ltd. and later the Southern Whaling and Sealing Co. Ltd. By 1931 he was the technical manager and director of the Southern Whaling and Sealing Co. Ltd. It appears he was still active during the mid-1950s.

The development of the electrical killing of whales was being developed during this period. It was seen as a more humane way of killing and less destructive to the carcass of the whale. The latter was important because the processing involved using the entire whale: meat, blubber, organs, intestines, and bones. There seems to have been some social pressure in England against the more inhumane method of killing with explosive harpoons and the numbers of whales being killed.

Industrialized whaling was an international undertaking. Mr. Bostock’s records and correspondence shows the diversity of nationalities of the ship’s crews. His records show, the predominant nationalities were Norwegian, German, and English. Materials about the development of a new technology for hunting and processing whales also appear to be based on international collaboration.

The advent of WWII during this period had an effect on the whaling industry. Some ships were apparently captured by the Germans, or were converted for other uses. After the war they reappear under English ownership with new names. The exchange of technology and manufactured goods so important before the war was soon resumed after the war. According to “Patentmaps,” Bostock was the inventor of six patents having to do with the processing of whales in order to extract meat products and oils.

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Scope and Content Note

The B. R. Bostock Papers contain a collection of manuscripts, related data, and correspondence related to the work of B. R. Bostock and the modern whale processing industry. It also includes three photograph albums illustrating the various floating factory ships and whaling stations with which he was involved.

Mr. Bostock was trained as a chemist. Much of the material in his collection contains his data records and chemical analysis for processing whales in large numbers. His position as a technical manager and a director at Southern Whaling and Sealing Co. Ltd. involved him in the development and design of the ships and the processing machinery required for large scale processing. He was also responsible for the treatment and analysis of the products developed from the whales.

The collection contains the reports on the trials carried out during the whaling seasons in the southern oceans. The work was experimental and involved both the physical aspect of processing whales and the analysis of the end product.

Three photograph albums and other photos in the collection illustrate the extent of the processing being done on the floating factory ships and shore stations.

Arrangement of Collection

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Information for Researchers

Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 139, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:

- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution

If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.

Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The B. R. Bostock Papers came to the New Bedford Whaling Museum Archives when the Kendall Whaling Museum merged their collections in 2001. They had previously been held by the Nantucket Whaling Society.

Processing Information

Processed by: Jalien Hollister, 2014

Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 2 February 2015

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Description

Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Series I: Trial Reports
Consists of trial reports from the Harris Whaling and Fishing Co. Ltd., the Southern Whaling and Fishing Co. Ltd. and trial reports for Southern Princess (FF) and Southern Empress (FF)
Series II: Whaling Data and Ship Regulations
Consists of trial reports from the Harris Whaling and Fishing Co. Ltd., the Southern Whaling and Fishing Co. Ltd. and trial reports for Southern Princess (FF) and Southern Empress (FF)
Series III: Drawings, Plans, Specifications, and Data
Contains of material from numerous sources regarding the technicalities of processing whales for meat products and oils.
Series VI: Plans and Specifications for Floating Factories
Series V: B. R. Bostock Reports
Series VI: Plans and Specifications for Floating Factories
Series VII: Publications
Series VIII: Unitas (FF) and Empire Victory (FF) [ex Unitas (FF)
Series IX: Electrical Killing of Whales
Series X: Whaling Related Biology
Series XI: Photograph Albums
Removed to Photo Archives

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Last modified: December 9, 2016