Whale Oil was a growing industry in the early 1900′s. The oil was used in oil lamps and to make soap and margarine. Because of the demand Whaling ‘stations’ were popping up in Antarctica and one of the booming ones was at Deception Island. Deception Island was the perfect place to set up a whaling operation since it’s unique horseshoe shape provided great shelter for the ships and since it was volcanic it actually had the chance of being warm at times.
With the discovery of substitutes for whale oil such as kerosene and vegetable oils, the use of whale oils declined considerably. With most countries having banned whaling, the sale and use of whale oil today is almost non-existent.
Whale oil prices dropped during the Great Depression of the 1920s, and the factory ships were abandoned.
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